I just sat with a brave couple who's choosing to put to rest the fairy tale of their marriage. They're having a ceremonial funeral for the fantasy of marriage that is so interwoven into our culture and in each of them individually---a fantasy that wreaks a lot of havoc in our culture. They're letting go of believing the other will make them happy, should be a certain way, and shouldn't be other ways. They're letting the ideas die that they're supposed to like each other all the time, that fighting means the relationship is wrong or flawed, and that a soulmate is someone with whom it'll finally be easy.
They're letting all of this die, grieving the loss of the perfect ideal. And they're doing all of it to create space for something new, something more true to emerge. Perhaps there will be room for each of them to show up as who they really are. Perhaps there will be room for using conflict as a way to get closer to each other. And perhaps they'll find that a soulmate is someone who helps us see the most painful and beautiful places inside ourselves so that we can grow and become more of who we are. And, as always, there is also the possibility that the shape of the relationship will transform.
But who knows quite yet what will happen, because what is so brave about this couple is that they are willing to tread into mysterious waters not knowing what will emerge. And that, I trust, will only lead them closer to themselves and to what is true.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with me about what you think it could be like to say goodbye to your relationship as you know it so something else can emerge.