If truth be told, I think every person in a marriage has questioned whether they married the right person at least once along the way. Either that or we get caught in the “grass would be greener with someone else” syndrome. While it would serve us to do a bit more of that contemplation and evaluation before we get seriously involved or married, what if we find ourselves contemplating untying the knot?
While it is always possible that you made the wrong choice in partners, I would love to encourage you to explore other possibilities before coming to that conclusion. I’ve found that couples think “divorce,” not because that is what they actually want, but because they don’t know what else to do.
1. Determine whether you are being the right partner, yourself. We tend to get so caught up in thinking about what other people are doing that we don’t bother to evaluate how we, ourselves, are contributing to or diminishing the relationship. People are responsive beings, when we shift they shift in relationship to us. Years ago when I thought my husband was the wrong choice, I took a hard look at what I was doing, saying and thinking. I focused on mastering myself and voila, the relationship dramatically and instantly improved.
2. Don’t expect your partner to be you. He or she is not you and is not supposed to be you. Explore the possibility that you have chosen each other to expand in ways you would not or could not, alone or with someone more like you.
I was working with a couple a while ago who shared the dream of buying a property and turning it into a bed and breakfast. One partner, who was good at fixing things, was complaining that the other wasn’t “handy” and felt all the fix-it jobs fell on her shoulders. I pointed out to her that my husband and I own a property that is a vacation rental and that he is far more handy at fixing things than I am. However, I take care of a host of things that he would not enjoy or excel in like the scheduling, decorating, greeting of the guests, and managing the cleaners. I explained that having a partner just like her could leave a huge hole in the skill sets that they need to fulfill this dream. Complementary skills and abilities cover more ground.
3. Evaluate what’s on your “belief window.” Beliefs don’t always reflect the truth, but they do impact the truth. Our beliefs act like a window that colors what we see and do. When we have a specific belief, there is an “if-then” rule that accompanies that belief and dictates our behavior. For instance, If I believe men cheat, then I should be jealous, possessive and snoopy. The belief isn’t inherently true but if I behave this way my partner may start seeking someone else. The belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you hold a belief that your spouse is the wrong person for you, then you will be less loving, less trusting, and less intimate and more judgmental, critical and withdrawn. Even having the belief that a divorce may be coming on your belief window changes your behavior. If I might get divorced, then I should hold my love back, keep my defenses up and justify that decision by looking for what is wrong with my partner. I might even start looking for someone else. These very behaviors then lead toward divorce.
So, before you leave your spouse in a fit of conviction that they are not the one for you, first see what happens when you put a new belief on your belief window: “My relationship is my greatest classroom for my soul’s awakening and self-mastery.” If that is true, then see what happens when you take 100% responsibility for what you are thinking (including the stories you are making up and the beliefs you are choosing), what you are saying and what you are doing. If you are unable to create better results, you will be able to move forward with no regrets. But you may also discover that your marriage is a Celtic knot, sacred geometry that symbolizes the interconnectedness of all things.