Sunday, March 29, 2009
Giving Yourself Permission to Divorce in Order to Choose to be Married
I'm sure you have heard someone say, "Divorce is not an option for me; divorce is not in my vocabulary." This expression can mean different things to different people. To someone in a satisfying marriage, this expression can mean that he/she is committed to their marriage and willing to tackle whatever roadblocks to intimacy that may arise.
But to someone in a marriage crisis the expression can represent entrapment, suggesting, "I made my bed and I must lie in it." The difficulty with this outlook during a marriage crisis is that one cannot choose to remain married unless one has a choice. Removing yours or your partner's choice can result in a marriage without intimacy or closeness. Such a choice can have lasting consequences.
It is far better to give yourself permission to divorce in order to give yourself permission to be married. A healthy marriage requires much effort, work that cannot be given reluctantly. Your partner's distancing may tempt you to manipulate the situation in order to avoid divorce. Friends and family may be willing accomplices in the manipulation because they do not want the marriage to dissolve.
Resist such desperate behavior. Trust that your partner must make a decision to commit to the relationship. Only a choice freely given will include motivation to draw close to you and willingness to trust giving one's heart away (once again).