We are no longer together and have separated and are divorced but this article was true at a time in my life when I shared it and everything I share about being in a relationship is still relevant.
Marriage is a carriage. Yogi Bhajan quotes. It has the potential to be a carriage to take you to infinity.
Yogi Bhajan also referred marriage to be the highest form of yoga. Why? Because nothing else confronts the ego more than the union of two souls into one, two lights becoming one.
Before I share on this today, I want you to know that I’m just sharing my own personal experience.
I’ve been with my husband 14 years on 30th November 2015 (which is also my birthday).
We met when we were 20 and I’ll never forget meeting his eyes for the first time. You could say it was ‘love at first sight’ for both of us.
We had a lot of fun during the first couple of years of our relationship. As you can imagine any couple dating in their early 20’s! We both loved partying, music and meeting new people. So you could say it was heavily infused in alcohol.
We both had an aspiration to travel the world. In fact to the opposite side of the world, ‘Australia’. Although, I don’t think we ever imagined that we’d be still here 10 years later!
As you can imagine, we’ve done a lot of growing up together over these past 14 years!
About 8 years ago I hit a very dark space in my life, I was working in corporate banking at the time and I was very unhappy (in fact I would say depressed). I was diagnosed with insulin resistance (which is on the verge of diabetes), I was re-diagnosed with PCOS (I was first diagnosed when I was 19) and I had severe adrenal exhaustion as well as liver damage and my hormones were all over the place.
At that time we were both partying hard, I was exercising hard (2-3 times daily, yes you could say I had a bit of an addiction) and my diet was atrocious (I was living off rabbit salads, toast and chocolate).
I chose to reassess my life. You could also say that this was when my inner quest began.
This coming March 21st 2016, we’ll be married 3 years.
Has it been an easy road?
Absolutely not, the past couple of years have actually been the most testing, challenging and straining years of our life to date. There were times when I wasn’t sure if we were going to even make it.
In fact, I even moved out twice to give the relationship space, to give us both space and to get honest with one another, with what we needed and wanted.
Here’s what I’ve learned from being in a relationship 14 years and married (nearly 3 years):
There is no such thing as a ‘knight in shining armor’.
- What I mean here is, that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect partner’. I held onto this idea for so long, only to cause me a great deal of suffering! I could easily pull my husband up on what he wasn’t doing in the relationship and how he wasn’t pulling his weight around the home etc. However, I could never seem to praise him on what he was doing well or right! But seriously why would any man want to listen to a woman that’s constantly picking and nagging. This was something I witnessed as a young child growing up and as children we are sponges. With a lot of inner work, I could finally realise that this pattern I was repeating wasn’t even mine and for once and for all I could clear it. It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, but picking, nagging and wanting our partners to be ‘perfect’ kills intimacy.
We enter into a romantic relationship to give rather than to receive.
- Was this the case for me? No, I entered into the relationship with ‘what can I receive here, what can I get out of this?’. I was expecting my husband to fulfill all my needs of ‘feeling loved’. But, how can he do this? This is not his job. It starts with how deeply do I love myself. It’s a woman’s love that she so deeply feels for herself and her radiance that will pull a man into deeper presence and consciousness. Ah again, another huge lesson for me! The more I work on filling my self-love cup up, the more my husband steps up. It’s been truly beautiful to witness and watch this unfold. A man’s presence can allow a woman to grow and step every bit into her fullness and radiance, only when they both take the risk to love one another imperfectly and incompletely.
Conscious communication will and can change everything.
- I recently completed level 2-kundalini teacher training in conscious communication. On day 2 I wanted to run home so badly! I found the whole course so confronting and challenging. But I stuck it out (maybe because we were stuck on an island) but also because deep down I knew I really needed to be there. One of the greatest learning’s (apart from learning how to communicate consciously) I had over this week was, on the 5 major wounds (rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, and injustice) that hinder us from enjoying ourselves. Almost all of us have suffered some type of wound during childhood, which forces us to develop masks that help us cope with life. Behind each of these wounds is a mask. We wear these masks in a childish attempt to protect ourselves, we bizarrely attract the exact situations and people we need to feel rejected, abandoned, humiliated, betrayed or injustice. I could see how these wounds were playing out in my marriage but I could also see, how I was not expressing my needs. I somehow assumed that my husband could read my mind.
All relationships begin with a relationship with yourself first.
- Nobody teaches us this stuff, do they? If we’re in a place of self-hatred, how on earth can somebody else love us? It’s only when we can deepen this relationship within and learn to know and understand ourselves more and what we have to offer, can we truly appreciate, support and love another.
It’s not possible to make our partner a version of ourselves!
- Yes, this is what I had been doing unconsciously of course. I was pushing my love of kundalini yoga, meditation and my healthy way of life on him (but in a controlling way). But it’s just a simple fact that we are very different people, with different likes, dislikes, hobbies, sensitivities, and interests. Where there is love there is no question. There is understanding, forgiveness, and adaption. What I’ve found is, that when I let go of my control my husband naturally started to get interested and wanted to learn more about what I was doing.
We each give and receive love differently in a marriage/relationship.
- The 5 love languages is a must read for anyone in a relationship. For my husband, he loves affection, touch and in fact, he craves it. For me, however, I grew up where there wasn’t a whole lot of touch and so this feels very awkward and unnatural. However, with a lot of inner work and clearing some old limiting beliefs, I’ve been able to reverse this and actually enjoy it rather than resist (which was the case in the past).
If there’s a pattern/behaviour playing out, speak up and do so compassionately.
- There was a big destructive pattern being played out in our relationship. It actually broke us up a few times. But things changed for the better (in a very positive way) when my husband took it upon himself to hire a coach. What I’ve learned is that you can’t force anyone to change. They have to be ready and willing to do the work. They have to see that this is an issue and that they may lose you.
Your partner is without a doubt your greatest teacher.
- It took me a long time to figure this one out! But, the greatest opportunity we have in a relationship is the gift to use all communications and exchanges with our partner as a tool for learning more about our ego self and shifting more deeply into relating from our soul self. Every time our partner does something that triggers one of our hot buttons (and they will because we each will trigger our childhood wounds), the Universe gives us this beautiful opportunity to recognise this trigger and transform our reaction to it.
The easy route could have been for us both to give up and walk away. But, when there’s so much love and you know in your heart you’re meant for each other you’ll do everything and more to work things out! You’ll walk through the fire together.
A relationship will struggle if only one person is doing their work. Thing’s changed for the better for our relationship when we both did the work and put equal effort in. Our relationship and marriage are now at space it’s never been before (in a very positive way).
Is it perfect, no? Will it ever be perfect, no.
But, I’ve learned to accept that and most importantly I’ve learned to accept and love my partner with no conditions attached.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above? What’s your marriage/relationship teaching you about yourself?
Love and Light,
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