Why’d you get married? Do you remember? Was your decision a purposeful, methodically planned one? More of a romantic whim? Or something in between?
Listen in this week to test out YOUR reason for staying married and try on some other reasons you may or may not want to keep.
Mentioned in this Episode
- Mark you calendar for “Lucky in Love”
- a virtual coach-a-thon coming to you March 13-17, 2023
- Save the Date for Defying Gravity Revolution: The Gathering
- an in-person experience hosted in Utah April 28-29, 2023
- Check out the Defying Gravity Revolution – a Candice-led community of Bees committed to stop wondering if they married the wrong guy so they can enjoy the marriage they imagined when they said “I do.”
- Grab your free e-copy of “Wife on Purpose” and the companion workbook HERE
- If you’re a coach who wants to up the trauma-informed factor in your sessions and your business, join the Trauma-Informed coaching interest list HERE.
- Follow Candice on Instagram and Facebook
‘s Up, Bees?!
Why’d you get married?
Do you remember?
Was your decision a purposeful, methodically planned one?
More of a romantic whim?
Or something in between?
Mine was definitely more on the methodical side.
Husband and I dated for 9 years before we finally tied the knot.
Would I wait that long again? Probably not. But maybe.
There’s pros and cons to both strategies I’m sure.
And it doesn’t really matter anyway because we’re married now and what matters more TODAY are our reasons for staying married.
Same thing goes for you and your marriage.
The reason you decided to get together back then matters a lot less than the reasons you have for staying together (or not) now.
People stay together for LOTS of reasons.
For the kids.
To avoid financial ruin.
Because they love each other.
Because their religion requires it.
Because they genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Because they’d really rather not enter the dating pool again.
Some stay because they don’t want to be alone.
Others because they don’t want to fail – whatever that means.
Still others can’t imagine their life without their spouse by their side.
No reason is “better” or “morally superior” to another.
It all depends on how your reason feels to you.
When you close your eyes and think of the reason you’re still married, do you feel supported? Trapped? Protected? Resentful? Loved? Resolute?
Take a minute right now to take a cue from your gut. What does she want you to know?
Next question – are you willing to continue in the emotional experience that came along with the reason you identified?
Why or why not?
Now… let me be clear. I am – 100% NOT saying that you have to have a flowery and soft emotional experience in order to stay married.
I get it if your emotional experience is painful and you still want to stay.
Wives makes decisions for ALL kinds of complicated reasons.
ALL of which are valid.
So I’m not here to tell you what you should do or judge your decisions.
I know that’s zero percent helpful and you deserve a whole lot better than that.
Instead, I’m here to share what I think the very best reason to stay married is AND to take a closer look at some commonly believed in reasons that you could let go of if you want to.
Many of my mentors say that the best reason to get and stay married is to develop your capacity for love.
They make the argument that a husband is an opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t do or say things the way you’d prefer they did.
My mentors tell me that this love practice is a gift to ME because developing my capacity for love will bring more love into MY life. How lucky for me.
And I’m like… yes…
Because it’s true that there is value in choosing love on purposee when things don’t go your way.
I also believe there are LOTS of ways to develop your capacity to love and sticking around in a relationship that constantly makes getting what you want out of life a whole lot harder… well… that might not be necessary.
I’d rather see you give love and give love and give love so long as that feels good to you, but NOT when giving love seems like it requires you to love yourself less.
I know that’s a vague line that’ll have to be decided on a case by case basis.
I also know you’re up to the task.
Right now, I just want to be clear that I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to offer up love in a way that requires you to stop loving yourself.
The reason I like for staying married is because you want to have a witness for your life and you want to witness someone else’s.
For better or worse.
Even when you’re surprised by what “for better or worse” ends up bringing.
Even when “for better or worse” feels a whole lot harder than you expected.
But NOT when all of that hard stops seeming worth it to you.
When that’s the case, it’s probably time to stop, pull back, listen to yourself REALLY closely and regroup.
Because when you listen to yourself with full curiosity and fascination – the decision to stay or go will feel solid, not scared.
