Binders, Dear Life., Guest Posts, Relationships

Dear Life: Is This The End of My Relationship?

March 10, 2015

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Welcome to Dear Life: An Unconventional Advice Column.

Your questions get sent to various authors from around the world to answer (and please keep sending because I have like 567 writers that want to answer your burning questions. Click here to submit a letter or email dearlife@jenniferpastiloff.com.) Different writers offer their input when it comes to navigating through life’s messiness. We are “making messy okay.” Today’s letter is answered by MaryBeth Bonfiglio.

Send us your questions because there loads of crazy authors waiting to answer ‘em. Just kidding, they aren’t crazy.

Well okay, maybe a little. Aren’t we all? xo, Jen Pastiloff, Crazy Beauty Hunter. ps, I will see you in NJ & Philly in a couple weeks at my Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human! NYC sold for March 21st is sold out. 🙁

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The 12 Day Detox is here. Sign up now. Space is limited.This detox comes at just the perfect time. Reprogram your body and mind as we move into the new season of spring. This is your time of rejuvenation and renewal.This is not a juice fast, or a detox based on deprivation.

Dear Life,

I met my current husband when my daughter was 14. We met online. His profile stated clearly that he wanted to meet someone without children. She was not a child anymore. She was a teenager and perfectly able to stay home alone on my date nights. He agreed to date me, and after the third date, we continued. Eight and a half years later, we are still together and married.

Should I have seen the early warning signs? Should I have noticed how she bristled in his presence, how he became awkward and uncomfortable in hers? Should I have paid more attention to that first major fight they got into about how much cheese she wanted to buy when we went on that first trip together to Santa Fe, the nausea that ensued for me, the migraine? My body was being very clear with me, but I ignored it.

She was 16 at the time, and I chalked it up to her never wanting to accept anyone else in my life.  I never moved him into our house. To this day, we still live apart due to work circumstances. To this day, we live apart due to more than that when I’m truthful about it.

She’s 23 now, and things are worse than ever. She’s learned to stand up for herself. She notices the language of control. She hears the cadence of judgment. She will not abide with his way of being. Recently, her car broke down and she called to get my help with the situation. While I was speaking with her, he had a suggestion. She heard him in the background, and told me to tell him that this was between us. He would not be quiet. He persisted. So, I handed him the phone. It was the biggest mistake I could have made. He kept trying to tell her his suggestion, while she was trying to tell him that it was a bigger problem, but he wouldn’t listen to her. Then he said, “You never listen to me!” She hung up on him.

Emails have ensued between them. He feels he’s owed an apology. She has, but with an explanation for how she was feeling, which he did not accept. I think he needs to drop it, and move on, but that’s not his way.

I’ve seen him lose many friends over these eight and a half years over smaller infractions. And now he’s got my daughter in his cross-hairs. My inclination is to step in front of his aim this time. This is my daughter. Yes, she hung up. But it’s not black and white. This time, I cannot, and I will not take his side.

I keep asking myself if this is going to be the moment, or the situation that will wreck this relationship. I don’t know if I can continue to be with a person who has burned many bridges with friends, and is now ready to sever ties with my daughter over this incident. No, it wasn’t the first time they’ve had a fight, and it wouldn’t be the last, but the absolutism of this argument, has me feeling sad and sick. She could get over it and move on for the sake of the situation, he could not.

At the end of the day, she’s my kiddo, and I love her more than life itself. He’s my current guy in a long line of long term relationships. He’s someone whose crazy matched my own in many ways. We get each other and it’s comfortable. We also have this great set up where we live apart during the week so I get my alone time, something I cherish. But not being able to share my joys and sorrows about the life of my one and only child with my partner seems like a gulf I cannot bridge. What about holidays? What happens when she gets married or has a child?   He can’t just break up with my kid!

The older I get, the more I realize that I can live the rest of my life on my own if I had to, something I don’t think I thought I could do eight years ago. It all seems to go back to that online post that I failed to pay attention to. Why do we so often fail to pay attention to the biggest signs even when they are spelled out so clearly? Is this the end?

Signed, Is This The End?

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that's it! Summer or Fall 2015. It is LIFE CHANGING!

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being. Yoga + Writing + Connection. We go deep. Bring an open heart and a sense of humor- that’s it! Summer or Fall 2015. It is LIFE CHANGING!

 

Dear Is This The End,

i am so sorry. how heartbreaking and confusing to feel like you are stuck between both of them: the one you gave life to, whose heartbeat spent 9 months growing under your own and also the one you chose, your lover, your partner, and hopefully one of your best friends.

here is the thing.

