Marriage is Not a Prison Sentence

Over the years, I have received phone calls from married women and men in different parts of the country and the world.  Many of these callers, describe their marriages as stressful and oppressive. I often hear the phrase; “I’m tired of walking on eggshells” when they describe their feelings.  Their marriage feels like a prison sentence of “life without parole”. 

These callers believe they have done everything they can to make the relationship better, but nothing seems to work.  The rare, peaceful moments don’t last very long, and they are frustrated and worn out from the squabbles that are the norm in their household.

Most of the time, the conflicts are about something mundane. The everyday, ordinary things like unmade beds, a messy house, trash that has not been taken out, an untrimmed lawn, dirty laundry, or demands that dinner be on the table at a certain time every day. 

Heart and Soul Connection

The people who call on me for help, feel unimportant, unloved, and trapped.  Their needs are ignored by their partner, yet they are expected to do everything their spouse wants them to do, the way they want it done.  It’s fertile ground for resentment and discord, but certainly not a formula for a happy, peaceful relationship.  Although some of these issues are culturally based or reflect a difference in the way individuals view marriage, I think a very important piece is missing in unhappy relationships…  What is missing is a connection between the hearts and souls of the relationship partners. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call it a spiritual connection.

Couples who have a spiritual connection to each other, treat each other very differently than couples who have either lost that deep connection or never had it in the first place.  When I use the word spiritual, I am not referring to anything religious.  Instead, I am referring to a way of relating to your spouse that is spirit or soul based as opposed to a focus on the more tangible aspects of home life or the other person. 

People who are connected to their spouse or partner on a spiritual level, demonstrate more patience, kindness, and forgiveness than those who are focused primarily on manipulating the other person to get their own needs met.  To have a spiritual connection with your partner, does not sentence you to a life of chaos or a messy house.  On the contrary, it leads to more harmony, cooperation on household tasks and a stronger partnership.  When you have a relationship that is loving and spiritual in nature, the neatness of the living space or getting your spouse to do things your way, become less important. 

Life Without Parole

If your marriage or long-term relationship feels like a prison sentence of “life without parole”, living that way is a choice.  It may seem to be the only choice you have at this time, but it is also possible that there are other choices available to you. Relationship issues are complicated, and I like to look for possibilities where other people see only roadblocks. 

Until “death do us part” in marriage vows, does not only refer to the physical death of your partner, but also to the “death” of love, caring, and respect.   The three divorces I went through, were examples of the “death of love” in the relationships.  To get through those experiences I had to be courageous, persistent, and committed to creating a better life. Later, I worked on and overcame the feelings of shame and guilt that came along with being divorced three times.

Not only did I get through those divorces, but I also learned to thrive because of, or despite those traumas. Now, I help others to get through their trauma, whatever that may be. I accomplish this by being someone safe they can talk to. Working with me gives them a safe space to explore options as they work through their challenges. I help them to stay hopeful, look outside of the box and have a mind that is open to what is possible for them.

Marriage was never intended to be a prison sentence. 

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