How to Save a Failing Marriage
My marriage had to hit rock bottom before I was able to save it from total destruction. Unfortunately, when you are taking care of a lot of different people at the same time, it’s not uncommon for one of them to get overlooked. At the time I was dealing with our troubled teen and my aging father.
I’d look over at my husband, sulking on his spot on the couch, from my spot at the sink and ask him “Are you okay?” “I’m fine,” was his only reply.
I figured my husband was a grown-up, I’ve got my hands full and he can take care of himself. Big mistake!
But no matter what I tried I could not get inside the impermeable wall he had built since his younger sister’s illness took a turn for the worst. I tried getting help from our doctor, his older sister, and our therapist, but no one was willing or able to help me.
Eventually I settled into having a nasty, disappearing/reappearing husband, thinking that this would be my lot in life. I didn’t know who he turned into, but he was so completely opposite of the man I walked down the aisle with 24 years earlier. He went from being my best friend to a complete stranger. He showed little interest in our family, even his own son, with whom he always shared a special closeness.
I was scared of him, I didn’t recognize him and worse, I couldn’t even recognize myself anymore.
I started chanting a new mantra, “suck it up and swipe!” I’d swipe at Bloomingdales where my friend Jody worked at the Theory counter. I bought dresses, jackets and whatever my heart desired. I swiped at the salon every week to have my hair professionally washed and styled. I was starting to turn into my swindler cousin’s pompous wife, who sat there with nothing to say, and always ordered the veal!
I don’t want to come off like I can save marriages, but I can share many things with you that could possibly help save your marriage from divorce:
- Don’t ignore the signs. A depressed, uncommunicative spouse is a serious warning sign.
- Don’t be fooled. Sometimes they make you feel sorry for them!
- Make sure you know where all the money is going and that there are no separate bank accounts or credit cards.
I was spread so thin at the time, like most of us are these days, but here’s what I wish I had done right away:
- Had my eyes open to things going on behind my back.
- Hired a detective to have him followed.
I was so insulted when I found out he had strayed from our marriage. I realize that it wasn’t just my bad habits that made him stray, but I honestly feel they did nothing to help keep him home. I’m very hard on myself and I feel like everything is more than likely, my fault!
I think it’s safe to say, I was a nervous wreck, monitoring everything he said and did. I would get enraged with jealousy if a saleswoman dared to smile at him, and if he smiled back. Every time he left the house I panicked. Would I be able to do this “patch it up” thing? I kept telling myself, it’s better than divorce, and it’s bound to get better as time goes on.
I felt worthless, old, ugly, nervous and scared.
It had been eight years since his sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and four years since she had died. All that time I had taken a back seat and now I’m being dragged like a broken tail pipe.
How in the world was I going to pick myself up? I remember my trainer had told me to read Eckhart Tolle books because they help you get over your ego and help teach you how to stay in the Present Moment. I found this sweet little book called Peace in the Present Moment by Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie and every night, I read another page and looked at a picture of a flower. There was no way I could handle reading pages and pages of a self-help book. But this little gem provided a paragraph or two of good solid encouragement! It helped so much that I bought eight copies and started giving it to people I felt needed the same boost I needed.
Here’s what I eventually did:
- Read other Eckhart Tolle books to learn how to stay in the present moment and let go of a debilitating EGO! The Power of Now and A New Earth. (Tip: If Chapter 1 of A New Earth is too confusing, just skip over it and go directly to Chapter 2).
- Dive into the unknown by staying in the marriage. Why not? I had no idea what was going to happen if we tried to work it out. Being a child of divorced parents I knew exactly what to expect if I insisted on divorce. I wanted to stop divorce. I was so overexcited I started a website called Divorce Blocker, until friends and family were afraid if they “liked it” people would think their own marriages were in turmoil!! We live and learn.
- Practice Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, which made changing habits quick and easy. Poof and they were GONE! If I hear myself getting even slightly uptight, I notice right away and begin long deep breathing.
My changes were so obvious that before long, my husband happily joined me in Kundalini Yoga classes. Now we go together twice a week. In this case, actions are speaking much louder than any words he could say to me.
I know the practice of Kundalini helped us gracefully walk this extremely rocky path back to each other. It’s really different than Hatha or other types of yoga. You can learn more about Kundalini Yoga from the official website www.3H0.org. If you’d like to see what a class might be like you can watch this video of Anne Novak on YouTube.
When you are ready to try a class you can find a teacher.
Kundalini has helped me with so many things:
- Staying calm when I used to get nervous;
- Focusing for hours on writing my book or getting other work done;
- Helping me have a calmer energy around me;
- Strengthening my intuition;
- Getting off of anxiety meds;
- Getting off of thyroid meds. Kundalini stimulates the endocrine system.
Instead of being a nagging, nervous person, I’ve finally learned to love and take care of myself.
It’s a truly beautiful thing
when one partner can raise
the other partner
up and out of a bad place
and show them a whole new energy
There was no way of predicting the calming effects of Kundalini Yoga would penetrate so deeply into our day to day lives! It raised us both up and out of the mire we’d been drudging through for years. If you’ve tried everything else, perhaps consider a 4,000 year old science to calm your nervous system and change your energy!
All long marriages go through bad stages. Instead of immediately going to “I want a divorce,” I decided to use it as an opportunity to grow and to get to know each other.
It’s really difficult sometimes, just day to day, living with someone who hurt me so deeply. Just the other day, when he was in his spot on the couch and I was in mine at the sink, I looked up to see him flipping through the channels and settling on a rerun of The Love Boat. Just then they cut to the nightclub scene with beautiful young women singing and dancing in tiny sexy costumes. My ego would have been happy if at that point, he tactfully changed the channel. My insecurities ran up to watch the real life scene to see what I would do. I didn’t say a word. I took at deep breath and brought myself back to the present moment. I thought:
- This is real life — and real life has ups and downs!
- I did a beautiful thing by forgiving.
- He’s being so kind and loving. Stay in the present moment!
- Keep my heart over my head!
- The worst is over.
Infidelity doesn’t have to be the end. It can be a new beginning.
I couldn’t see myself being divorced and spending the rest of my life wondering if I did the right thing. I grew so much from this experience. I recorded an album of 10 original songs and 2 covers called Keep You Forever. And I just finished my memoir, It’s Not Too Late Baby, a Kundalini Love Story.
Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions!
@EvaGKane. Wife & mother. Singer/songwriter. Level 1 Certified Kundalini Yoga instructor.
NYU School of the Arts BFA in Acting from the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
New album KEEP YOU FOREVER on iTunes.
Vodcaster on YouTube @EvaGKane.
Author of It’s Not Too Late Baby, a Kundalini Love Story (coming soon).
#itsnottoolatebaby #kundaliniyoga #evagkane #keepyouforever
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