Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When marriage holds you back - is it okay to move on?

I've been taking a little break from the Posse chicks and divorced dudes to sit back and reflect on the meaning of marriage.

"Aww," I can almost hear you groan. "We just want the sex! Give us more dirt!"

Calm down already, juicy stuff is on the way. In the meantime, I'd like to present one enlightened chick, Annie Burnside, and her rather radical views on marriage. Annie is an educator and a soul nurturer, and if you don't know what that is, check out her inspiring website.

When working with a client, Annie's goal is "to reconnect you more deeply to the voice of your own soul so that clarity and direction may be attained." She has worked with many divorced and separated women and doesn't see a marriage ending as a failure.

"Not everyone is necessarily meant to be with the same person for 60 years," she told me over coffee last week, looking drop-dead gorgeous and pulsating with positive energy. "Marriage is a societal institution that sometimes holds people back from making their true choices."

Living authentically is what Annie is all about, and it's what she teaches others to do by listening to their vibes and uncovering their deepest desires. Ideally, two people can continue to grow and develop in a marriage, but it may not always be possible.

"It's difficult for two people to grow at the same rate," said Annie. "Sometimes the soul growth in that particular relationship is complete."

It takes courage to recognize that a relationship has stopped working and ending a marriage can be devastatingly painful. But according to Annie, sometimes the transformation of the relationship brings on tremendous growth and opportunity.

Living according to your deep inner truths isn't selfish, she says. When you operate from your core, (instead of trying to please everyone else and feeling resentful about it) you have much more to give.

"When you come from that authentic space, what you offer others is of a much higher quality," she said.

Look, Annie isn't encouraging people to ditch their spouse; she's a happily married woman and hopes to stay that way. It's just that she is a passionate advocate of nurturing the soul - for both parties. And after many attempts to save the marriage have failed, if a person can no longer find the truth, joy, and appreciation in the relationship and needs to move on - she's okay with it.

"Living a live of quiet desperation is ultimately detrimental to all involved."


rn terri said...

This is SO true! This is exactly what happened in my first marriage, I was living in "quiet desperation". These articles are really good and beneficial to some who are still struggling with choices we have made. Keep 'em coming! :)

Anonymous said...

This makes so much sense - looking deep inside rather than at external expectations. Annie knows her stuff!

Marjie Killeen said...

Glad it resonates with you two! I love Annie's viewpoint that living in your own truth isn't selfish. Sometimes we women take responsibility for everyone's happiness but our own.

Anonymous said...

Being a divorced dad myself, I couldn't agree more with Annie. I am sad to say that it took the marriage and divorce to start to uncover my true self but on the other hand it provided me with the opportunity for self awareness. I am not an advocate of divorce. The pain it causes is tremendous, but when the pain of making the change is less than the pain you are currently in you find the strength to make the change. But I warn you, please be sure you have exhausted all avenues before you choose to divorce. If you are not prepared, as I was not, you will suffer longer afterwards. It is your own responsibility to take care of any unresolved emotions before divorce. When you can walk away without pointing fingers, placing blame, and you have taken inventory of yourself only then can you truly say you are ready to make such a change. I believe what Annie is saying is true but it requires work and preparation to leave a marriage. I wish I knew then what I know now because I didn't do any of the work and wasn't prepared and I have suffered. Things are much better now and I can't say I would change anything because of the growth I have had from such an experience. But if I can help anyone not suffer internally as I did, because I wan't prepared, then I hope you find something in this message that speaks to you or makes sense. We all deserve happiness and contentment in our own soul. Here"s wishing you find yours!!

Marjie Killeen said...

Dear Divorced Dad,
Thank you SO much for sharing your experience and perspective. It sounds like you've been through a very difficult time and I'm glad you're at the point where you can focus on the positives, the growth.

I'm curious, did you initiate your divorce or did your ex-wife? Because I imagine it's hard to resolve your emotions in the marriage when the other person is closing the door.


Anonymous said...

Dear Marjie,
The first mention of the word Divorce came from my ex. The reason I mention that is because I believe that when one person in the relationship drops the "D" word it is only a matter of time before it is over. After countless conversations we came to a mutual decission that it would be best for both of us. But thinking back on how everything was put in motion, it was her that contacted an attorney for herself and went as far as to say "here I have some recomendation of attorney's for you". To talk about divorce is one thing. Putting it in motion is undescribeable because I didn't set out to be divorced or ever thought failing at my marriage was an option. What I found out much later was that while we were in counseling trying to work on our marriage she was already seeing someone else. She had already check out.

As I sat on the stand in court and was asked by the judge to admit my marriage was over and it couldn't be reconciled, I couldn't do it. I broke down and started sobbing. We had to take a 10min recess so I could gather myself. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Two weeks after our divorce was final she moved in with the guy along with our 2yr old daughter. I was devastated and to say there were unresolved issues is an understatement. She was playing house and involving our daughter in her bad decisions and that was unexceptable.

Now, I must say that my relationship with my ex is good and we get along and co-parent very well. It is very easy when you leave your ego out of it and always do what is in the best interst of the child/children. Her choices in the beginning were less than ideal and I will never understand making such a decision when there is a child involved but we all have our own way of hiding and dealing with pain. She is a good mom and a good person.

I know I expanded on what your original question was but I must say, as I was telling Annie earlier today, you have given me a forum to write and share my experience of divorce. I have never written or shared my emotion of my experience until today and it has been very theraputic and uplifting. Thank you for the opportunity to share and express myself.