Ahead a copse of textured tree trunks stand motionless. Above are myriad clusters of dark green needles. All is still. A slate grey dove lazily drops, opens her wings and climbs, disappearing into a swathe of green leaves. Stillness returns, then parts as a solitary black and white magpie moves across sheltered space. In the distance leaves dance to a gentle breeze. Another dove swoops down from a neighbouring tree and lands beside the first. Both doves coo gently together.
Your Healing From A Broken Relationship
If we are to heal our broken relationships we need to learn to keep our heart open to our partner and our creativity flowing even though we may be discussing and attempting to resolve difficult and potentially contentious issues. By keeping our heart open and communicating honestly we avoid the trauma of feeling separate and remote from our partner.
This is difficult because open and honest relationships challenge both people to grow. When each person in the relationship is growing, then the relationship also evolves to ever-greater levels of harmony, love and understanding, strengthening unity. The most effective way to promote harmony, love and unity in a relationship is for each person to make a vow that they will keep their heart open, commune with the radiant swan within, and return to communicate with our partner about difficult issues creatively and sensitively.
I remember when I fell out with my girlfriend and ended our relationship. We had been dating for 18 months and had just begun to pull our lives closer together pending engagement. In doing this we discovered we had diametrically and heart felt opposing views on a matter of central importance. I did not want to try for a child and Carolyn did. It was difficult to see any way through. We struggled with this issue for some time. Eventually we reached a point where we did not talk for weeks. Our communication had degenerated and we were both feeling hurt and aggrieved. There seemed to be no resolution and the pain was becoming unbearable. After five weeks leading separate lives my girlfriend phoned and I broke off the relationship.
Seven months later Carolyn called me. We met socially a few times and then, fifteen months after we broke up, we forgave one another and decided to renew our relationship. The issue that separated us was still there, but we had both taken time to refresh our inner guidance. A few months after we had re-established our relationship, we went for a weekend in Carlingford, a quaint seaside village in the heart of the Coolie Mountains. We spent a lovely weekend together, walking, dining out and talking. The same issues that had plagued our relationship before came up again. This time we made a vow to talk more gently and sensitively as we explored this painful issue together. That night we went to bed as friends.
The next day we walked through farmland along the shore. We stopped and looked out at the sea together. I put my arms around Carolyn and discovered she was crying. Nothing was said. We stood and watched the waves flowing in and out, united in sadness. We walked back to our car and sat for an hour, watching the waves and the sea. We were sharing our sorrow. Then Carolyn suggested we go for a coffee, so we drove to a nearby pub and ordered some refreshments.
We talked, gossiped and joked with the waiter. There was a delicate love between us, like a sweet perfume. Then we hugged, bid each other goodbye, climbed into our separate cars and left for our respective cities. Nothing had been resolved. We had no agreement. But our love for one another had grown.
I found it difficult to contemplate trying for a child, because I was doubtful if I would have the energy to raise a child, because of my disability. I was also concerned that I had no income because at that time I was living on government disability benefit. We carried on with our relationship, trusting our mutual commitment to finding creative solutions that we could both embrace would carry us through the difficulties. Instead of focusing on the problem, we began to focus on strengthening our commitment and nurturing our love. I began spending more time living with Carolyn in Dublin. We were beginning to find true intimacy and to really trust one another.
During the time we were apart I had decided to change from using my first Christian name, Robert, to using my other Christian name, Wallace. Being called Wallace instead of Robert was separating me from my painful past, which I associated with my first name. My friends in Belfast had co-operated with this change, however Carolyn found it very difficult to call me Wallace. As a result all her friends and family called me Robert in Dublin.
That spring we were discussing the issue of having children and Carolyn offered to get married without trying for a child. I accepted her offer, but still could not bring myself to ask for her hand in marriage. My mother and sisters were telling me of the importance of children as an essential part of a marriage for most women. I knew Carolyn loved children dearly and that it would be very difficult for her to enter into a marriage without the prospects of raising a family. In May I invited Carolyn to Belfast for the weekend. I had planned to ask her to marry me and had everything arranged to make it a memorable weekend. However before I asked for her hand in marriage, I wanted to talk once more about having a marriage without children.
