Marriage Is The Magic Pill…Maybe
For Better or for Worse
I remember my relationship with my now college student daughter’s father and feeling more loneliness than I ever thought was possible in marriage. That was more than 20 years ago. We did this thing. I reached for him to feel comfort and care when I needed him most in less than optimal ways. I may have criticized or made demands or threatened to leave a time or two. Guess what he did? He went fishing. He worked longer hours. He watched football and avoided me.
I now understand that I was making bids for connection and he was trying to keep our peace. I recall choosing “Tranquility” as the theme color for our bedroom. I tried all that I knew to do to increase our happiness and prolong the beautiful moments of connection. I was the mother of his only daughter. He was the father of my only Princess. Would he physically leave me because emotionally he was already gone?
I commenced reading the “The Power of the Praying Wife” and playing John Gray’s “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” on surround sound! He just might pick some of this up. I am not sure what came first, though. Did he stop making me his priority or did I start feeling unseen and insecure first? We had parallel lives. I can breathe now, and no more football for me. I can laugh now, but seriously, less football. I’m sure he had his list as well of things he could have done without from me.
We would make up, sometimes after hours or days of living separate lives of work and kiddos. We never learned how to break the cycle of disconnection that would become intolerable. The attachment injuries were not repaired and our mind-body connection was broken – forever. How could this happen? When we were good – we were great! He made me laugh like no other – and still does on the rare occasion that we’re in the same room. Charmer. This dance of love and resentment, led to contempt.
We deserved more. Our children deserved more. I sought professional counseling through my company’s EAP program. There wasn’t a single Black female couples or individual counselor to be found. I met with a female Caucasian therapist who enlightened and empowered me and connected me with a lawyer. I also sought Christian counseling as a minister’s daughter who felt so much shame. I was going to be a single mother at age 35 with a one year old daughter.
Marriage was supposed to be the magic pill. The “undefiled bed” with a spouse which was deemed the ultimate connection in the Church, was lonelier than I ever imagined possible. While I am grateful for the professional and Christian counsel, no one helped me understand at the core how to fix my marriage or explain why it had to end to my satisfaction. My former husband and I loved each other, although limited. Love was just not enough. We didn’t know how to step into the puddle and have ongoing healing conversations about what we were emotionally experiencing in our marriage, in our minds and in our bodies. We didn’t realize that our insecure attachment, which caused the way we reacted to each other (our cycle or dance) was the enemy, not each other. We were clueless of our “parts” that took over our true selves and built a wall between us that neither could climb.
PRIORITIZE COUPLES & MEDITATION THERAPY | AS ONE
I needed to learn what I didn’t know in that marriage. I needed to know what I did wrong and what I did right. I needed to know how to feel more secure and to “partner with care.” The phrase was coined at a Wharton Women’s Business Conference that I attended a few years into my separation. “Partner with care.” This continues to be my mantra. Attachment injuries that haven’t been repaired spill over into separation and even into divorce and remarriage. What may have been an amicable divorce and healthy co-parenting for the best interest of your child can turn into years of “War of the Roses.” The reason is because of the attachment injury, a moment in time when you stopped trusting your partner and said, “Never again. You hurt me. You didn’t keep my expectation or your promise. I won’t let that happen ever again.” There is never a repair. The couple is disconnected. The attachment injury, however, remains unconsciously alive in your body until you do the work. A Couples & Meditation Therapist can help if you feel lonely in your relationship and want your sexy best friend back.
BREATH & BODY | AS ONE WELLNESS
In a private space in nature, have a seat with your legs crossed or with your legs extended. Sit with your pain, the attachment injury. See and feel it in your body, breathe into it, with your eyes closed. See your breath flow from your belly to the crown of your head and then down past your cheeks, your throat, your heart, your belly, to the base of your spine. Repeat as many times as you can keep your body still. Visualize you and your lover as you desire. How do you look and feel? How does your partner look and feel? Imagine the two of you doing something you’ve longed to do. See the two of you connected, as one. Stay there. Take your time. Take your own time. Slowly, very slowly, open your eyes and journal what comes through your heart.
BEGIN COUPLES THERAPY TO RECONNECT IN DURHAM
I am a Black Mind-Body-Spirit Wellness Educator and an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist in Durham, NC. If you want closeness, fun, and pleasure as a priority in your most important relationship, I’d love to help you get there. Contact me today. You don’t have to suffer.
See you next week for more couples mind-body connection. Breathe.
Linda Hobbs, MSS, MBA, LCSW
Durham Couples Mind-Body Connector