I don't know exactly when I decided to ditch my husband, but my plan was to be free of him as soon as our youngest child graduated from high school. Now, a few years later, we're thriving together.
I kept quiet about my plan because we had one of those marriages where everything looked good on the outside: Tim was successful in his career, a great guy, fit, attractive, and a decent, yet often absent, dad. We had a close family, and by the standards of our suburban New York professional world, it was a solid and satisfying union.
So what was the problem? I'd given up my career because two full-time journalists in one family didn't seem to mesh with anything but a 24/7 nanny. While I worked part-time and contributed to my community in many ways, I was unsatisfied but dampened my bigger ambitions.
With the kids growing up, I was feeling even more bored and disconnected from myself and from my husband. I was craving more challenge, but I had no idea what I wanted. My "choosing muscle" had atrophied from years of putting family first.
Meanwhile, things were going swimmingly for Tim, including having an executive coach who had done an admirable job of waking him from the trance of the professional treadmill. He began meditating, exploring "higher purpose" and traveled regularly to the West Coast for gatherings of his conscious leadership group. He'd return home from these sessions happier than ever - and demanding change in everything, including me. "Everything's better in California," I'd complain.
With each day that passed, he was happier; I was more miserable.
One April day, I had my Aha Moment. This surge of aliveness as I drove to a hair cut appointment triggered clarity about my choices: slide further into righteous resentment and anger toward a well-timed divorce or put on my big girl pants and create the life I wanted -- and accept that we might split up anyway.
But I had become so disconnected. Where could I start? I pulled the car over and called for help. Within a few months, I found myself studying at the feet of my own guru and rediscovering my own vision.
Through practice, I learned techniques to help me connect with what I really wanted and how to get it on my own. (Not what others wanted for me or what I thought I "should" do.) This clarity of desire allowed me to move beyond my old limited choices and my old "Ditch My Husband" plan.
Tim and I had created an unsatisfying marriage choice by choice. Now we are choosing -- individually and as a couple -- to create what we want, choice by choice.
Take the first step yourself: What do you really want?
Take Action Now: Close your eyes. Get a mental picture of a joyous life event or decision, a time when you said to yourself: "Yes!" with your whole body. Recall how every part of your body felt: your hands, feet, belly, chest, and even your jaw. Now, think about the next small decision today, perhaps what to eat for lunch. Use as many senses as you can to explore your choices and notice how your body responds to the options. Eat only what brings up a "Hell Yes!" When you've built your "Hell Yes!" muscle on the little things, move on to the bigger choices in your life.
Try this technique and comment below on your "Hell Yes! today.
The average American marriage now lasts about seven years. By that measure, Meg Dennison and Tim Peek are on their fourth marriage — still with each other. Tim and Meg believe that relationships of all kinds are created choice by choice. They advise couples, individuals and businesses on making the best choices. They reveal the worst relationship mistakes in love and work here.