'Til Death Do Us Part...
"...a must read for anyone
going through a relationship transition"
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'Til Death Do Us Part...
One Woman's Painful Journey to
Save Her Relationship While
Building a Network Marketing Empire
This is the story of a fairytale romance that culminated in marital crisis.
My intent in writing it is to raise consciousness that a new paradigm
is needed as couples embrace marriage today. Challenges in relationships
are inevitable. Given this, I propose that our objective be to emerge
from our marital crises more ready than ever to make sound choices-either
to renew and enhance our existing unions or to move on, transforming feelings
of devastation into uplifting new beginnings without the usual sense of
blame and failure. Such an outlook could open the way for giving birth
to new types of relationships-primary partnerships that place more focus
on each others personal development.
Of all the people we have come to know, or will ever know, there is something
extraordinarily special about those with whom we have shared the emotional
and sexual intimacies of living together in marriage or an equally close
commitment. These relationships not only shape our life story, but also
the unfolding and expansion of us as persons. It would be most unfortunate
if, at the ending of such a partnership, we found nothing to appreciate.
The merit of a relationship is not necessarily in its lasting forever.
Its value lies in the journey two people shared while together. The more
we can appreciate our relationships and honor them for the unique contribution
they made to our lives, the less devastation there will be surrounding
Of course, our human nature will always lead us to enter relationships
with the belief and commitment that they will last forever. No one goes
into intimate partnerships expecting serious crises, much less for them
to end. Certainly I never have. But neither can we go on, as a society,
burying our collective heads in the sand: More than one out of two marriages,
including the second and third nuptials, ends in divorce. And the rest
end in death. These arent hypotheses. These are facts. And with
the extended longevity of life, these statistics are likely to increase,
not diminish. Endings are inevitable. Isnt it time that we cease
being so surprised if or when our relationships reach an impasse? Isnt
it time that we acknowledge this reality and find healthier, more compassionate
ways for coping with these unavoidable events?
That is not to say that, for both sides, partings are not fraught with
emotion, anguish, and despair. The pain of a relationship ending is unavoidable.
The very roots of our soul are shaken. For those of us who have been left
feeling that deep sense of abandonment, we doubt our ability to go on
without our partner. It is difficult, at first, to see any future at all.
We lack confidence in ourselves and in our ability to stand on our own.
The only good news about these debilitating experiences is that, without
them, we could not possibly create a new life for ourselves-a life founded
on purpose and driven by conviction.
Some will, by necessity or choice, continue on together in a new form
of relationship after the old form ends. Whether out of convenience or
a mutually redefined transformation of the shared bond, fault-finding
and accusation must be replaced with forgiveness and reconciling love
in order to be able to go on effectively in each others lives. If
children are involved, both parties should feel compelled to put the childrens
good ahead of their own personal emotions. This isnt an option but
should be considered mandatory for the basic human dignity of lives that
otherwise cannot yet fend for themselves. If the couple decides to continue
a friendship or professional association, the healing process must be
respected. Once it is complete, the alliance can often become one of deep
friendship and authentic sharing. If the encounter is just to fill the
emptiness, a continued involvement may not be as healthy.
As we move from one relationship to the next, it is less a matter of
learning from the mistakes we made and more of giving ourselves permission
to absorb the good that came from the relationship and allow it to propel
us to the next level of interpersonal relations. This can only happen
by choice. You and I have the power within us to create any attitude we
choose. Instead of focusing on the hurts and the disappointments and what
has come between us, we have the choice to focus on what drew us together.
Scientists with no theistic tendencies have concluded that the human
thought is more powerful than electricity, more forceful than an atomic
explosion. Human thought can transcend the physical universe. It is my
hope that this book will enable you to utilize various means of self-empowerment-already
accessible to you and perhaps lying dormant-to take hold of the steering
wheel of your life and set it on course, accelerating wherever you feel
bogged down and slowing down in moments worth savoring.
I remember years ago when "process philosophy" was popularized.
I studied it hungrily, and today I cannot imagine anything not in "process."
It is that forward thrust that gives life its meaning, in which each conclusion
is only the beginning of yet another level of personal growth, a new transition
of life experience.
At whatever stage of life you find yourself at this moment, I trust you
will enjoy the honest depicting of my story. It is not my intention to
represent myself as an expert on relationships, but rather as someone
who has been through the ending of deep relationships often enough to
perhaps have something of value to share-as much by my mistakes as by
those matters I handled with some maturity. Nor is it my desire to offer
you cookie-cutter solutions for your own relationships. So much of life
is looking inside of ourselves and discovering who we are as authentic
persons. Having done this, you and you alone will know how to address
your own relationship crises: when to renew the existing partnership and
when to let it go and begin again to create a new spiritual bonding.
