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*Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a series—lucky you! Follow Galina to get notified when the next article is available to read. And read Harsh Truth #7 here.
I no longer believe in the institution of marriage.
And yet I’m still married, to the same person, after 32 years.
Many who know me or follow my work have wondered why. It’s a good question.
Some say staying together is better than separating. This simply isn’t true.
Does that mean separating is better than staying together? Not at all!
The point is there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for relationships.
We need to stop measuring the success of a relationship by its longevity.
Relationships are not meant for happily-ever-after. They don’t come with a guarantee.
Relationships are laboratories for growth. The problem is that growth is uncomfortable.
In a polarized society where “cancel culture” runs rampant, it’s become “the norm” to block anything or anyone that causes us even the mildest discomfort.
Have I ever wanted to escape a marriage I committed to at age 23, through romance-colored glasses, with no idea what I was really signing up for?
Of course! On numerous occasions.
The discomfort my eight-year awakening caused in my relationship has become, at times, so severe that all I’ve wanted to do is run away.
I blamed him for all the ways my life was not fitting into the figment of my imagination.
In truth, I was trying to run away from myself.
Seems so crazy now—the way we assign responsibility for how we feel to other people.
That is what’s so confusing in the way we’ve been conditioned: we expect other people to show up for us in a specific way. We crave a feeling that would quench all our childhood longing, but our mere human partners often fail to deliver the magic ingredient that we can only find within.
After more than half our lives together, I am learning to love my husband.
This doesn’t mean I want to fix my marriage. I really don’t care about that. In any case, wanting to “fix” our relationships is not the solution. It’s the problem.
How many articles have you saved? Self-help books have you read? Podcasts have you listened to? Tips have you learned? And how much has it all helped? Probably not much.
Because, within or without relationships, feeling loved is an inside job. We cannot feel “Safe to Be Me” until we understand why we don’t feel safe. We cannot form authentic relationships until we accept the whole truth of who we are.
It’s no longer about staying or leaving. We must learn to love in such a way that no evolution in the structure of our relationships nor any changes we may each undergo can ever kill the love.
It’s time to release the Old Paradigm inheritance and embrace the New Paradigm choices we have.
In the Old Paradigm, we were wired for codependency. Marriage was a social construct to manage wealth and property. For women, it was the only way to survive or gain any power.
In the New Paradigm, we can self-source power and security. But first, we must unlearn the Old.
Marriage, as we know it, is dead. Real relationships are what we can build in its place.
The only law we need to abide by is to ask ourselves daily, “Do I still choose this?”
Untethered to old expectations and pressures, the future is undecided and co-created.
We are free to devise our own formula for happiness and create relationships that support us in discovering more of who we are.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey it’s this: the only cage holding us is inside.
Feeling trapped doesn’t come from the outside. We are only limited by our beliefs.
Through coaching, it is possible to unlearn old ideas we’ve inherited, complete our emotional development, and heal childhood patterns that are keeping us stuck in the past.
This is how you become a self-aware adult who knows how to source safety, love, trust from within, and form deep and intimate connections through unfiltered self-expression.
We can be in a relationship and not get married.
We can be married and not live together.
We can love each other and decide not to pursue a relationship.
We can want to marry and decide not to have children.
We can decide to live together and not be in a romantic relationship.
Basically, we can do whatever we want.
Let each one of us determine what happiness in a relationship means to us.
The government doesn’t need to get involved.
P.S. We’re nearing the end of this “10 Harsh Truths” journey together. I hope you’ve learned much on the way. This is really just the beginning, though, and change takes a lot more than learning.
If our thinking minds held the golden key to our evolution, we’d all have arrived where we’re going by now. The real treasure lies deeper. It’s stored in the body, the nervous system, and the subconscious.
Safe to Be Me is the map I created to help you unlock it, but everyone’s journey is different. My upcoming group coaching program (starting September 22nd) is now closed for enrolment. If you’d like to get on the waitlist for the next cohort or explore one-to-one coaching, leave me a comment and I’ll be in touch. On this adventure of a lifetime, I’d be honored to be your guide.
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