A Tremendous Effort
If you have a partner, you’re married, or in a committed partnership then chances are you went to great lengths. You put in tremendous effort to create that partnership, right? People often spend their whole young lives looking for their partner. They may go through several bad relationships and breakups before they finally find someone. We can go through heart wrenching, confusing, up and down processes even before finally committing to this partner, getting married, having a lavish wedding perhaps, or moving in together, and then becoming this “family unit.”
Specifically, I’m addressing adults who have children together (co-parents living together in a romantic partnership) whatever the structure of that might be. As I said, we put in tremendous effort and not to mention a pretty huge investment into getting to this status. We make BIG promises to ourselves and to each other. It’s till death do us part, right? Not just that, we promise to be each other’s everything, lifelong partners, committed to marriage. We join forces! We fuse our finances, our homes, even our gene pool into the next generation. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves…
Why? What is it for?
Is it just some old, outdated paradigm?
Is it just a biological need, a need for safety, or financial security?
Or is there something deeper?
Is there something spiritual or emotional that we’re seeking from this partnership and from organizing ourselves into these family units?
Truthfully, when we look at the state of marriage, we are seeing around us the failure of these big grand gestures, promises and commitments to ourselves. Right? We say “till death to us part” and yet most of us in America are parted by divorce long before death. And even those who don’t make it to divorce (because I know divorce can often be a very healthy thing when the marriages are failing) are often you know, miserable. Even those who don’t get to that point might stay in a stuck, stagnant, emotionally divorced situation for years before ever deciding to part ways or for the rest of their lives. In fact, we still have this concept of staying together for the kids. We also have this concept of “it’s not bad enough to leave,” “it could be worth it,” etc.
So our marriages and partnerships are often very rife with stress, disappointment and conflict. Do you see many deliriously happy couples around you, or even just reasonably happy couples having great friendship and great support system? Honestly, I don’t. I see some couples like that and they are my absolute role models. However I also see a lot of people in our culture where there’s just always this underlying conflict, this humdrum, vanilla quality, daily grind, and loss of passion. But more than just the loss of passion, intimacy and excitement, there’s a depleted level of love (or even liking) of the other person.
So I have to wonder: We invest so much energy into finding this one person. Our whole culture, media stories, narratives and religions are based around finding them and committing for life. Are we missing something?! And what is that thing that we’re missing if there’s such a chasm between the promise and what we’re working towards when we get married in the first place, versus the reality. Because the reality is feeling disconnected, misunderstood and resentful.
If you’re feeling stagnant in your marriage stuck or like this is not what you signed up for, then I want you to know that you’re not alone. And if you’re daydreaming about what it could be, about that old high school sweetheart, or about a way out of the marriage, then you’re not alone! I have this crazy, wild vision for what our relationship, our marriages, our homes, and our family life could be. Sure there are those marriages that need to disintegrate. They need to separate. There is too much toxicity, abuse, or illness that cannot survive with the marriage intact and in that case, divorce can absolutely be a blessing. But in many cases that’s not necessarily the answer.
In many cases, it’s not something we’re even entertaining in our minds because “things aren’t that bad, right?” Maybe we’re not even looking for such a giant transformation, but we are hoping that we can get a bit more meaning, joy and satisfaction within our marriages. And we’re wondering, is that too much to ask for? I believe that most of our relationships are limited only by one thing, and that is our imaginationsvia @ParentingJunkieTweet This. It’s us, ourselves, our mindset, our belief of what is possible of how we could be living that limit our joy and bliss within our family lives. We tend to live out our cultural prophecies. Prophecies like, “passion and intimacy just disintegrate over time,” that you lose your connection. When we hit that enough times and see it around us and other couples, then we to fall into that pattern. They say that we are the sum total of the five people that we hang out with the most. If that’s the case and divorce – and emotional divorce – are so prevalent, then we have to look at what’s going on around us. What’s influencing our perception of what is possible within our homes? I’ve been incredibly lucky to be exposed to some dynamite partnerships – supportive, unconditionally loving, and growing from year to year rather than depleting. Like a fine wine with time! When you see that it opens up your eyes to what is possible. We suddenly don’t believe that passion has to die or that marriages are full of conflict. Sure, some conflict is always inevitable in every relationship, but what we do with that conflict?
