About Marriage and Divorce

by Sonja Ebbinghaus-Vuckovic, Germany (English 2nd language)

Huu, I just read the article‚ ‘Divorce: nothing to be ashamed of’, and yes as to all comments I read – it also deeply resonates in me.

I am after 18 years of being together with my husband, now in the phase of ‘separating’. What unusual word for me.

As far as I know you fall in love, you are together, you may get married, you have kids, you see it is not it, you try to rescue it, you fail, you struggle with giving up, the pain and sadness increases and all family suffers – then finally you decide to separate – you move out – one year later you get divorced. That’s it. A whole lifetime story.

After this whole setup – you are marked as ‘failed, used’. You may end up on the market of singles again or you may never open again to anyone.

But what if this whole process is not about failing – but about being true to yourself, your partner and all around you? What if – you actually take responsibility of your previous choices and get step by step, as far as it is possible, through them and get honest? Is this not a healing for you, your partner and your kids? Is this not a healing for all around you as they see someone feeling what is true for them and taking action?

When I got married I was pregnant and yes, that seemed the most normal thing to do – though I always said, I never will get married. So the word ‘marriage’ for me came with a lot of associations.

I can’t remember a single marriage as a child and later, including that of my parents, which I would name as the one I would like to have too. I feel the word ‘Marriage ‘ is so predetermined depending in what culture you live and social background – that it is like a heavy coat… you put on and can’t move freely. Should it not be the same feeling, if you are married or not to your partner? Why do things change when you put your name under the contract? Maybe because I did not know what true marriage is. And so I just allowed myself to get labelled and fit in.

Today, I see that my relationship and marriage did not work – not because I do not love my husband – but because I did not love myself in the past. I forgot who I am. I was separated to myself. So if I am not me, what can I offer to my husband and my daughter and all those around me?

All of what is coming now ‘in this separation phase’ is new to me. I want to take responsibility for myself and in the same way I take responsibility for all around and with me. I do not ‘just leave’ – I am open and willing to bring all the love I am. Hurts will heal and there will be space for more true relationships for all of us. If we allow.

214 thoughts on “About Marriage and Divorce

  1. This sense of failure is extremely debilitating and robs us of energy. I have had it when I had a serious diagnosis and prognosis from a surgeon and in business and also in relationships when there has been a ‘separation’ and of course, in what appears less important ways, we can judge ourselves as a failure or of not being good enough on a daily basis which just erodes our feelings of self worth and inhibits us from growing love for ourselves. This love is always there, it is us who choose to not surrender to it, wanting instead to keep all these barriers up, perhaps secretly wanting someone else to break them down, forgetting that we are love, we are made of love, that, in truth, is who we are. Sometimes we need to feel this in the body and that is where bringing a gentleness and delicateness to our touch, treating ourselves like a small child and deeply caring for ourselves is so powerful, we can break down the barriers we have put up to protect ourselves from ourselves.

  2. It is well worth returning to our inner-glory and who we are in precise detail. To live our inner-most truth is to know God and to truly live.

  3. We have this negative connotation of what divorce is, that it is a failure and that we should have made it work but if we look at it as the beginning of a new cycle where we can take the myriad of opportunities we have learnt then we can see that divorce is an opportunity to evolve to who we truly are.

  4. “I do not ‘just leave’ – I am open and willing to bring all the love I am. ”
    This is an amazing thing to say and shows how breaking up can actually be about love, as it brings expansion and with it more capacity to love for everyone.

  5. A beautiful understanding that divorce is not a ‘failing’ but an opportunity for both to learn and grow from the relationship and always cherish the intimacy that was shared.

  6. I really admire your honesty and openness, it’s never ever too late to make our lives about love, no matter what the situation.

  7. I have been married since 1993 and totally love and adore my husband, but he is not the same man I married and I am not same woman he married. We have both hugely changed and evolved together and let go of a lot of stuff, emotions, hurt and reactions that we had when we met. For us it has worked beautifully because we were both open to change and to evolving together. However, sometimes one person changes and the other one is not wanting that and says this is not what I signed up for and does not want to go that way and changes in another direction. They have every right to choose to not change or change directions. In these situations why would you stay together it would only be harmful and hurtful for both.

  8. I love this sense that there should be more marriages, and more divorces. That we should hold the process more lightly and be more open to love, and more open to calling out when something is not love. To keep a fluidity in relationships rather than getting locked in to an abusive relationship that serves no one.

  9. When any relationship is challenging us or actually ends, we can choose to ponder on and work through why. And by doing this, we also get to let go of the patterns and contributing factors to bring understanding of our part so we don’t carry them to the next relationship – which ultimately is much healthier than having the same issues over and over with different people.

  10. A great way to look at separation and divorce – “But what if this whole process is not about failing – but about being true to yourself, your partner and all around you?” and you summed it up beautifully here “I am open and willing to bring all the love I am.” This is a simple factual truth I come back when things hurt.

  11. I deeply appreciate all that divorce has brought me–twice. It has given me the opportunity when I no longer fought my own awareness to live again all the love and connection I have held back in giving myself in the past. As a truly loving relationship and marriage is what I am committed to, my body and its movements have to be re-trained to express that. There have been a lot of patterns to re-correct so that a consistency and will power can be sustained, and that is the commitment I have to first live.

    1. This is a refreshing and very different take on how to approach relationships Adele. I really like the part where you say your body and its movements have to be retrained, if a truly loving relationship is what you are committed to. If we don’t want to keep getting the same results, we have to change what we do.

  12. When we approach relationships as an opportunity to be more of who we truly are, we are able to see that a divorce is just the end of a cycle where we can learn from to re-imprint life with decency, love and respect we all deserve.

