Do I Really Want a Divorce? Is That True?

At first glance, marriage is a good thing. You meet someone incredible, fall in love, get married and build a life together. You’ve now got a best friend, committed lover, and life partner all rolled into one. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

But what happens when the person you thought you married ends up being someone completely different (they always will, by the way)? What do you do when years go by and instead of living in excited anticipation of your spouse’s arrival home, you find yourself wishing they’d just go away?

You didn’t know that person on your wedding day the way you know that person now. It never occurred to you that he or she could be selfish, inconsiderate, critical, judgmental, lazy, cold or any of the other five hundred things you’ve put on your “I don’t like this marriage” list. Nonetheless, here you are and here that person is and you’re stuck like glue together in a marriage you never signed up for and that’s your story and you’re sticking to it.

With that story, who wouldn’t want a divorce?

So now I’m going to ask you to do something really big and really brave: stop telling that story, just for the next five to ten minutes, until you finish reading this article. Let’s wipe the slate clean and start fresh, right here, right now.

Grab a sheet of paper and, at the top, write the following:

“Today is…”

Write what day it is (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.).

Ask yourself, “Is this true?”

Now, I want you to notice how many stories your mind begins to come up with as you think more about the statement “Today is…” For example, if it’s Monday, you might say “Today is Monday” and then your mind runs wild with it by adding things like:

“Start of the work week.”

“So much to do.”

“Where’d the weekend go?”

“Manic Monday.”

“The week is so long.”

“I hate Mondays.”

The truth of the matter is, “Today is Monday” and that’s it. What makes you unhappy or displeases you about it being Monday is not the fact that it’s Monday, but the thoughts you attach to the fact that it’s Monday.

What if you erased all those other thoughts and just accepted the simple truth that “Today is Monday…” Wouldn’t Monday feel so much better?

Now, you might be saying, “Thanks for all the psychobabble but how does this relate to me deciding whether or not I should get divorced?”

Here’s my answer:

You’ve created a story in your own mind about why your marriage is over and you’ve invested completely in the idea that this marriage is imperfect, flawed, and beyond repair. You’re also invested in blaming your spouse for not being who he/she said he/she was. Right now, you are holding onto that story for dear life because it makes you right.

What you don’t realize is that this story also makes you suffer. If your marriage is a failure and you’re in it, what does that make you? If you married someone who turned out to be a complete and total liar, what does that say about your own judgment? If your happiness is based on your spouse acting and being a certain way, who’s in control of your happiness? It’s not you.

“The ego doesn’t care who you blame so long as you blame someone.”

– Marianne Williamson

What I am asking you to do, for the next 5-10 minutes, is the following:

1) Stop replaying the story of why your marriage sucks.

2) Put on paper, into words, why you can no longer be in the marriage. Write “I need to leave this marriage because…”

3) Read the statement out loud and ask yourself four questions:

#1- Is this true?

#2- Do I absolutely know (100%) that this is true?

#3- How do I react when I think this thought?

#4- Who would I be without this thought? How would I live my life?

Ask yourself these questions and give yourself the room and honest space to answer them.

These questions come from “The Work” by Byron Katie (check out her book “Loving What Is”). The goal is not to judge your situation but to love it for what it is so you are free to choose your path from a place of love, not fear.

Once you answer all four questions, turn the original statement around and live in that place for an entire week. If, after that week is over, you feel no better about your marriage, divorce is a viable option.

Here’s how you turn the statement around:

Original statement- “I need to leave this marriage because I’m miserable in it.”

Turn around- “I don’t need to leave this marriage because I’m not miserable in it. I control what I think and feel and I choose joy” or “I don’t need to leave this marriage because I’m miserable in it. I can find a way to be happy on my own.”

Whatever you turn it around to be, it must be a positive reflection of your own ability to enjoy your life. Your enjoyment of life has nothing to do with your spouse. He or she can only make your life a living hell if you think this person can and take in his or her actions in a way that tells that story. Believing that your spouse has the power to ruin your life is like saying food makes you fat. It’s simply not true until you take the thought, believe its power and live out the self-fulfilling prophecy through your own actions… but it’s still all you.

If you love your spouse but can’t stand being around them, turn it around.

Original statement- “I hate being around my spouse.”

Ask the four questions.

Turn it around- “I don’t hate being around my spouse. I can have fun wherever I am and whoever I’m with because it’s my life and I’m fun.”

Doesn’t just reading the new statement make you feel better?

Bottom line: Before you can make the divorce decision, you need to take your personal power back and be in control of your own peace and joy. If you don’t, the suffering you feel now will be repeated with every other relationship you come across, married or not.

Before you end the marriage, give up the story and love life for what it is. Then and only then will you have the power to make the best choice for you.

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