Tony Robbins' first marriage lasted around 12 years. On his wedding day, he remembered thinking that it "just wasn't right" -- he had an inkling feeling that it wouldn't work out -- yet he went along with it because he didn't want to disappoint her. He, like many people, just wanted to please their partner. But he later found the price of not listening to his intuition: because he ended up leaving her, she allegedly was so resentful, that she drew out the divorce several years and had all of his businesses which he operated personally valued at an 8X multiple, leaving him owing her $42 million dollars of money he did not have.
So what happened?
1) He didn't listen to his intuition when it called.
2) He betrayed his authenticity by misleading a woman when he only wanted to please her.
3) That woman became resentful when the truth was revealed and thought she deserved compensation for her hurt by draining him of all the money he ever earned and thinking she was entitled to the $42 million he did not have because she did not feel happy inside herself.
In a nutshell, he picked the wrong partner and did not listen to his intuition. So many people do this. The fact is that we are all in a trance, most of the time. We do actions according to habit, and we never stop to feel how we feel, or we weren't raised with the confidence or with the culture that supports listening to our gut feelings.
Many people we've coached have had the same issue -- they married because "it was time" or "they didn't think they would get better" or "they've been dating so long". They ignored the feeling in their hearts at the altar that this was not the right one. They consoled themselves into thinking that it was just cold feet and that they were "supposed to feel that impending sense of doom".
We've counseled so many people who married for the above reasons, only to divorce several years later losing their house, their car, and their kids to disgruntled spouses. And in assessing the dynamics of the couple and why things don't work out, we've found 3 common signs you can often assess a mile away.
Here are 3 signs - based on our experience with clients - to watch out for in your partner which may indicate you're headed for a contentious divorce:
This is something you inherently feel about them. Something does not seem right. Maybe you just feel they are getting impatient on when you are going to pop the question. Maybe they are the type that when they get married, that gives them permission to let themselves go -- quit their jobs, get fat, sit in front of the TV all day while expecting you to provide for them. The point is, you just FEEL they want to TAKE value from you -- whether it be companionship, fame, a ring or marriage -- but not want to be with you as a person.
The reason why this type of person is a ticket to divorce is that they never felt whole with themselves in the first place, and they are looking to you to fill some void -- whether it be the financial security, a luxury lifestyle or attention 24/7.
If your partner wants to get married, it's not hard to find out. As Freud says "we leak the truth". But you have to ask yourself if it's really what you want as well. This may seem overly obvious, but if you really love someone, many of us want to give those we love what will make them happy. And men, especially, deep down in their core, just want to make a woman happy. When they feel they cannot do that, they leave.
What if making your partner happy meant marrying them? Yes, it's not that hard of a stretch to think that this would be a good idea. However, making your partner happy is not the answer to everything. You first need to assess what's really going to fill YOU up and make YOU happy.
When in a flight emergency, you are taught to put on your oxygen mask first so that you can help others. Therefore, before you get married to please your partner, ask yourself: "Is this what will make ME happy as well?"
It is said that as long as a couple grows together, they will stay together. If they grow at different rates or different directions, they will eventually part ways. Growing together means that you share the same values. If one of you values marriage in a certain way, while the other values marriage in another way, or no marriage at all, then Houston, you've got a problem.
Listen to your heart. Don't deny the voice of your intuition. If it doesn't feel good in your gut, if you have that knot or sinking feeling, just say no. Or at least postpone.
People who stay together forever often say that they love their partner's soul, or who they are at the deepest level. This is even evident in gender fluid couples who see through the gender to the actual soul behind the person.
So many people get married to others because they were friends of the family, or they are a famous movie star, or they are wealthy or have a good job. But what about the SOUL? Would you still see their beauty if they were decrepit on a hospital bed? Could you listen to them for hours talk about inane topics and not get annoyed, or at least, they don't mind you are annoyed? Do you just feel safer with them there, or enjoy their company without saying a word? Could you be gross, disgusting and sick and not ever have to worry that they don't find you beautiful? Do you just KNOW their soul?
In all our work with people going through a contentious divorce, most of it can be spotted a mile away -- one partner wants to take value from the other or expects value from the other, rather than loving them. For a marriage to work, both partners need to be primarily giving to the relationship, not taking, or else the relationship will soon be drained of its resources. This means people need to be whole, through self-care, before undertaking a relationship. A relationship is not 50/50. It is 100/100. If you go into anything less than 100, you may end up with 0 in a contentious divorce.
The reason most contentious divorces come into play is because one partner feels entitled to something the other partner has. This often occurs when the person does not love themselves, so they expect love from their partner. This is a dangerous game that you cannot win because you will never be able to please such a person all the time. In our journey this is what we've learned to be true.
You have all the resources you need to determine if your partner is the right one to spend the rest of your life with. Three signs you are on the right track:
1) You don't get the intuitive feeling they want to take value from you.
2) You are making sure to meet your needs as well as theirs. You don't want to blindly please them.
3) You love their soul, truly, no matter how their physical body looked.
Know that if you heed your inner knowing, you will choose the right path. And even if you don't, even Tony Robbins survived his brutal contentious divorce which robbed him of millions. He took it as a challenge to improve and grow his businesses and went on to make billions, as well as marrying a soul mate and true partner.
Such could be the life for you.
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