Confused life-seeker questions marriage

Dear KCY

I am lucky enough to have a beautiful loving man in my life. We’ve been married for 3yrs and together for 9yrs. I met him when I was 19 and we have a ten year age gap which doesn’t mean much, except that he has 10yrs of adult life experience that I haven’t had. I’ve had a very content and comfortable 9yrs I must say – very rarely any challenges!

Among many other events, this year I’ve become a yoga teacher, I’ve changed jobs and about 4 months ago I became totally infatuated with another man. He’s left now. Since then however, I’ve become different. I think this change was already in swing however the crazy things that I was feeling and thinking for this other man may have been the trigger that made me aware of the change!

I feel like I want to be on my own, I want to experience so many things, travel, meet people (friends and lovers), I don’t want to have to consider another person in all my choices, I want to be completely open to what life brings to me with no restrictions. I sometimes look at my wedding ring in disbelief that I got married. I often think that I don’t want to be married. But then I think of the beautiful man who loves me and I don’t want to break him, and perhaps I don’t want to be without him either. Despite this though – I am so damn happy! I’ve never been do consistently filled with joy!

I don’t know if what I want is real or if my desires/ego/ignorance are getting the better of me?

Yours, life-seeker

Dear Life-Seeker

Well, I could have written this myself at a certain point of my life. Ten years ago I fell in love with the most wonderful kind and thoughtful man, I was a fairly new yoga teacher (which I’m sure contributed to shaking things up), I loved this man but felt a bit stuck and then I became infatuated with someone I worked with. To cut a long and painful story short, the infatuation was a symptom of the disease creeping through our marriage and despite a year of desperately trying to kept it patched together, I finally decided I needed to leave. I broke his heart and in doing so I decided I couldn’t be without him after all and ran back but he’d found someone else by then. Someone just like him, stable and serious, kind and loving and with no desire to be a yoga teacher or travel the world. He has since married that someone and I’m honestly happy he is so very happy.

You are facing the same crossroads I faced and I know that confusion is your best buddy right now. One minute you will be 100% sure you are going to leave and the next you will realise there is no way you can leave such a wonderful kind man.

I am only drawing on my own experience now when I write the following (as I know it may read a little harshly), if you leave you will almost definitely go through the following: You will be excited and full of joy as you book trips and plan adventures with your girlfriends, but you will miss your ex husband terribly and every now and then will give him hope that you will get back together (which you will mean when you say it but regret afterwards), you will break him and break his heart and at some point he will severe his affections for you from a point of self preservation, he will meet someone else, you will be consumed with jealousy and you will again give him hope that you want him back (try your hardest not to do this) as part of your mixed up brain will wonder how he could ever love anyone else when he loved you so much, you will then go through your broken state when you realise just how huge it is to leave a husband and you will be messy. After the messy stage comes the peace and the sense of self and independence.  Its not an easy journey to embark on I promise you this.

What happens if you don’t leave and you stay to make it work? If this is your decision, I send all the best wishes and luck  that the world can offer and I personally know couples who have hit the skids and recovered to be stronger than ever. This can happen, it’s not a fairlytale.

But…the inspiration for this column came from one of my favourite writers Cheryl Strayed who wrote the most wonderful book called ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ which I encourage everyone to get a copy of. In it she writes to a woman who confesses she wants to leave her husband even though he is a wonderful and loving man. I could never say this any better than Cheryl does, so here is her advice:

‘Go, even though you love him. Go, even though he’s kind and faith and dear to you. Go, even though he’s your best friend and you are his. Go, even though you can’t imagine life without him. Go, even though he adores you and you him and you’re leaving will devastate him. Go, even though once you said you would stay. Go, even though there is nowhere to go. Go, even though you don’t know exactly why you can’t stay. Go, because you want to. Write that last sentence on your hand and read it over and over until your tears have washed it away. Because the true question you need to ask yourself is not will you leave, but will you do it later or will you do it now?

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

The last sentence of your letter asks (like a true yoga teacher) whether your ego and desires are getting in the way. The answer is of course yes, you are are a human being, like me you haven’t reached enlightenment just yet. So from a yogic point of view should you be sitting and meditating to overcome your ego and desires? I’d say don’t waste your time. Now is the time to delve deep into your core and practise the two aspects of yoga that I personally use as my moral guides – Ahimsa and Satya – non-harming and truthfulness. Ask yourself if you are being true to yourself and therefore true to your husband, ask yourself if you will harm your husband more by staying when you don’t want to or by leaving. Sit on these questions for a while and then decide if you need to grab a pen and follow Cheryl’s advice by writing on your hand and letting your tears flow.

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