Divorce before Divorce
Divorce Before Divorce in Marriage Conversation
Many time people consider Divorce when they really ought to learn how to end (divorce) the stale and worn out agreement they have called marriage…
Many marriages end before they begin. They abort the promises made at the alter of commitment. Divorce is an attempt to solve complex problems by means of a simple yet profoundly invasive surgery.
But if you rethink what marriage is really about, you’ll discover a deeper and more profound truth. Marriage is a choice to build a partnership over time. You might think of a partnership as a container meant to hold two people in relationship while they each, in their own unique way, grow. Thinking of marriage in this way opens to thinking of marriage as a fundamental piece in community building as well as community healthfulness.
Marriages often involve children. Children thrive when their own mirco communities offer stability, inspiration, safety, nourishment and, of course, the presence and successful resolution of life’s challenges.
There are many possible ‘deadends’ in relationship building as each individual changes, learns, discovers and expands their own self definition. These seeming ‘deadends’ often look like an ending. “We can’t go on this way,” one partner will say. “I just don’t love you the way I once loved you” another observes.
We call these an opportunity for a mini divorce. Here’s how it works. When a person discovers that they no longer feel the way they once felt it is natural (and easy) to confuse that with feeling no love at all. What has possibly happened is that their definition of what love feels like is based on an earlier experience when newness, the famous ‘hormonal cocktail,’ and youth itself was defining the feeling of love.
Divorcing (divorcing) that paradigm is painful and requires conscious work. It takes two people to investigate the meaning of this powerful change in how they see or understand love. divorcing here means that they agree to let go of that once mesmerizing model of loving – and there is grief involved in doing so.
It does not mean letting go of the core love itself. Courage is called for as both partners – “faith is confidence in things hoped for and assurance about what we do not see” – embrace what is not yet seen but believed to be there from the very first declaration of love.
We ‘divorce’ an old way of thinking while we are on the road to deepen our shared definition of marriage. In doing so a new and more vital definition of marriage emerges.
So the next time you and your partner are tempted to give up on each other consider it an opportunity to grow your marriage into ‘the next new thing,’ you own personal ‘wow’ project, in your life. Your children will appreciate your courage and transparency, your relationship will deepen, and the communities your participate in will thrive because you choose to evolve your love.