Do you remember the old adage that states there’s your side, there’s my side and then there’s the truth? If we were totally honest with ourselves, we too could see the truth of any situation. Once we accept that truth, we have the new found freedom to gain clarity, discover our options and make real choices that are based in reality and not a subjective interpretation of what is. The past no longer runs the show. A world of possibilities opens that we might otherwise have missed. To recover from divorce one must face the truth. The gist of the adage is that we don’t really see reality for what it is
Rather we see things through our interpretive abilities and we interpret things based on our past experiences. Reality gets fine tuned through our own personal filters. We live in a world based on the past, a world that no longer exists. Here’s an example:
Recently I was coaching a woman and we were discussing how she had interpreted her Mom’s behavior to mean that she wasn’t lovable. She had a brother and a sister who grew up in the same home and they did not feel unlovable. How? The truth was that the Mother was a non-emotional, logical and somewhat distant person. Those were the facts. It had nothing to do with my client and yet she had interpreted her Mom’s behavior as meaning that something is wrong with her. If she had been lovable, her Mom would have been the nurturing and loving Mother she needed. The client‘s belief that she is unlovable has colored her entire life’s experience. Only it wasn’t true. Facts versus interpretations
Now look at your divorce. What are the real facts and what are your interpretations of those facts? Perhaps your marriage broke down because you felt your husband was never happy with you and you were the target of his constant criticism. Your husband‘s story is that you were never truly loving and nurturing and he was desperately attempting to fix that situation. The marriage counselor sees something different. She sees that you interpreted his attempts to receive more love as constant criticism. That is indeed how it felt to you. She also sees that he had been somewhat needy and his approach only pushed you farther away. Our inability to see the truth without our personal interpretations makes it impossible to resolve the conflict
In truth, you may have had an experience from your past where a parent constantly criticized you and you have become extremely sensitive to anything about your behavior. In truth, your husband may have been raised by parents who were not loving towards him and so he craves attention. Whatever. The truth is that we allow our past to serve as a filter for our present and thereby create reactions that are not based in reality. The operative word is reactions: we are only reacting to life and not being the master of our fate.
It could be that your marriage broke down because the two of you married for the wrong reasons and you simply cannot make it work. But most people will not admit to that truth and will heap all sorts of blame on one another based on their own personal interpretations of who is at fault. To break free of the pain of divorce we must be willing to see the facts versus our interpretations of the facts
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