 

we get to make our own choices. and often times we make ones we look at and call “wrong” but how can anything really be wrong when are committed and open to change and transformation and the continuous process of re-birth. in otherwords, if we are living life, how can anything be wrong?

 

Those choices we question {maybe even more than the ones we don’t question}are a foundation of a spiritual path, one that is uniquely ours. those moments we wonder about are probably the places where the lantern was shining the brightest for us as we walked the dark path into the woods.

How can there be failures or regrets if in our hearts if we are just finding our way? all of us? tripping, falling, rising, flying, falling, repeat?

 

so you are good, girl. so good. exhale and be at ease. even through this sticky moment. even through this balsamic moon. you are a good mom and a beautiful lover. you are a stellar human being. and you are love.

 

let me ask you this question, because i believe in your heart, in your knowing, in your wild unknowing, in your eternal wisdom: is this the end?

 

don’t go back and blame yourself for the things you didn’t want to see. instead, what does the moon of your gut say when we you ask this question: is this the end?

 

write out all the ways it {whatever “it” is} is the end. make a lsite. and trust that.

 

life always has a way of allowing us to see, wide eyes of the heart, when it’s time for the wheel of fortune to turn. i read cards, a lot of my writing is myth-making by spending time with cards, and when i say cards i mean tarot cards. these cards represent archetypes of our humanness and gives us a go-ahead to re-tell our stories, from a place of power and and the soul’s longing to shift.

 

the wheel of fortune card first comes to my mind when i read your story. this card, at it’s base meaning, means fate. as in- this isn’t something you have a ton of control of, actually we have no control. in anything.   the wheel is such an interesting thing. there are spokes in every single direction, experiences wrapped around each one- the weeds, the flowers, the velvet, the paper, the moss, the salty air, the ash, the everything that has been and will ever be. and yet in the center there is big circular space, a nothingness. and this place, in life, is where we sit. and we just watch the wheel turn, season after season, moon after moon, tide after tide. things rise, things fall, things come together, things come undone, things are planted and things are burned. and there we are, in the middle, watching. because it’s not exactly our say. of course we have choices, but that doesn’t mean we always get what we expect or plan or hope for. it’s the stunning and beautiful and annoying way of this world. it moves. and it moves us. and we either fight it or we go with it.

 

i bring this up because i think the wheel is turning for you right now {like a new turn within the infinite turn}. you are sitting right here, wondering and noticing everything happening around you and have visions from the past and are curious about the future. you try and see what could be, but ideally, you are just in the middle, in the nothingness. watching. knowing. something is happening.

 

so how about this? you do nothing as you sit in the center of your soul. this is a choice, as well. you sit there and you keep watch.

 

of course you are *always* going to be fully and 100% present for your daughter. this is a given. she is your star. she is your true breath. she is who made you Mother- and that is a name to hold in the most high. i know it well and i know nothing can or should ever come between this mother daughter magic. it’s too profound and important and almost indescrible.

 

and yes. this man. do you love him? are you happy with him? are you whole in this relationship? are you free? is your voice liberated and your love the kind that rises up? do you feel him in your bones? do you feel safe to always be you?

 

if this is the man for you, for now, or forever, then give him the chance.

 

give him the chance to show up in love.

 

because here is the thing.

 

love is a choice.

 

and you can choose to stay in it. and work through it. and give it space to transform.

 

and he can choose to show up in a way that is healing and real.

 

i would invite him to do that. explain that anybody you are intimate with in this way must honor and respect your daughter, must be a part of her life, must see her as whole and wise and important. he is not her parent- you are. but he gets the important role to support you as her mother and support her because she is your daughter and he loves you. and he has the choice to grow here, to breath into whatever grip of control this is. to allow things to melt. to slide away. this is his karma, to loosen the clench. to soften. to surrender, to hang upside for a bit, to let go. of course he may feel hurt or angry that he was hung up on, but that can be redeemed. he may have stories about her that he feels justified in burning the bridge. but we are humans and we are love and if we burn bridges we never experience the truth and freedom in unity, and as an adult, let’s hope he will see that. let’s hope we all get it.

 

because what if he choses love and choses to work on himself in a way that builds trust between him and your daughter? what if by being honest you hold up a mirror for him that can heal ancestral wounds that he has carried forever? because if you love him as well, you will want him to have the chance to do this work.