I invited her for a long walk along the Lagan towpath. When I asked if she would accept a marriage without children, she said she would. We walked on admiring the fresh green of leaves in early spring, coming eventually to a pedestrian bridge where a swan was floating motionless on the water. We turned and walked back along the river. As we sauntered towards the car I knew I had to get to the bottom of this issue. I had to use my insight to fully understand the issue that separated us. As soon as our walk was finished I planned to initiate our special weekend and become engaged. Once we were engaged our prospective marriage would be based on everything we had agreed together in our years of courtship. After we had become engaged I knew it would be difficult and painful to change what we had agreed prior to our engagement.
This was a critical moment and I was being prompted by my intuition to explore further. Carolyn was telling me she would accept a marriage without children – but would this work? I asked Carolyn a further question. "Could you accept a marriage without the prospect of children in your heart?" She replied that she could accept a marriage without the prospects of children in her head but not in her heart. I knew then that I could not go ahead with the planned engagement that weekend. We needed more time.
Then when the summer came Carolyn suggested we remain together during the three months she was on holiday from her teaching post. We enjoyed the summer together, laughing, playing squash, seeing mutual friends, and dining out. We felt very united. During this time I saw the love Carolyn had for young children. Recalling the conversations with my sisters and mother, I realised it would be very difficult for Carolyn to accept a marriage without the prospects of children. She also told me that although I had a disability she did not see why as a couple we wouldn't be strong enough to raise a child.
I took time to contemplate this. As we enjoyed our summer together I began to sense our creative power. This feeling of being in a united, capable partnership twenty-four hours a day was new and exciting. Was I being too cautious? Carolyn was challenging my belief that I would not have the strength and stamina to raise a child. Could I rise to this challenge? Could I change this long held belief? I was having my dreams fulfilled in our relationship. If I could rise to Carolyn's challenge and change my belief, then she could have her dreams fulfilled as well. During this time together I dreamt that Carolyn's love was entering into me and driving out all negativity. I took this dream to be a sign that I was right to reconsider my position. I saw that we were blocked because we were both resisting each other's needs. I was resisting Carolyn's need for a child and she was resisting my need to be called by my new name. If we could both stretch our love so that we met one another's needs then there would be nothing preventing us from becoming engaged.
These thoughts were becoming clearer. I was beginning to find peace with these thoughts. I began to sense this could be the way forward. Through my insight I saw this as the positive path leading to a more abundant and fulfilling life for both of us. Inner guidance was supporting this move.
I wondered how I could find the courage to suggest these changes in our relationship. Sometimes life has the knack of lending a helping hand. That summer we began to look at houses. I saw an attractive house advertised in the newspaper. It seemed like a potential dream home. We decided to visit it. As we drove up to the gates of the house, set in the Wicklow Mountains, I turned to Carolyn and said, "What will we do if we both fall in love with this place?" We did! When we arrived back home in Dublin we looked at one another. Nothing was said but we both knew what we were thinking. "How can we place a bid for this property if we haven't made a commitment to one another?"
The next morning I suggested to Carolyn that we both stop blocking the progress of our relationship by meeting our respective needs. I would offer to try for a child with Carolyn, and she would do her best to call me Wallace. She agreed. That night in a quaint French restaurant in Dublin, I asked Carolyn to marry me. She said she would love to. Our bid for the dream property was unsuccessful, but we created a dream of another kind. We were married in a small, blue, country church on a beautiful sunny day in November.
A partnership is born out of the fire of stubborn determination, childlike creativity, exquisite sensitivity and high aspiration. This is how we are inspired by our radiant inner swan to find new heights of love and union in our relationships.
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