Sunday, April 29, 2007

Do We Divorce Because We Married the 'Wrong' People?

The short answer to that is NO! There is nothing 'wrong' about the partners being divorced. That's what we like to believe when we don't want to accept responsibility for the choice we made. No one makes a 'bad' choice when they meet someone because all relationships are based upon trust until each party reveals themselves. We can never know someone in a short space of time so we have to go on the superficial things like looks and communication until we get to know the person's personality. Later down the line, when things do not work out, people then believe their relationship broke up because they were living with the wrong partners whom they should not have married, or set up home with. They believe they made a costly 'mistake' and should have known better. But that is a myth and a fallacy which suits the blame instinct and provides a handy scapegoat for assuaging personal guilt and remorse. Knowing better at that time would have been impossible because both parties would have lacked the knowledge, experience and maturity to make a different decision. That was the only decision possible at that time.

In very simple terms, and stated very clearly to avoid any ambiguity, NO ONE makes a mistake when they select a partner. It is very easy to think we can remedy what happened at the end by saying we made a mistake. No, we didn't! We chose exactly the right partner for that moment in time in our lives, otherwise we would have chosen someone else! Often people vilify their spouses, forgetting the fantastic time they had at the beginning, the hot intense feelings they had for each other, the way they didn't want anyone else because they desired that person too much. Years down the line when the fire of love has dwindled to flickering embers, replaced by resentment and anger, we then believe we did something wrong in choosing that person. But we didn't, unless the relationship was arranged for us or we were coerced into it.

Every decision we made about our life back then was precisely the right one because it matched our MOOD, FEELINGS and ASPIRATIONS at that moment in time. For example, back in 1966 you might have got caught up in the free love and flower-power sex of the liberating Sixties. That would have encouraged you to get a girlfriend who embodied those beliefs, who would grow with you in love and who matched your aspirations according to what you both said to each other and how you treated one another. You would have been in Stage 1 of your emotional development, focusing on money, making your name, getting a great job and realising your own potential. Twenty years on when you are far more mature, you have dramatically increased in experience and your partner has not really grown with you, your feelings and aspirations would have changed in many ways, especially if you are in the mid-life crisis of Stage 3. Of course, you wouldn't feel too happy now and are likely to desire a new partner who reflects those changes in your thinking and living. Hence why many relationships go to the wall at this time. You have simply outgrown each other because of the natural evolutionary changes that we all have to go through in our journey of life.

Using Hindsight to Justify Decisions

Unable to accept the negativity and the unhappiness within the relationship, it is now easy to use hindsight and return to the Sixties to knock yourself with blame about the 'mistake' you made in choosing that woman; a mistake which the power of hindsight, a useless tool, will confirm for you. But you can never go back to that time and understand the young person who was you then. That young person has matured into someone else and the current partner would have done their bit for your journey, would have helped your development and helped your focus. Thank them graciously and move on because, especially where there are children involved, that was no mistake otherwise your children would be a mistake too!

Religious demands of married couples to stay together till death, and our own desire for security, kill relationships and burden them with unrealistic expectations which human fallibility find near-impossible to fulfil. We tend to keep comparing the past to the present, when the past is the foundation we build on, not the crafting tool which makes us what we are. Only time and experience do that for us. The past sets us off on our journey and helps us to become what we are today. If we keep looking back at everything and being dissatisfied with it, that merely makes us doubt our competence, faith and credibility because the past always looks much better, or much worse, than it actually was, according to our level of confidence and feeling of success. It is our desire to make it perfect in our head which makes us look to past actions as 'mistakes' instead of accepting them as the essential ingredients necessary to mould us into the amazing beings we are now.

Please keep reminding yourself that, no matter how bad the person in your life, or how bad things turn out, you made no mistake whatever in your choice otherwise, quite simply, you would have chosen someone different or done something differently. You chose someone to match your feelings at the time, feelings which are no longer there. It goes without saying, that, without those feelings between you to sustain the relationship, and with greater knowledge of yourself and what makes you happy, your union would not be able to survive and that partner would have lost their usefulness. Furthermore, every time we blame ourself for making a 'mistake' in past life, we are also implying that the present is the only yardstick to use to judge our life and, when compared to it, nothing associated with the past can be regarded as valid. In one swoop, with that outlook, we deny our individual evolution and growth in the futile effort to have perfection in our actions.

The past was also the present in its time. It would have been the only yardstick which mattered to our life then. We should never compare it to another age where the norms, ethics, values and expectations would always be different. Fully accepting every stage of our life, without hindsight, while we accept our unique development, is the best way to enjoy our existence while making the most of its opportunities.

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