Are You Really Ready For Divorce? (Not for Big Egos)
Not sure about you but I have a terrible habit: every time I get in a serious fight with my wife the very first thought that hits me: "That's it. I am done. Going to divorce her." Sometimes I even say it out loud "I'm finished with you! We're done."
It is difficult to even guesstimate how many times I've done this already. You could truly call me a pathological threatener to divorce.
There's something wrong here. On one side it is my wife: why does she put up with this nonsense from me? Why won't she just dump me for acting this way? Anyone reasonable would have done this already long time ago. Second side to it is me: why do I make these threats and never follow through?
I want to share with you a few insights that are impacting my decision making and seem to be the true secret to knowing whether you are truly ready for a divorce.
Who Are You? I Want to Marry You!
Every time I meet some lovely lady I naturally wonder what the relationship would be like with her if she was my wife. Luckily, with age we not only get more wrinkles but get wiser. So when this happens my mind goes on an self-educational field-trip and it goes like this: "Oh, but you see how loud she chews her food? This will drive you mad later! Oh look, she too is into conspiracy theories. She's just like your current wife... Oh, you see how she got irritated by this trivial statement of mine? She only seems nice now but she's just another which who left her broom at home!" And so on..
Then I have to ask myself - what are the guarantees this other person won't irritate the heck out of me down the road? What if she too turns out to be a “needy, insecure and neurotic”?
And then I catch myself being absolutely ignorant of the lesson I so much love to espouse onto others: where is all of this mental garbage coming from? I like to “consult” others: "All this garbage is in your head and you’re projecting this outwardly." So could it be that I too am engaged in the same projections? Me? No way! Only others do it, right?
Sarcasm aside… If I look deeper I see - all this comes from my own mind. All these triggers are within me. She has a hook and I provide a ring. This much is obvious, But what if the ring wasn’t there? What if I had the freedom not to react and just let things go? How would our relationship be then?
Is Divorce Your Road to Happiness (In the Future)?
One of the things I take refuge in is Eastern wisdom, especially what it has to say about the nature of emotions and suffering. I’ve been studying and meditating on this stuff for years and still have to admit - I'm a lousy 'Buddhist'. My wife doesn't skip an opportunity to remind of me of this too: "Just look at the way you're acting! You're a child, not some Buddhist you pretend to be!" she often exclaims. Ouch, I really want to slam the door in her face but at the same time I know - there's nowhere to run because I'll drag myself with me. Yes – myself. That same self that just got into a petty argument, insulted someone and tried to look smarter. That same self with all these internal delusions, immature emotions and that inner crying kid who’s refusing to see everything beyond a huge personal ego.
So hence the dilemma: is divorce really an option for a happier life? Is it really going to solve my problems or will I simply get the new and updated version of Misery 2.0?
Are We Truly so Dependent on Others to Feel Good?
My revered Prince Siddhartha, who later became the most famous yogi in the world taught that life is full of suffering. Some of this suffering is obvious: sickness, poverty, death and that cold toilet seat. But the most pervasive type comes in a more subtle form: constant simmering dissatisfaction. That sense that if I only had a more interesting wife, I would be so much happier and at piece. If she too meditated we'd have so much in common. If my next wife would be much younger and happier we'd have all these wonderful journeys and enjoy passion again.
Sounds wonderful but that voice of inner teacher, which grows louder and louder every year, forces me to contemplate things with raw honesty and it becomes very obvious: we constantly blame outer circumstances for making us suffer and naively believe that if we just rearrange a few things (get a new wife or a husband) we will suddenly be happy again.
If we look inside we can clearly see that we are full of desire but as soon as we satisfy it, it comes back again in another form and even stronger. I know this for a fact: as soon as I walk with my new wife down the street I would take it for granted and start getting bored. My restless mind would immediately point to something even more beautiful: "Wow, she's even more beautiful! I wonder what she's like in bed and in the kitchen... If I only married this glorious goddess I would probably be even more happier!"
Some guys are even worse me. They want to be rich, famous and act as Hollywood stars but in reality all they can boast about is an overdrawn bank account, a spruced up clunker car in their garage and a few friends who still put up with their BS. Some of them “dump” their girlfriends or wives as if they were out of season toys but what do they have to offer to their new partner? All the same garbage that got them into a rough spot with their previous girlfriend. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be like those guys. At least not today.
So How Should You Really Know Whether you Want a Divorce?
If you want to look at this with a very sober mind you simply ask yourself:
Will your new wife or husband truly make you happy next time?
Will he or she put up with everything you have to "offer" too?
Do you honestly believe someone can permanently lift the weight off your own unhappy mind?
What will happen if you realize you have a new wife, new house but an old you?
So The Secret Is...
If an old you goes into a new relationship it will still be an old relationship. I promise you this!
Since we can't constantly rearrange external circumstances to keep happy we must work on the only thing that directly experiences happiness - our mind. We have to conquer own irritability and neurosis, our habitual tendencies, our social conditioning. We have to grow strong and conquer our own suffering.
Everyone has to find the path that they resonate with and most importantly – a path that is effective. There are many directions: some find a good fit with spiritual traditions from the East because they focus heavily on self transformation. Some visit seminars, read personal development books and have wonderful mentors. Some try plant medicine and shamans. No matter what direction you go make sure your path offers time proven tools.
Once you put in a generous amount of work into yourself then let's see how you feel about that divorce again but for now - the only smart and noble thing to do is to get happy yourself. Once you do and you still feel like moving on and making another person happy, then you have the blessing of all the wise ones.
As for me, if it becomes hell where I'm no longer able to practice meditation in peace at home I'll run like a stray dog. However, I have a feeling I'll stay for a while, at least till I've conquered some more of my own ignorance and can make a confident choice that I'm not merely running from myself into a new relationship. Besides, I've chosen a spiritual path so the old joke fits just fine: "If you find a good wife you'll be immensely happy and if you get a bad wife - you'll become a philosopher." Works for me!
Do you often threaten to divorce your spouse?
© 2019 Mateus Brava