Just over two years ago, my husband and I went through a divorce… and I have yet to go on a date.
I told myself many stories as to why that was the case. First, I simply wasn’t interested in dating. Then, a highly itinerant lifestyle prevented me from developing close relationships. When I finally settled down, I could come up with a dozen reasons why I just wasn’t meeting the “right” guy. Recently, I’ve been attracted to men who aren’t emotionally unavailable.
It wasn’t until I learned about hidden agreements that I realized each of those circumstances had nothing to do with the real reason I wasn’t dating. The real reason I wasn’t dating was because I was still remaining faithful to my wedding vows.
In her book, Calling In “the one”, Katherine Woodward Thomas says, “The agreements we make, both conscious and unconscious, have a profound impact upon our lives, for they literally serve as intentions that we set. These intentions have weight and authority in the universe to affect that which comes our way – and that which doesn’t. Never underestimate the power of your agreements to influence your life.”
My husband had released me from my marriage agreement by initiating the divorce. Society had release me from my marriage contract when the divorce was legally approved by a judge and paperwork was filed through the court system. But my intention to remain faithful through two decades of marriage was still fully in force… even two years after the marriage itself had ended.
My marriage was more than a commitment I made with my husband and with society. It was a vow I took before God. And I had never asked God to release me from that commitment. Without realizing it, I was still honoring my promise to God to remain faithful to my husband until “death do us part”.
When talking to friends, I described my failed attempts at dating as feeling like I was being blocked. Sometimes, it even felt as if God himself was actively engaged in the process… like the time I was on my way to meet a man when my car’s radiator cracked. By the time my car was fixed, I’d gotten cold feet.
In some bizarre way, it felt like God was a fatherly figure trying to protect my chastity. That feeling was so strong that one day, talking to God during a run, I said out loud, “You do know I’m not a virgin, right? I have three teenage children to prove it!” But the blockage had nothing to do with God protecting my chastity. It had to do with a marriage vow that was still in force.
In meditation, I asked inner wisdom how to relinquish my marriage agreement, and received the following guidance:
- In sacred ceremony, I need to ask God to release me from my marriage commitment.
- I need to acknowledge my culpability in the failure of the marriage and promise to do a better job in my future partnership, showing up as the best version of myself.
- I need to acknowledge the fact that I didn’t ask for God’s help in my marriage and promise to engage my soul in new, exciting ways in my future partnership.
- I need to forgive myself, just as I’ve forgiven my husband.
- I need to acknowledge that God’s hand was in everything, including the divorce, to create precious growth in my heart, mind and spirit that wouldn’t have been possible within the context of my previous marriage.
Finally, even as I prepare for this ceremony, I have to admit that fear is playing a significant role in my unwillingness to move forward. If I’m being honest, being alone feels safer than being in relationship. I’ve experienced tremendous personal growth over the past two years. Though dozens of partnered mentors provide evidence to the contrary, I still wrestle with the belief that I’m more capable of growth on my own than in a relationship.
My immediate path to healing may or may not include dating. But it most certainly includes full release from my previous marriage! I’m looking forward to celebrating the freedom and growth a conscious uncoupling ceremony will provide.