Welcome to elephant journal’s advice column all about breaking up, in peace.
I will guide you through the process of making the big decision to stay or leave, separate, divorce, and everything in between and thereafter: from navigating a break up gracefully, to co-parenting with ease and dating post divorce. You ask, I will answer.
Am I an expert? Am I a therapist? No, but I am aware. I listen and I hear what you are saying under the surface of your question. I hear the answer (you already know), submerged below the doubt. My purpose is to fish the answer from your heart and cast it back to you. There is nothing I can express that you don’t already know. Sometimes we just need to hear someone else say it, to validate and strengthen our confidence and acknowledge what our intuition has been declaring all along.
Thank you to my first brave questioners. I honor your courage. Here are my responses to your questions, but again, you already know what I am about to say, because you felt it first.
Q: Dear Rebecca,
Two people are in a long-term relationship, married, kids, mortgage, etc. As time moves on and lives evolve, the two paths begin to separate, loves and passions moved in different directions. Love has faded, they feel and live like roommates.
Enter a dear friend who you’ve known, you adore and begin to fall in love with. Your paths are beginning to cross in dramatic and beautiful ways and you feel a passionate pull to them at the most subtle layer of your being. Nature seems to be lining this up beautifully.
While doing your best to open yourself up to nature, live in the moment and make decisions from the heart, how do you begin to grapple with these life changing relationship moments and ease through the uncomfortable decisions, while still feeling as if you’re being true to yourself?
A: Dear Anonymous,
Love doesn’t fade, connection does. We all crave connection. Connection will lay dormant until it is reignited. The monotony of a scheduled and predictable life destroys our passions, spontaneity and feelings of flight. Sometimes, another enters our lives to light the torch and guide us back to our hearts and reconnect us with our loved ones.
Only you know if your current marriage is your preparation—the revealer of your trueness, your wholeness. Now that you may recognize your wholeness, you have attracted another who acknowledges her wholeness too. This is very well a possibility. However, is it possible this person stands in front of you to initiate your self-reflection and reunify you and your wife?
Falling in love is transient, it is the vagabond of the heart. Falling in love is not the binding agent of longevity in a relationship, the mind is.
Critically evaluate the pros and cons of leaving your family for another person who will eventually become stale too. Down the road the house guest of early love will pack a bag and hitchhike from the town of passion and excitement.
I believe strongly that we should never leave one relationship for another. When we do so, we cling to fear. We grip the old branch as we grab hold of the new one, the cushioned branch of instant companionship and comfort. We are not trusting and confronting the unknown. The unknown is where the seeds root, knowledge is absorbed and our essence blooms.
We need to fall to the ground and see what it feels like to let go completely, before we grab onto another one. We must root and nourish ourselves first. This is how we know what is true.
To preserve the purity of both relationships, release them both, connect to yourself, be alone for a while. I think there is more integrity and honor in saying to your spouse, “You need time to think,” rather than severing ties to knot another.
Experience what life is like solo, without either of them. Who are you? Are you truly whole? Can you stand on your own without support? If you can stand alone, you can stand beside someone else, but if you can’t stand alone and feel secure, you should not be in a relationship with anyone until you can.
The decision will be effortless when you are not holding on, but first you have to let go and make the choice on your own. This is how you will know for certain you are being true to yourself.
Q: Dear Rebecca,
How do you know when love isn’t enough? At what point do you have to acknowledge that you just aren’t right for each other despite how much you love each other?
A: Dear Lisa,
The question of questioning the depth, strength, and validity of love between us and another stems from the deprivation of attention and love we give to ourselves.
Love is enough if we are enough. Inadequacy is the angst of humanity. We never feel we are enough, adequate enough or lovable enough. There is a direct relationship between the self-love we accept within our being, and the love we receive and accept from another.
We allow ourselves to be loved to the measure we believe we deserve to be loved.
Do you trust yourself? Do you trust what your quietest voice is whispering to you?
If you feel you are not “right” for each other anymore, then you are not right for each other.
We tend to over think and deny our intuition, doubt it and discount it. If first instinct says you are done, then you are done.
There is a counterpart to your heart that needs to be acknowledged. In any relationship, your mind must be satiated too.
To maintain a relationship, there needs to be a balance between the mind and the heart. If you are bored in mind, it will override the desire of your heart. As you evolve and transform as a person, the mind refines; it loses weight and it may need new clothes, a new partner (unless your current partner is refining his or her mind too).
Once we refine our minds, our thoughts become more linear, and we can hear the voice of our heart clearly. We then know who we are and easily discern what we want in a partner.
Love is enough, if your mind and heart accept it equally.
Here is a link to my column, read on http://www.elephantjournal.com/?s=rebecca+lammersen
If you wish to ask me a question email me [email protected]
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Editor: Brianna Bemel
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The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012. When your Heart is Wounded, I will Hold your Hand. Hot Love with a Leo.