When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
The American Revolution is the ultimate breakup story. The colonists felt as if their Tory brethren were taking advantage of them and ignoring their needs. The colonists pleaded their cause over many years to no avail. The British would not relent in their taxation and other legislative policies that circumscribed the freedom of the colonists and their ability to self-govern their lives. So, the upstarts seized control of their destiny and declared their independence from the motherland.
The result of that declaration was war – a war that pitted brothers, neighbors, and friends against one another. Men suffered greatly on the battlefield (hunger, pain, frostbite), and property was destroyed. Many hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent, and thousands of lives were lost during the Revolutionary War. That declaration of independence carried with it a huge cost.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I began my Fourth of July weekend taking a special yoga class at the studio where I practice most frequently. Our teacher began by reading aloud the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. As I listened to those opening lines that explained why the colonists were seeking their independence, I realized it was a great metaphor for the end of relationships.
Ending a relationship carries great loss with it, especially when it is a romantic union. The end of a marriage, the most intimate of all romantic relationships, often feel like war. In the aftermath of divorce, one is barraged with feelings of abandonment, hurt, isolation, and despair. Those negative emotions linger for quite a while, and it sometimes seems as if they will never end. If you are fortunate, the feelings eventually go away, and hopefully, you remember why it was necessary to dissolve the union. When you are stuck in a relationship in which your thoughts are not heard, your feelings ignored, and your needs unmet--when you are stuck with someone who no longer loves you or wants to be with you—when you suffer physical, emotional or sexual abuse at your spouse’s hand--you are unable to experience your God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If you try repeatedly to change the situation, and your partner is unwilling, it may become necessary to let go.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn [sp], that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
My wedding day was the best and worst day of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed having all my family and friends there to celebrate my happiness and union to the man I loved. It was great to see my closest college friends who were living in various cities across the United States all together once again. It felt like some kind of wonderful family and friend reunion.
But I noticed that my ex-husband was not very happy that day. When the wedding proofs came back, I saw the scowl and look of concern on his face. He didn’t explain then – or ever – what was behind his despair. Instead, he withdrew into himself and remained there for the year we lived together as husband and wife. I tried repeatedly to find out what was amiss, but he wouldn’t discuss it. I prayed for and with him without ceasing, and sought advice from my therapist and close friends. I persevered, because I didn’t believe in divorce and did not want to give up on my marriage. For a year and a half after we separated, I continued to hope and pray that we could get reconciled. I refused to sign the divorce papers he had sent. Finally, after two and a half years, I had to face the fact that he was gone forever – and perhaps had never really been there.
It took many, many years for me to get over my divorce. I couldn’t trust another man for a really long time. I was terrified of giving away my heart and having it broken all over again. I was constantly filled with despair and shame that I couldn’t make that relationship work (even though I know I did all that was humanly possible). I carried feelings of sorrow and despair with me that at times were all-consuming and never-ending.
When I look at my life today, I know that I made the right decision in letting go of my failed marriage. I made myself smaller, ignored my needs, and sacrificed my wants in an effort to make him happy and hold on to the relationship. If I had stayed with him, I wouldn’t be a yoga teacher, living in DC, or able to share my passions with the world. I would never wish a divorce on anyone. But sometimes, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to say goodbye to a relationship that no longer serves you. If you are in that boat, take heart. You are not alone, and you will be grateful…. in the end.
Thanks to our Founding Fathers and Holly Meyers for the inspiration.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.