Energetic Un-coupling: Regenerating Depleted Relationships without Divorce
This pandemic has been intense for long term-relationships, no matter how solid they were before COVID came knocking. Extreme stress can be an incredible clarifier on where the pressure points are in a relationship, especially when the stress comes in the form of spending way more time together to survive and having our unhealed individual and relationship wounds get displayed in all their painful glory.
My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years. We met when walking the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage that runs from one side of Spain to the other. So yes, we literally did walk 500 miles to fall down at each other’s proverbial doors.
Our courtship was EXTREMELY short before I became pregnant with our son, about 1.5 months from meeting each other to a positive pregnancy test. By that point we had seen each other in a variety of extreme situations. We had been exhausted, stinky, sore, trying to survive in a foreign country, cohabitating in a sailboat the size of a bathroom, and navigated the fallout of him having a live-in girlfriend when we met. From the very beginning, I used to say, “Well, we’ve seen each other at our worst so if we still like each other, it’s definitely a good sign.”
We became first-time parents before we had known each other for a full year, had moved from one country to another, and were living on my parent’s property when our son was born. We had life on fast forward and both of us had significant childhood trauma which at that time, was only partially recognized and mostly unresolved.
I can tell you, that wherever your relationship is at when you have kids is where it will stay unless you actively prioritize growing it. But with or without kids, at some point in a long-term relationship, you will come face to face with all the unresolved wounds you still carry from early trauma or abuse.
Over the next nine years as a couple, we weathered post-partum depression, chronic illness, miscarriage, brain surgery, starting a new business, going back to graduate school, and remembering abuse from childhood which had been repressed for over 35 years. We lost grandparents, beloved pets and grew more emotionally distant from each other without knowing why. Our sex life was virtually non-existant and had been for the majority of our partnership.
By the time we were two years into the pandemic, we looked at each other and realized we did not want to do another ten years like this. The moment came when we were in a group coaching session for a Sacred Union workshop about how to work with our wounded inner children within a relationship. In a moment of vulnerability and courage, I related the arc and highlights of our relationship and asked for their input on how to save our marriage. Without missing a beat, the response came back, “You need to write the energetic divorce papers, do your inner work, and then see if there’s something you both want to build together.”
Jaw drop. In that instant both of us knew she was right. We had to do something profound if we were going to shift our patterns of abandonment, retreat, projection, and distance.
Immediately after the session I got on the internet and started searching for “energetic divorce process” and “energetic de-coupling” but found exactly nothing. The only resources I discovered related to Conscious Un-coupling which is a process meant to help folks going through an actual, 3D divorce heal and take responsibility for their part in why the relationship ended. Interesting, but not what I had in mind.
We both wanted to stay married but it needed to be a completely different experience than what we’d had up to that point. We needed processes, rituals, and ways to acknowledge the wounds of our relationship, heal them, release them, and then germinate our seedling of a connected, intimate, trust-filled, collaborative partnership.
As I realized that there were no clear templates for what we were attempting to do, it became clear that we would have to create the transformational crucible for our own evolution. Thankfully, we had both been doing deep personal work all throughout our relationship so we had tools for discovering our shadows and connecting with our wounded inner children…the tricky part would be weaving our existing tools together and supplementing with additional resources as we co-created our energetic divorce and reseeding.
To be fully transparent, we are still in the process of finding and creating our path for navigating a complete composting of our current relationship. It is my hope that by sharing the steps and skills we have called upon in this unfolding landscape, you will find the courage to embark upon your own regenerative relationship journey.
This article was written and contributed by:
Germinator and Nurturer at Living Soil Institute
Jaime is a healer and wise woman living in the Pacific Northwest with her son, partner, and more than human family members. She has lived on 2 islands, both hemispheres, and walked thousands of miles on pilgrimages across Europe, New Zealand, and the United States. With a Masters in Sustainability Education, Leadership and Policy and as a trained singer, hand analyst, yoga and meditation teacher, and Reiki master, her tool kit is broad and her curiosity unending. Her life purpose is to nurture and regenerate our earth, communities and ourselves so we can live beautiful, meaningful lives. Find out more about her work at: www.livingsoilinstitute.com