 

of course i am only hearing your story {which i honor and respect and trust} but i do not know his and i do not know your daughter’s. but knowing what i know, it feels like this is the universe inviting everyone to look carefully at the wheel of fortune. where are you all going next? how do you want it to feel? what’s important? what are you willing to suffer for? what are you willing to work for? What will be easy to let go of? what will need to be left behind? what is with your for a lifetime? what do you long for? how do you want to feel?

 

i wish i could answer you straight up. but you know i can’t. i don’t even know what an end is or where something begins. i don’t know much of anything at all. but what it sounds like for me is that something has already ended in you and you are living in between the stories and you are on your way to the next narrative.

 

for fun, let’s name it. what’s the title of your next masterpiece?

if you sit and invite and wait and watch, i think you will receive your answer. you will know what your choices are. your path will be cleared.

 

i am sending all my love to all of you, surrounding you with blessings. may life be filled with ease and wisdom and inner light. may the wheel turn in the favor of us all.

 

xx

marybeth

About MaryBeth Bonfiglio: I am a writer, speaker, yogi and mentor of beauty.  I write personal narrative, screenplays, scribbles on paper and graffiti marker on wood. Storytelling is my love language to others, the activism for my radical, the instigation for my bitch, the healing for my wounds. Writing keeps my history alive and transformative and connects me with the beauty way of this world. Writing chips away at all that isn’t real, all that isn’t mine, and slowly reveals my most powerful essence: my true voice.

I am also co-founder and publisher of Amulet Magazine and co-producer of Itsabitch Podcast and I love anything to do with the tarot. As an intuitive, I use the card’s symbols, myths and stories to help guide people to the places of their unknown.  Yoga is my life force, my medicine, the thing that reminds me that I am in this body as well as more than this body.

I live in Portland, OR with my three wild daughters, life partner and my wolfie dog.  I love rye whiskey, well written television, mossy forests on craggy coastlines, reggae music and anything dipped in gold.  I write my process at marybethbonfiglio.com.

you can also read my writing at:

amuletmagazine.com

and listen to my podcast about love and relationships at

www.soundcloud.com/itsabitch-podcast

 

Join founder Jen Pastiloff in her signature workshop in Philly. Space is very limited for the April 12th workshop! Just be a human being-no yoga experience required. Click the Dhyana Yoga logo to book.

Join founder Jen Pastiloff in her signature workshop in Philly. Space is very limited for the April 12th workshop! Just be a human being-no yoga experience required. Click the Dhyana Yoga logo to book.

Do you want the space and joy to get back into your body? To get into your words and stories?  Join Jen Pastiloff and best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch over Labor Day weekend 2015 for their 2nd Writing & The Body Retreat in Ojai, California following their last one, which sold out in 48 hours. You do NOT have to be a writer or a yogi.  "So I’ve finally figured out how to describe Jen Pastiloff's Writing and the Body yoga retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch. It’s story-letting, like blood-letting but more medically accurate: Bleed out the stories that hold you down, get held in the telling by a roomful of amazing women whose stories gut you, guide you. Move them through your body with poses, music, Jen’s booming voice, Lidia’s literary I’m-not-sorry. Write renewed, truthful. Float-stumble home. Keep writing." ~ Pema Rocker, attendee of Writing & The Body Feb 2015

Do you want the space and joy to get back into your body?
To get into your words and stories? Join Jen Pastiloff and best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch over Labor Day weekend 2015 for their 2nd Writing & The Body Retreat in Ojai, California following their last one, which sold out in 48 hours. You do NOT have to be a writer or a yogi.
“So I’ve finally figured out how to describe Jen Pastiloff’s Writing and the Body yoga retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch. It’s story-letting, like blood-letting but more medically accurate: Bleed out the stories that hold you down, get held in the telling by a roomful of amazing women whose stories gut you, guide you. Move them through your body with poses, music, Jen’s booming voice, Lidia’s literary I’m-not-sorry. Write renewed, truthful. Float-stumble home. Keep writing.” ~ Pema Rocker, attendee of Writing & The Body Feb 2015

Please note: Advice given in Dear Life is not meant to take the place of therapy or any other professional advice. The opinions or views offered by columnists are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed physician or mental health professional. Columnists acting on behalf of Dear Life are not responsible for the outcome or results of following their advice in any given situation.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sandra Fain March 10, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    this may well be the best, most enlightening, writing by you, Marybeth. It quite probably applies to all of us on this journey at times from the dark into the light. Thank you and I love you.

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