Cutting the Ties That Bind

A friend of mine is suffering through a divorce. The divorce is final, but I know from experience that a divorce is not final at the court appearance. It takes years for it to really be done. In this particular drama, one person is having a more difficult time letting go. I was the leaver in one divorce and the leavee in the other. I can relate to both sides. I remember the drama I produced when trying to get my ex engaged again and to stop his leaving. It really was the best decision for both of us, but I did not want to feel the pain. I unconciously tried to stop the pain by stopping the action. It is rare for both parties to be ready at the same time.

I was reading a blog that suggested people wait until they are emotionally attached to have sex with someone. The author suggested that as we get to know each other and spend time together, we start to bind to each other with “cords”. As these cords get more numerous with each little interaction and connection, the attachment gets more powerful. The theory is that when you have more attachment, the sex is more powerful and enjoyable. If that’s the case, then there must be millions of “cords” formed by the time a couple gets to a divorce.

Alita, a friend of mine, is a massage therapist, and she gave me a massage after my second marriage ended. I was in a lot of pain. I was the leavee in this one even though I was the one that physically left the house. I was not ready for it to end. I was “tied” to this man in so many ways, many of them unhealthy attachments. She said to me during my massage,” I get this visual of you being tied to Rick with these huge laces. The thing is that they are tied in bows. All you have to do is reach up and untie them to release him.” I remember saying to myself…NO….I can’t do that now. I could just feel the falling away as if I was falling off a cliff that would end in my death by shattering in a million pieces.

Towards the end of my grieving process, I used a visualization to help me visualize my healing journey. I experience the world very physically, so seeing and feeling what I was going through really helped me see where I was. The first time I did it, I closed my eyes and just let my intuition take over. I saw my heart. It was bound and wrapped and strangled with these cords. It was turning purple and bulging out in between the cords because it was so tight. I literally felt my heart was being strangled. As time went on, and I continued with my work, the cords became looser. I thought that one day they would just fall off. But that’s not what happened. As time passed, and I continued to visualize the status of my healing heart, the cords transformed into beautiful purple velveteen ribbons. The ribbons were soft around the edges. They were no longer strangling me. They enhanced the beautiful red hue of my heart. It was then that I knew I was done.

The thing I know is that you can’t just cut all those cords. Some people try. But, what they end up with is a rather extreme reaction rather than something that is healing. The leaver has at some point begun the cord-cutting way before the divorce is initiated whether they knew it or not. It’s hard to get to that final act. The one who is left has to begin the process once they realize where this is headed. I can see both sides, and I know how hard it is for both. As the leaver, I was filled with guilt even though I knew I had no other choice. When I was the leavee, I was filled with anger and crushed with rejection. But, either way, there were cords to cut…one…at….a….time….slowly….painfully….crushingly. Those ties that bind us are the ones that can literally choke us to death unless we let them transform into something different….velvety….soft….healing.

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50 Something single woman in Michigan who loves the outdoors, people, running and hiking.

4 thoughts on “Cutting the Ties That Bind

  1. Your posts always seem to fit right where I am. Yesterday I received my divorce certificate in the mail. I don’t yet really have a clear sense of whether I was the leaver or leavee. I’m not sure how I feel. It was a relief, in a sense, to see the proof that it’s finally over. I wanted to celebrate. Today, I find myself crying. I don’t know if the crying is sadness over the divorce or grief over another situation. I’m trying to not judge my feelings. Easier said than done. What I do know is that my heart aches today.

    1. Oh, my. My heart goes out to you. I know the feeling of relief and then the confusion and tears after it’s over. I’m so proud of you for feeling what you need to feel no matter how confusing it may be. I know that grief came for me in waves. Learn to surf. 🙂

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