The past six months have been quite the rollercoaster. From political upheavals to a pandemic, we have had more time than ever to pause and reflect on our lives. Often, when we finally slow down enough to reflect on our life choices, we begin to revisit our past decisions. Unfortunately, during this pandemic, we have been reflecting on our past decisions during an extremely active astrological season that included Venus being in retrograde. When Venus, the planet of love, goes retrograde we begin to revisit our past relationship decisions, explore the idea of past lovers and, perhaps, make some erroneous decisions as to what connections mean. Now that Venus is out of retrograde, action is being prompted. For many of us, this means we may finally pull the trigger on a difficult decision — file those divorce papers.
Why is this really happening now? We are being asked to clear the table of relationships and old habits that no longer serve our higher purpose. While divorce can be a welcome decision for soulmates who have fulfilled their soul contracts, it is more likely that we will be seeing the end of karmic relationships happening over the next 18 months. A karmic relationship is often a challenging relationship meant to awaken us and push us toward healing. In some cases one person may move forward toward a spiritual path. This is usually the type of relationship that occurs when you have the urge to label your future ex as narcissistic and you found the healing path of yoga.
If divorce occurs with this level of consciousness, we can welcome the difficult ending of these relationships. Unfortunately, after months in quarantine, the majority of people are seeking to move forward with divorce based on their emotions alone and the fantasy that the solution to their life problems is to end a relationship and seek out a new one to rediscover the passion in their life.
The difference between those couples that are choosing to move toward a life aligned with their higher self and those that are seeking to soothe their ego is simple — when one values relationships in general, the decision is never an impulsive one. When one seeks to soothe their ego and look for another to provide the love they need, they only break one relationship to repeat it in another. Divorce, therefore, can be both a blessing for a future new life or the entry into a repetitive cycle.
Midlife Crisis and the Role of Passion and Desire
We can blame Corona for the impending onslaught of divorce procedures. However, while in quarantine, we were no longer able to distract ourselves if we were unhappy with our relationship. The lockdown shed a light on our sex lives and many of us started to question whether we had chosen a life that truly expressed our need for passion.
It doesn’t surprise me that that the divorce filings are coming from people heading toward mid-life. It is the developmentally appropriate time to re-evaluate your life and make decisions if you feel off track. We, however, have not learned much about what passion and desire really are. Whenever we break apart one relationship simply to seek passion in another, we are missing a valuable life lesson: We can create passion in our own lives, everyday, without the presence of someone else.
I’ve watched through the years as clients tore their families apart based on the erroneous assumption they would feel better in a different relationship. Yes, most people do but the ones that end up thriving later in life are the ones that took time to be single and learn about what passion means for them. A divorce can be an amazing opportunity to rediscover yourself and become more authentically you if you can move beyond the very common desire to immediately replace the relationship. And the truth is, many of us are at our best in a relationship and many of us have only been conditioned to believe we are supposed to be in one.
The Rise of Choice: To Be Coupled or Not
It is hard for many of us to imagine a time in our history where the option to not get married was not really an option for the majority of people — especially women. Being married was the only way to survive for many centuries and many people who came from higher socioeconomic classes could not choose their partners. Today, we have the opportunities not only to live life on our own individual terms, we also have the opportunities to use our relationships to help clear and heal from trauma in our family lineage. Many of us are no longer stuck in the same ways as we were in the past and yet we are still not always brave enough to step into such a journey.
My hope for the future is that we will begin to see that the rise of breakups are really opportunities for healing and for more of us to heal. The more of us who step onto this path, the more likely we will all find the people who are our life partners or higher level spiritual connections meant to bring a whole new level of what is possible in love to fruition.
Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes is a licensed psychologist, relationship expert and the forthcoming author of Toxic Insecurity: Our Search for Authentic Love. You can connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @jenniferbrhodes.