Written By Executive Coach Erika Feresten and Leadership Coach Jeff Stein, Partners @ Champion Leadership
As we continue our relationship self-realization story here in at it's over easy, remember, the good news about ending a relationship is this:
"In tragedy, you are most ready for triumph."
Seriously, in strife is when people are oftentimes, finally receptive to realignment. Revelation born in desperation, right? This is the gift of divorce that we witness with our clients: A willingness to ask themselves...
What do I really want in a partner, and why do I want it?
What are my conscious and unconscious definitions of relationships?
How do I identify my mistakes and knock that s**t off? (okay, we'll work on the self-judgment there, but you get the point)
Doing the Relationship Math
So we often ask our clients about their definition of marriage, and they mostly say it's about love, sure, but then they add things like friendship, stability, kids, romance, sex, etc. All good, but do you need a marriage to have love, friendship, stability, kids, whatever? So, what's the real value in deciding to partner in marriage? What's the math?
One of the best reasons to get married, and frankly, the deeper value of being in any kind of relationship, romantic or otherwise, is to MULTIPLY your experience. Right!?! It's like, OMG! I love going to Disneyland! Me, too! Let's go together! Wow, this is so much more fun than doing it alone.
If you think about it, you can feel loving, lovable and loved in almost any circumstance, by simply choosing to be so, but one thing you can't create as easily by yourself is the multiplication of that love. You can choose to feel good by yourself, but joining with another amplifies the love through the process of sharing, caring, and daring to experience that love through, and with, someone else. When one person brings forth their joy and inspiration, or just their thoughtful intention to evolve and better themselves... sharing it with someone who has a similar objective creates the exponential multiplication you can't otherwise self-create. So yes, one of the most overlooked purposes of marriage is to multiply your experience.
The Secret of Multiplication
And it only goes from there to the nth power. Because you build upon those shared, multiplied experiences, raising the base level of satisfaction each time, which increases the levels of possible enjoyment, fulfillment, and even enlightenment. It leads to those "couple-hood" moments of sentence-finishing, deeper knowing, judgment releasing, lesson magnifying, and ultimately, soul-enlarging.
Ask yourself: Does this person share passions with me which multiply our experience? Does this person have common desires, which can more easily be realized together? Or common fears which can be healed together? Does this person want to add to their experience by including me in the celebration? Or are they demanding I change, contort, conform, pretend, placate, blah, blah, blah... To make THEM complete. Remember that classic love-line from Jerry Maguire, "You complete me." Sorry, romantics, but we only increase our focus on incompleteness by needing someone who completes us. Instead, we might rather rendezvous with someone who multiplies the person we are, wherever we are on our path. Aren't we already complete, in the sense that we are born with everything necessary to become our authentic selves?
We know what you're saying. Easier said than done. But wait, there’s more! Because, this is when you might really surprise yourself. And how to do that comes in the final installment: Part 3: Loving with Soul.
To hear us discuss these ideas live, join us on The Divorce Sucks! Podcast with Laura Wasser.
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Erika Feresten is a certified life coach, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org