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BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko

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When Divorce Looms: Suggestions and Understanding for Those In a Dying Relationship

divorce family

Marriage is hard. Long-term relationships are hard too. I experienced the slow disintegration of my marriage and I’ve been privy to a few other marriage-in-flames stories, stories where the plane is going down and the relationship won’t survive, although it may flame out slowly. It seems the route of choice is often years of hellish tension with barely tolerated tolerance followed by a parachute jump once the kids have de-planed.

Sometimes it’s better if things end

I used to lie in bed and wonder if I could stay married for another forty years – until one of us died, or even ten years until the kids were out of the house. He used to pull into our garage after work and sit there dreading entering the house. — First One Over the Wall: What It’s Really Like to End a Marriage and Start Over,

My own experience was a slow flame-out but we couldn’t wait until the kids left home. It got to the point where our misery affected them too much. As I mentioned in, First One Over the Wall: What It’s Really Like to End a Marriage and Start Over, minimal conflict between parents is the best gift children can receive whether their parents are divorced or married. In our case, the conflict was not outright fighting but sad tension in the air.

I personally felt I could not be true to myself and stay married. I would have had to give in on too many of my priorities and values to have harmony in our family. Toward the end of our marriage, I figured out I was an introvert and needed solitude and down time, not the cookie-cutter life. I also found a group of sensitive intuitive individuals whose company made me feel at ease and at home, a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time. I longed for that kind of connection at home but my traditional, seemingly extroverted, by-the-book husband could not figure out how to reach me.

He tried.

I felt guilty for not loving him the way I should.

We tolerated our differences but did not enjoy or especially appreciate them. Instead of seeing what it was like in each other’s shoes, we just kept pushing our own agendas. My husband and I could not move from I’m right and you’re wrong to understanding.

We felt bad about ourselves when we were together.

As a relationship coach and personal divorce participant, I truly wish for relationships to work out if possible. I believe if differences are appreciated, honored, learned from and even laughed about, and not resented, couples can live the majority of the time in contentment.

But, I know sometimes relationships inhibit personal growth and create unhealthy environments for everyone involved. Sometimes the conflict between two people, ruins two people. Each partner is so stressed and beaten down their personal lights flicker and those in their circles witness two emotionally exhausted and defeated spirits.

There is a point when the relationship is not win-win. Someone has to give up too much of themselves to stay in the relationship, so they leave it.

It may feel like a failure or a tragedy when your marriage/relationship ends. You may have a deep fear of being alone. Even introverts don’t like the thought of being alone all the time.

It will be painful but it will be the beginning to a potentially more fulfilling life. Your family will be re-organized but it will not disappear.

How to make the divorce process easier

There are ways to make the transition through divorce easier. My recommendations are:

  1. To find a  new life old lifecollaborative mediator to decrease the conflict of the actual legal, financial and familial dissolution.
  2. Take time to figure out the lessons learned in the relationship. How did you contribute to the struggle? What could you have done differently?
  3. Do not move on to another relationship too quickly. Take time to get perspective and understanding.
  4. Let the healing begin and even allow yourself to see how the strife and breakup served you. Yes, that’s right. You can benefit from this experience. Did it teach you how to communicate better? Do you have more compassion for others in similar situations? Are you more open and vulnerable with your kids now?

Saving the marriage or letting it go?

If  your heart and mind are weighed down every day because your relationship feels hopeless or hurtful, consider getting realistic about your marriage’s chances of survival. Is there potential to make it work? Is it better to prepare for the crash? If you need help with this process I’d love to guide you.

One important step is to see conflict as not all bad. It is necessary in a real relationship. Real relationships are about personal growth and becoming whole. If we partner with someone exactly like us, we will not grow. If we don’t appreciate our partner’s differences, we will not grow. Another secret to relationship healing is to look at yourself first when it comes to change and getting out of victim mode. I have many more recommendations for moving from hopeless to hopeful.

biking alone over bridge

If there truly is no reconciliation, know that is OK. Not all relationships are meant to be forever. Take wisdom from the experience and move on. Take care of yourself in the process and for everyone’s benefit, do your best to minimize conflict between you and your former spouse.

I survived and grew through my own divorce enough to enter into another healthier long-term relationship. You can too. I’ve written over 20 pieces about self-actualizing post-divorce. Check out, Divorced Introvert:Evolving Not Dissolving Post Breakup to see how families can thrive after a marriage ends.

 

Are you willing and able to put the effort in to work through gridlock in your marriage? Is your relationship over but you’re afraid to move on?  

If you would like to learn more about allowing me to be your gentle guide through this process please click here for more information.

I can guide you through the actual breakup or divorce process from support during legal proceedings to creating a healthy parenting plan. I am trained in family mediation and parenting time expedition. And I can be there afterwards when the dust settles and life is uncertain, but not over.

 

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4 Comments

  1. val November 14, 2015 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Thank you for posting this. I am in the mist of a divorce now after drumming up the strength to file. I thank the Lord for the revelation that pushed me to take the plunge.

    Your statement, ‘We felt bad about ourselves when we were together.’, really resonated with me.

    • Brenda Knowles November 14, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Sending you loving strength and peace. I know how the divorce process feels. Just remember you can evolve and flourish. Warmly, Brenda

  2. TheGirlWithTheTreeTattoo October 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this, I faced a similar challenge – realizing I was sacrificing too much of myself just to stay married.

    • Brenda Knowles October 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome. Nice to hear from other divorce survivors. It’s never an easy decision.

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