The ONE Thing Needed To Achieve the Relationship of Your Dreams
How we handle conflict, how it feels to be within it, how big or small it stays, is entirely up to our imaginations. If we believe that marriage has to be a sacrifice, full of victimhood, and that inevitably resentment is going to build up over the years, then that’s what we’ll get! Often when I talk about having a blissful family experience, when I say that your marriage can be the most incredible healing and joyful place of your life, I get met with a lot of resistance. People tell me that’s a privilege, and that not everybody can have that. People tell me that “if you knew my husband or my wife, you’d know that that wasn’t possible.” It may not be possible for absolutely everyone, but the thing is that When we argue for our limits, we get to keep them.via @ParentingJunkieTweet This If we think that marriage is just a tit for tat transaction that plugs along, and that we’re lucky if there isn’t some crazy disaster, then that’s where we stay.
“You cannot solve a problem from the same level at which it was created.” – Albert Einstein
In other words, if we’re creating a problem within our marriage and we’re finding a lot of friction, conflict, tension, lack luster feelings, boring disconnected and unhappy feelings within our marriage, we’re not going to be able to solve that problem whilst staying in that mindset. We’re going to need to uplevel ourselves and reframe the way we see our marriage and our partner and most importantly ourselves in our culture.
How many of us are staying passive to the life that we want to live? The relationship that we want to experience, the way that we want our families to feel the bliss. that is our birth right to claim. If we’re asleep and if we’re unconscious to what we can create and what we can do, then we’re staying stuck at that level and like Einstein said,
“We’ve got to get to a different level and see ourselves with a bit of perspective.”
That feeling of “is this all there is?” – that feeling is on point. This isn’t all there is. There is so much more that you can create. That’s at least been my experience and the experience of many hundreds of clients that I work with. Often we have this kind of Eat, Pray Love by Eizabeth Gilbert moment, right? We realize that we want a bigger life, that we want to live fully, that we want to be passionate and creative and artistic. For many of us, the conclusion that goes hand in hand with that is that we have to leave everything behind. That we have to leave our partner or our life as we know it and sell the house. Maybe it’s that we feel we should just world school, you know, move to Italy, do as Liz did. Her story is incredible and it was right for her, but it’s not right for everyone. You don’t have to go down that path in order to create that level of transformation. You don’t have to go down the path of disintegrating your family life or giving up on your marriage because you want to feel alive.
Don’t Just Heal Your Marriage. Let it Heal YOU.
It’s my belief that as long as you’re married to someone healthy and stable and kind, you can create that level of healing, empowerment, and joyful, passionate, blissful living within your marriage. In fact, your marriage and your parenting could be the deepest catalystic tools for your self actualization and for living a life of meaning and joy and vibrancy. If you put your energy to it, it can. It can work for you in your home with your partner. You can create that level of bliss and connection that you never thought could happen, that maybe you’ve even given up on in some ways. Don’t let your limiting beliefs limit what is possible within your relationship, within your parenting and your partnering. Don’t let your stories, your cultural stories tell you and dictate for you what can and cannot be felt within your holistic family unit.
In the industrialized model of family, as I call it, we look at just ticking boxes. We look at protocols and checks, checklists as if our family is a product. And it is! It’s a product of our culture. Get married, check! Have babies, check! Graduate kids from college, check! Save for retirement, check! But if we can break free of that industrialized model and actually reconnect to our wild roots, to our voices, to what we most want to live in this precious one, wild life, we can find ways that our relationships could be juicy and vibrant and interesting and deep to the point of bliss.
We know what feels good in a marriage. Nitpicking, criticizing competition, conflict, cold shoulder, slam doors, lecturing ultimatums. None of those things feel good. They don’t feel like self actualization, like high vibrations, like high-frequency joy. They don’t feel like this, but they could. We could create those feelings. We can conjure them up. We can invite them in. It takes tremendous effort, but guess what? We’re already putting in tremendous effort.
We already put in tremendous effort to organize as a couple, as a family, as a unit in the first place. Why stop there? Why not put in the next level of tremendous effort to take it to the next level where we’re not stuck at the power struggle. We’re actually elevating ourselves to a place of true joy, meaning and connection within our adult partnerships. And that is the foundation for our parenting as well. So why not make it as joyful as we can? Why not create family bliss?
Tell me in the comments below!
What limiting beliefs are holding you back from upleveling YOUR relationship to a place of true joy, meaning, and connection? If you’re already there, tell me the beliefs that GOT you there!