“People aren’t attached to people, they’re attached to their beliefs.” Byron Katie
My client, K., had been married for nearly 20 years and she had two boys, ages 15 and 9.
The marriage hadn’t been healthy from the start…
They argued a lot, often talking over one another.
They stopped having sex unless they both had several cocktails first.
They hurt one another over the years:
- She hurt him by trying to control him
- He hurt her by rejecting her and demonstrating a lot of anger towards her
They’ve been separated for six months and although he still wanted to try to make it work, she wasn’t so sure.
He had made lots of changes to try to win her back, but the emotional immaturity didn’t magically change.
She had made a lot of changes, but the attraction for him didn’t magically return.
Although much of the dysfunction between them was still present, she still cried at the thought of ending the marriage. When we dove into why it was still so painful for her to consider, what we realized was that it wasn’t about losing him; it was about losing her family.
You see, she (like most of us) had a very strict definition of what a family looked like: A husband and a wife and the kids, all living under the same roof together.
I invited her to let go of that one belief and redefine what family meant for her.
- Family meant love. She still loved him…(that didn’t mean she wanted to be with him as a wife, but for sure, she still loved him).
- Family meant time spent together. They could still spend time together – at their son’s baseball games, at parent-teacher conferences, at the holidays. There was no reason they couldn’t choose to spend time together.
- Family meant parents to their two precious kids. Mom was always going to be mom. Dad was always going to be dad. Nothing and no one was going to ever change that for their boys.
The nature of their relationship as a couple would change if they chose to get a divorce, but there’s no reason she had to lose her family in the process.
That re-frame opened her mind and frankly, stopped her suffering.
She was now better able to make a stay or go decision without the painful thought that she would lose her family if she made a decision to change the nature of her relationship with her husband.
When you detach from your preconceived beliefs and open your mind to the truth, you can come to a decision that honors both of you.
That’s what it means to come to clarity in your mind and heart.
If you’re ready for your own clarity – knowing whether your answer for your marriage and your life is to stay or go, then I’d love to help you get there.