After much thought, I have chosen storytelling over the more traditional
self-help book to reach readers who may be encountering marital crises,
perhaps feeling trapped in a marriage or wallowing in the self-pitying
stage of abandonment after a relationship has ended. I hope also to touch
the souls of those who leave relationships with no tears, no sense of
loss in moving on, yet find themselves troubled when the same pattern
keeps repeating itself. Using the narrative art form, I feel freer to
share a series of processes that helped me emerge from the depths of my
despair to actually discover solutions to my own dilemma and experience
the joy that follows.
The story I am about to tell is my story, told through my eyes, my feelings,
and my perspective. It is as accurate a story as can be when told through
one persons viewpoint. At my husbands encouragement, I began
writing this book in the summer of 1996 while we were living in our second
home in Gstaad, Switzerland. I had titled it "Marriage and Merger."
Serious problems had not yet arisen and, therefore, my purpose in writing
at that time was to share insights into the successful achievement of
having both a personal relationship and a business partnership. I have
the advantage of having written about many of the blissful parts of our
life while I was experiencing the relationship that way.
Two years later, by the summer of 1998, I had retreated to Sunset Beach
just south of Santa Cruz, California, and used writing as a means of expressing
my sadness and pain. From the perspective of the value of this as a piece
of literature, it is good that I also wrote this portion of my story while
I was going through the despondency. The letters, poetry, and e-mails
are exactly as they were because I saved them. I would often capture the
dialogue shortly after it occurred, recalling it as accurately as I could.
Out of respect for those in the story, I have not attempted to second-guess
their attitudes. Rather, I am unfolding a story only as I experienced
It is not my intention to denigrate any person in this story. I hope
to share enough background and family heritage to help the reader see
the patterns that inevitably form throughout the decades of family history.
That is not to excuse some behavior, but it does help us understand it.
If in every conversation, every human exchange, we had the ability to
know each others family lineage and deeply grooved models for living
life, how much more sympathetic we might be of each others perspective
about life. I attempt to interject this into some of the dialogue as the
An alcoholic often chooses to be open about his disease for two reasons:
hoping to help others by the honest exposure as well as to keep from falling
back into old patterns. It has not been an impulsive decision on my part
to tell my story. But after deep consideration, thoughtful prayer, and
guidance from those upon whom I rely, I have concluded that sharing my
story is akin to the alcoholic model. If I can effect change in public
attitude toward marriage, divorce, and starting over after the loss of
someone special in our lives, the good for the whole of society is offset
by the discomfort I may cause myself and a handful of people in my life.
I have shared my own shortcomings and the evolution of my personal growth
with all the awareness of which Im capable. By doing so, if I can
help even one individual overcome the belief that he or she has failed,
is a victim, has let the children down, is unlovable, or is unworthy of
having a loving relationship, then the self-exposure has been worth it.
My purpose is not only to set forth a compelling narrative. Through this
book, I hope to recount how one seemingly overpowering love affair-one
that touched and transformed the lives of many people, and certainly the
two of us and our children in a dramatic way-could reach the point of
such devastation. By telling my story-our story-my objective is to embrace
the myriad of others who have suffered their own losses and have gone
through their own crises, separations, or endings. It is my hope that
together we may find our exodus out of the dark cavity - the debilitating
anguish and inherent failure associated with the temporary separation
or permanent ending of a relationship - into an illuminated realm of joyous
Of all the people I know, certainly I-not only raised Catholic but one
who spent several years as a nun and holds a Masters in Theology-had
every reason to believe that I would grow up, get married, bear children,
and live with my husband "til death do us part." But now,
having lived through more than forty years of close relationships (counting
my high school sweetheart), including more than twenty years of cumulative
marriages, and observing firsthand the changes in our society, I recognize
the unlikelihood of that occurrence for the majority of couples today.
While I remain in awe of those who achieve this phenomenon, it is my objective
to open up new paradigm possibilities for those whose lives move in different
directions (the etymology of the word "divorce"), perhaps more
than once. When we face these crossroads, perhaps we will begin to look
beyond the legal and fiscal confinements of traditional marriage and explore
alternatives-life choices wherein more emphasis is placed on the personal
and spiritual growth of ourselves and our partners. If something I share
in this book compels you to take stock of your relationship and to clarify
your direction, then this will have been a worthwhile project.
Rene Reid Yarnell