If one has not in fact grown in the course of a marriage, it has been a dreadful disaster. Mere longevity in a marriage is not necessarily something to celebrate, for what happened to the souls of those individuals along the way?” – James Hollis, The Eden Project
Dawn had been feeling the disconnection in her marriage for at least the last decade. Several years ago, she began looking for answers, looking for tools, insights and ways to make the relationship feel better.
She read many different relationship books, came across various teachers, each with perspectives that helped her begin to piece together why she felt so alone, even though she had a partner beside her for the last 26 years.
She wanted to understand what she was looking for and why she couldn’t simply love the perfectly good man she had married so long ago.
She wanted to know if what she wanted – what she desired – in her marriage was even possible…or should she lower her expectations and settle into what looked like a perfectly fine life?
And in all that seeking, she grew.
Dawn grew. She found answers.
But now the relationship she had with her husband felt like a shift that was two sizes too small.
Now her question was no longer, “Why do I feel so alone and disconnected from my husband?”
Now her question was, “Have I outgrown my husband?”
She had evolved and she wondered whether or not he would be willing to meet her at this new place. She wondered whether or not her marriage could evolve.
Her husband was a good man.
He was the same good man she had married so long ago.
He hadn’t been interested in personal growth, instead finding meaning through his career.
For sure, he resisted at first. Introspection can be unnerving. But when he realized that if he wanted to maintain his marriage to this woman who he had loved his entire adult life, it was going to require something new from him.
To his credit, he became willing to be a bit uncomfortable. He became open to the idea of growing as a man and as a husband.
Dawn and her husband’s story isn’t finished yet. But what I can tell you is they’re having deeper, more meaningful conversations than they’ve ever had and they’re learning more about one another and themselves.
As couples, we don’t often grow in the same direction and on the same timeline. That can feel scary because it may have consequences to the relationship that was supposed to last forever.
Sometimes, our growth leads to the end of a particular chapter in our lives. And sometimes our growth leads to an entirely new chapter that we get to create.
For those of us that simply cannot stay stagnant…
That cannot wrap our minds around being fine with what appears to be a perfectly fine marriage…
I invite you to reach for more inside yourself and your marriage so that you can have real clarity about whether your marriage can evolve beyond where it is today (or if the only answer is to lovingly, gently close this chapter).
If you’d like to explore whether or not there’s a fit for you and I to work together, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Truth & Clarity session.