And us Bees in the Defying Gravity Revolution can help you get there if you want us too.
More on how to make that happen later.
For now, let’s take a look at two reasons that don’t have to hold you anymore if you don’t want them to:
Reason Number One – We have to stay married for the kids.
Maybe you do. But maybe not.
There are a lot of assumptions in that little sentence.
First assumption, “have to” implied that your free agency has been removed – which isn’t ever true.
I know that it SEEMS true sometimes – believe me… I know.
I invented the phrase “not a REAL choice” to toss about when a choice is technically mine, but I don’t like the consequences that I think would come with making it.
And it’s true. You may be in a spot where it seems like there are no “good” choices and still – choices are there. Every time.
The reason that matters is that finding choice in EVERYTHING gives you the gift of options. Of space.
You don’t have to take the options, but I promise – seeing that they are there will help you feel at least 1% better about the situation you’re in.
Hang on tight to that 1% and use it to build your sense of power and autonomy in all things.
Us Bees can help you do that too.
Second assumption is that staying together is saving your kids while splitting up would hurt them.
Truth is, your kids are humans. They live on Earth in an experience that was designed to have ups and downs, pain and joy – that’s true whether you stay married to your husband or not.
So remind yourself that it’s not the choice between happy kids or sad kids, supported kids or neglected kids.
Those are the “not real choices” that keep us stuck.
The actual choice you’ve got is between what kinds of challenges you’d like to offer your kids.
The challenges that come from watching the ups and downs of their parents’ relationship in the same house or the challenges that come from watching the ups and downs of their parents’ relationship from different houses.
The emotions will be there either way. For sure.
So the choice is actually – which setting do you want to be in when you help my kids through the challenges their lives will inevitably bring?
Why do you want that setting?
How does your reason feel to you?
Which choice do you want to support myself in?
That’s the one to make.
Reason Number Two that no longer has to hold – I just don’t want to fail.
Now… let’s slow that down a bit. What does “failure” even mean here?
Like… really… if you choose to conclude your marriage, what EXACTLY did you fail at?
Living with someone you no longer loved?
Bending until you broke?
Or maybe you’re thinking you failed to provide a stable home for your kids. Which… maybe. But that doesn’t have to stay true.
You thought the stable home would look like you and him and them under one roof – but maybe it’s possible to build a stable home another way too.
Or maybe you failed (and I’m using air quotes here) to keep him interested or to keep yourself interested.
Could be true. Maybe one or both of you sought a relationship outside the marriage. Maybe you just weren’t feeling it anymore even though neither of you strayed.
You CAN call that a failure if you want to.
And if looking at it that way motivates you to rekindle a marriage that you want to keep – I’m in.
But if calling your changing interest a failure causes you to stay in a place you really don’t want to be… could be time to dig a little deeper into what you think it means to “fail”.
I want to be VERY clear that I know I don’t know what you should do in your marriage.
I also want to be VERY clear that I know YOU will know what to do… so long as we get any guilt or shame out of your way.
If you want to stay married, I’m in.
If you want to leave, I’ll help you pack.
My only suggestion is that you listen to your truest, most vulnerable self as you make that decision. Don’t make your inner voice wrong for what she’s thinking and feeling. Try out trusting her to have your best interest at heart.
Build on that trust to champion your OWN choices.
Because if saying “I’m out” isn’t a REAL and valid option for you, saying “I’m in” isn’t either.
Listen to that again.
If saying “I’m out” isn’t a REAL and valid option for you, saying “I’m in” isn’t either.
I know you deserve to see all of your options as valid. So you can be even more conscious about the way you create your life.
And if you’d like some help from me to see where your options actually lie – mark your calendar for two upcoming events:
1. Lucky in Love – a virtual coach-a-thon coming to you March 13-17
2. Defying Gravity Revolution: The Gathering – an in person experience coming to you in person in Utah April 28-29
I’m looking forward to meeting you, either way.
Choose courage, Bee and keep on flying!