For a while now, my close friends have requested I write openly about my marriage, divorce and insights I collected along the way.
For two years I’ve held back on talking candidly about my experience as I felt zombie-ish: unclear on what was happening, unsure of what was real. Today I’m inspired to share my insights in hopes of inspiring us all to live more true lives NOW.
In Part I I address my part in why my marriage was so lonely and ended so…sad.
As you read, I invite you to see yourself in my story…
Marriage, Divorce and My Role In The Breakdown
There’s a Rilke quote that says,
“Where I am folded, there I am a lie.”
If you’re anything like me, you’ve actually built a life on mastering the art of folding yourself.
For decades I’ve folded myself to fit into various life containers:
To fit into Mrs Spivey’s second grade classroom I folded my expression by learning to “think before I speak”.
To fit into my family I folded my needs by learning to be “fine” while my brother had all the issues.
To fit into the Christian camp where I volunteered each summer I folded my boundaries by learning to fake speak in tongues (true story, it sounded like “hum-diddle-dee-dum-dum” and yet all the elders rejoiced. Their prayers had been answered).
To fit into the good graces of my earthy AND heavenly father, I folded my natural desires by learning to remain a virgin until I married. (an interesting blog for another day…)
To fit in as a successful personal trainer in Los Angeles, I folded my acceptance of my curves and learned to “fix” my body by putting her through 3 ROUNDS of the HCG diet (this is the first time I’ve ever admitted that publicly).
Then I got married. And continued folding.
Folding my emotions so as not to seem too messy.
Folding my needs so as not to seem too much.
Folded my title as “wife” so as not too seem so…final.
Instead of showing up unapologetically-me, when I became a wife I began folding myself to fit my ASSUMPTIONS of who I thought he needed me to be.
This is no bueno for any relationship.
You see, we think folding ourselves to fit the needs of others is somehow altruistic.
When really all it does is cause deep suffering for all involved.
If we will just un-fold ourselves, un-pretend ourselves, give ourselves permission to take up a lot of messy-ass-this-is-me space…
Then we will finally have the life and love we hunger for.
So I guess the question becomes, where do you fold yourself?
Maybe you fold your voice at work
or during sex?
Maybe your fold your rage
Or your joy?
Maybe you fold your desire for decadent food?
Or your craving for sex before marriage?
Or your craving for sex within your marriage?
Or craving for sex within your marriage outside of your marriage?
Maybe you fold your desperation for physical touch
or your hunger for physical space?
Lots of folding and lots of suffering as a result.
So yeah, one of the biggest truths I’ve discovered from the front lines of life and marriage is:
You think it’s helpful, but it’s not.
My marriage was lonely and ended sad largely because I wasn’t willing to unfold and get messy sooner.
No real 5-step plan to offer but if you need a prompt to get you started here’s sentence starter I wish I’d had years ago:
“I’ve been pretending that ____________.
When really ___________.”
Un-lie yourself to those around you. (or simply start in your journal).
Your body will thank you too.
You know I love talking about food and it’s effect on our metabolism.
Yet Im convinced that all this folding and editing and calculating and pretending is more draining on your body and toxic to your hormones than any silly pizza or whatnots.
When I lived a folded life my period shut down, my hair fell out and my vagina dried up.
As I unfolded, I became real juicy.
The same has been true for the women I’ve worked with over the past few years.
Just a whole heap of unfolded juicy ladies!
And when we’re juicy everyone wins.
So here’s to us and all our un-foldy ways.
***I’d love to hear from you. Either via email or in the comments below, tell me what’s on your mind or let me know how I can support you.
In Part II I’ll be writing about how my ex-husband and I are now creating a new way of doing divorce. The very fact that this is possible has me believing anything is possible.
Photo Cred: The fabulous Chris Craymer