  13. Thanks for writing such an honest blog and it is true we are fed so many ideals and beliefs from a very young age about marriage. And as you say when looking around there was not a marriage that I could say yes that’s it, that is what it I want for myself. Until recently, when I attended a wedding and the adoration between the two people was gorgeous to experience and be a part of. I could feel the deep level of respect they had for each other and how honoring they were to their relationship. It was very touching and moved me deeply.

  14. There are many images that we have planted with marriage and divorce and any other word, but the most important part, how we are feeling and how we would go about anything in life, is left out of the equation. You beautifully bring it back to us Sonja, showing us that it is never about a word, a label, a title but about people and their relationship with themselves and each other.

  15. Thank you Sonja for your reflection and honesty, it is so very true if we are separated from ourselves then we can not be in real union with anyone else. Awesome you were able to see the bigger picture and instead of getting lost in it you were able to learn and evolve.

  16. Sonja, that is very true.. We are being asked in any relationship to be open, openhearted – we can see that the moment we get into hurts, things will become heavy, complex and tough – but when we truly are open, the hurt dissolves and gives a clearer view of what is going on and what is needed (from our openness, observation we can see).

  17. It is a very true question – why should anything change just because we put our names under a contract? But things do very often change. What you share here is so valuable, thank you for taking the time to share with us your learnings as you embark on the next phase of learning in your life.

  18. “But what if this whole process is not about failing – but about being true to yourself, your partner and all around you?” – Beautifully said, we can hold ourselves and others back by trying to make our lives fit a picture that we think is ‘right’ and to avoid what we perceive as failure. Letting go of the failure tag gives us the freedom to feel what is really true for the benefit of all.

  19. That really is key when a relationship ends- we can go into the self critique that you explained and also shut down further to love or we can recognise what it is we truly want and surrender and open up to more love. Its often the opposite movement of what our head tells us- which is often to go further into protection instead of opening up more.

  20. ‘Today, I see that my relationship and marriage did not work – not because I do not love my husband – but because I did not love myself in the past. I forgot who I am. I was separated to myself. So if I am not me, what can I offer to my husband and my daughter and all those around me?’ It was very powerful to read this paragraph Sonja. We twist and contort ourselves into someone we think will be acceptable to others, but lose ourselves in the process.

  21. It’s like when we begin to reacquaint ourselves with true love, what is not love starts to get exposed and let go. There’s so many ideals and beliefs we hold onto and when we try to get it right we leave love out and behind.

  22. Many see a divorce as a failure but in truth it is another opportunity to learn, understand who we are and grow from our past experiences. It’s the pictures and beliefs around divorce that hold people back from seeing the responsibility in our choices and the deeper learning about ourselves we gain from these times that truly change our movements for the better.

  23. The greatest reflection we can offer others is to honour how we are feeling and to make all our relationships true. To remain stuck in a marriage or relationship that is loveless is a deep imprisonment that doesn’t support anyone to truly evolve.

  24. The pictures we have of marriage and divorce, what they mean, what they mean about who we are, limit us from living the naturally joyful life on offer for every one of us.

  25. People can be married for years but not have a relationship yet people could be in a relationship for a few weeks and it could be true so it is not the length of time we are in a relationship as you mention it is how we are within in and if we abuse or do not love ourself in any way this will impact all our relationships with others.

  26. “But what if this whole process is not about failing – but about being true to yourself, your partner and all around you?” Sometimes separation is the most loving thing to do under certain circumstances, we are given opportunities to heal our hurts and behaviour patterns thereby making more loving choices.

  27. Divorce can be a very loving thing to do. It seems quite common for divorce to go badly and then the person gets cut out of the other person’s life. But what if this is not how divorce can be. What if divorce is more about honouring each other and continuing to love each other – just with a different outcome than under the marriage box.

  28. If the foundation of love is not within ourselves first, then when we enter a relationship it will not come with the fullness of who we are and is often the reason why many relationships and marriages don’t last.. Learning to love ourselves is the first step in any relationship, yet we let go of this from a nearly age to conform to what we think the world wants us to be.

  29. Yes seeing an ending of a relationship as a failure is just a way to avoid the blessings and learnings being offered to support growth and development…

  30. It’s an amazing thing to make steps back to love, and as truth is part of love it can mean many things change including relationships. To me if we are living more love that is an incredible success as everyone can benefit from the quality we now offer.

  31. ‘Today, I see that my relationship and marriage did not work – not because I do not love my husband – but because I did not love myself in the past”. These area very wise words and I am sure are relevant to almost every person who is divorced. The issue starts with ourselves and our lack of self-love, which then ripples in to the relationship.

  32. So very honest and real, and this is how we can be with relationships, starting them, in them and leaving them, open and willing to go deeper, to let go hurts and to be loving with ourselves and all others.

  33. If a marriage or relationship doesn’t work, there is a need for honesty not to see it as a failure, but a learning which offers a new beginning, and a truer understanding.

  34. Even though it is changing at the moment because more and more people are getting divorced and remarry, there is this feeling of failure when a marriage does not work out, like there is something we have done wrong. But when we only make it about that marriage is a success and divorce a failure we miss out on what is truly going on. We need to look at the quality of the marriage, was it loving? Were both partners committed to it? And then also when there is a divorce, is it actually bringing more love to the people involved or does it create even more fights? We have to look at life like this and commit to making life about the quality of love in whatever we do, knowing that when we move on from a marriage without healing the hurts with ourselves and our partner this will not be a true moving on because we will carry the hurts with us to our maybe new relationship.

  35. I grew up with a strong reflection that you get married and stay together ‘until death do you part’. I am now aware of what a trap this belief is, as it doesn’t allow you to feel and respond to what is true. A short relationship may go to depths that a 50-year marriage may not even touch upon. Relationships have a timing and a flow which is stifled when you believe it has to ‘last’.

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