Stop the Divorce

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Stop the Divorce:  Now, I am not saying that you are thinking the wrong thing.  In fact, I am glad you are considering divorce.  I don't think you would be thinking of this step , if things were going well.  I bet things are going really badly.  I bet you have lost, or are very near to giving up, hope.  I tend to believe you are thinking divorce as a last and worst choice.

I rejoice that you are still wanting to go for a better marriage that then one you have got.  I am very happy that you still have that image, that dream, of a “great marriage.”  On the other hand, I doubt that you want to live alone forever, and besides I don't believe you are designed for living alone.  

I strongly believe that your “dream of a great marriage” is do-able.  It can be accomplished.  And I really want you to get it.   But where do you go from here, when it seems hopeless?

What I encourage you to do is “divorce the relationship you have had, but not necessarily the person you are having it with!”   I encourage you to “get the benefits of living alone, while living with someone.”  It means nothing more than work and learning and work and practice. 

Remember, “doing what you are currently doing is getting you what you have – hopelessness.  You have to do something else.”  It is often cheaper/easier to learn new things with this partner than going out and finding a new partner, then going through the whold thing again.  Change that mess.  Work, learn, work, practice.

 Al Welcome Small

I have seen thousands of couples and helping people make better marriages is a joy to me.  (Learn more about me and my wife, Sandra.)

All couples I have seen get to the point where they don't have the tools to fix the problems they have.  They solve what they know how to, sure.  But they are left with those nasty problems for which they were not taught the tools.  So before you divorce, start learning new tools.

You might start by going to my Main Page to get an idea of this website.  I've also created a page of One-Liners that have helped me and that I share.  You get explanations for those ideas by clicking on them.  You might want to start with the page I created to guide people at this site.  You might want to jump right in to learning what is going on in marriages and what to do. Or perhaps you want a specific answer to a specific problem.  Try searching the site, or look at my page on solving problems.

When in doubt, email me,Al Turtle.  I will try to direct you.

As a gift, I want you to get the marriage of your dreams and I believe that

“It takes one to make a marriage and two to make a divorce. ”

So go for it?



Stop the Divorce — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks Al for your reply,
    My opinion is that Vintage Love requires beside the individual emotional healing that each partner has to do for himself, and beside the skills for interacting with each other in the relationship, Vintage Love requires also some good level of compatibility between partners (values, views on life and society and other important aspects, which should team up well with your partner’s). You may say that people change and this views change in time, but I think people change significantly regarding this basic structure of values only until they get to know themselves and heal themselves and trust themselves. After that, changes are usually not so “deep”. And only after that I think we are suitable to make long lasting fulfilling relationships => Vintage Love.
    Of course this doesn’t happen in reality. We don’t know ourselves in majority of cases, when we first dive in “happy ever after” relationships. And this relationships shatter to pieces sooner or later. And it’s not only because we don’t have the skills to create this relationship, but also because we are not compatible in our view on life – basically I’m saying that we don’t like each other, but we couldn’t know this when we met, because we had little knowledge about our own individual selves.
    Having said that, I want to add that I appreciate all that you share with us, very valuable information. Helps us dig deeper into knowing ourselves. Thank you!

    • Hi Marta, I like your view and the additional idea about “similarity of basic values” as an important factor in achieving Vintage Love. You idea that “basically I’m saying that we don’t like each other” I would need to hear some more about – so please share. I’ve got two ideas to add.

      One is that I am guessing your thinking is somewhat related to thinking that “agreement” is comforting. The more the better. I think one of the common basic changes in values that people headed to Vintage Love is a fundamental rejection of “agreement”. I must admit that when I am confronted with an agreeable person, I get tend to get guarded – my Lizard wakes up. The opposite of feeling comforted. I ran into this phenomenon in Vintage Love couples before I knew the term, before I ever heard about Imago – in the 1980s. “Yup, yup, yup, Mr. Turtle,” said the old guy. “We think if two people are agreeing, at least one is lying.” Twas quite a shock to me. And so I tend to see Vintage Lovers more as the caretakers of a space where people don’t need to agree, are not pushed to agree, and feel more guaranteed of safety when the disagree. Anyway it’s a thought. Tis my experience that with the freedom of diversity and more more collection of similar experiences, I find Vintage Lovers sharing a lot of common terms.

      The second thing I’ll add is my concern that the topic of Purpose, which you’ll see mentioned in my Map of Relationship, can bring about a situation where Vintage Lovers separate. I have no model as to how Purpose fits into partner selection. My experience of Purpose is that it often shows up as mid-life crisis, and such stages of life. Tis possible that as a couple matures alongside each other, their discovery of Purpose could be pretty different from each other. E.g. one could be a childcare specialist and one a far lands explorer. Could lead to a lot of tension. This may be what you are referring to.

      By the way, I am unclear about whether you are speaking (when you say “we don’t like each other”) about your experience with your partner(s) or couples in general. I’ve seen up close well over 3000 couples, most more or less clearly wanting Vintage Love and are blocked. The “reasons” they come up with for their trouble is certainly dramatically varied, and I respect their thinking.

  2. Dear Al,
    I’ve been reading through your website for a while, I’m familiar with your concepts and I find most of them helpful, but I have one question. You seem very optimistic about every relationship, all seem to you like they are worth and possible to repair… but what about a codependent relationship of 15 years, the wife is codependent and has tons of resentment for the husband, who eroded her fragile personality for years, by dominating her life, interests, thoughts, everything, through emotional abuse, shaming, insistent requests etc. Now the husband doesn’t understand her issues and thinks their relationship was good, he considers he has nothing to change about himself, and since she started introspection and learning and growing, he thinks of her that she is similar to a fanatic religious person (there is no religion involved, just plain psychology). In other words, he doesn’t understand her search of self (he is not an introspective man). Plus there was a long emotional affair on the wife’s side, which they cannot overcome. And there is a child involved.
    She wants to divorce and continue her growth journey (finally) without the blockage that comes from husband.
    Why shouldn’t she divorce?

    • Hi Marta, Good questions. Perhaps I am not clear enough. If the person you are speaking of wants to divorce, let her do it. I’m fine with that. I make suggestions based on what I’ve learned but I hope people won’t take my suggestions as some kind of order. Reading your example I prefer that path forward that leads most likely to Vintage Love in the shortest way. The simplest/quickest path is to divorce the kind of relationship, the dysfunctional patterns of communication and control attempts, get rid of all that, but keep the partner who is ready to learn, too. A longer path is to divorce the partner she chose, take a break, for years maybe, find/chose a new partner (who will likely by similar), get into the Power Struggle again, and then start to learn the lessons. Nothing wrong with this path – just longer.

      In your example for me the critical issue is self-responsibility and blaming. How does this gal learn to be responsible for her part, not his part, in the chaos and learn to fix her part? All about Boundaries. A big challenge.

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