Monday Morning Medicine (podcast and text): The Dilemma of Co-creation of Intentions.
Posted by Trevor on 26 May 2013 | 11 Comments
This week I have included a text version of the podcast. I don’t normally script them, but thought this subject was important enough to share verbally and then in writing so everyone can get involved. The podcast can be found at the end of the text.
Last week I got several emails and blog comments about the topic of co-creation or sharing Intentions with the people we care about. We have touched on this subject before in a podcast but it is a difficult concept to accept, and it might help to hear my perspective on it. It is a subject that keeps coming up. What I have to say is not very popular, and I get some disagreement, but I’ll use the data from my clinical trial of one marriage and some surprising marriage statistics for proof.
First of all thanks to everyone who sends me emails or adds comments to an article or forum topic. Please don’t think I am picking on you by discussing the subject more widely. Whenever I get several communications on one topic I assume it reflects many more people out there who have the same question, so by sending feedback you are helping me help others with the same concern, and for that I am grateful.
When couples get together in such a cloud of excitement and passion, it is natural for them to share their dreams and aspirations for the future. It seems like the right thing to do because in a way they are stating that they want their partner to be part of this envisioned life. It feels good and adds apparent security to the relationship. Cupid floats over their shoulders stretching his bow. The problem with arrows is that they tend to burst the bubble when they are released.
Here are some sobering statistics from the US census that I just googled:
▪ 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
▪ 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
▪ 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
In America, there are 46,523 divorces per week and the average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. I was also surprised to learn that couples that live together prior to marriage are 40% more likely to get divorced.
If you think things are better in your country, you’ll be shocked. The US is only about 15th worst in the list. Portugal has highest ratio 68% Spain has the highest divorce to marriage ration of 61% UK 47%
Sharing those dreams and aspirations and desiring to co create really doesn’t seem to have helped does it?
Now, the data from my clinical trial of one marriage. When I was 24 years old I got married. My wife was 26 and has always introduced me as her toy boy. We had been engaged three years. We would have got married sooner but my wife’s father was a cargo ship Captain who was away up to two years at a time, so we waited for him to be home. It was 1984 and I was earning the massive income of 7000 pounds a year, about 10,000 dollars which is equivalent to $22,000 today. Warning being don’t keep cash under your mattress.
The world encouraged us to get the highest mortgage we thought we could afford because houses are the best investment and house prices never go down. I recall accepting those very words of advice from family and I believed it back then. That meant that I put a huge albatross of debt around my neck and proceeded to live on cereal and milk. I wore spectacles and could not afford to get them repaired. They were held to my ears by twisted fuse wire, and while driving if I cornered too fast they would fall off and end up swinging off one ear. When it happened the first time my wife to be laughed so much she almost wet herself. I wore tattered clothes and in our wedding photographs look emaciated. Quite what she saw in me is mystery.
Living hand to mouth, both working opposite shifts that meant most days we passed each other on the stairs.
We had a lot of fun but life was not easy. So knowing our situation back then, imagine my wife’s reaction if I told her that one day I Intended to be my own boss, have this great company, sell it for millions, build the house of my dreams, and retire financially independent before I was 50. While I am sure she believed in me, it would be nigh on impossible for her to envision that from the bedraggled specimen that was sitting before her. And that is why I never told her. I read in a book somewhere that our personal dreams should remain private because when we share them we invite doubt and sometimes even ridicule in our lives, especially from those we expect support from, and that sucks away all our enthusiasm. We feel foolish and start to doubt ourselves. We expect our partner to be fully behind us and when they show doubt or lack of equal enthusiasm conflict starts.
As I say, I don’t think sharing Intentions is behind those shocking divorce statistics, but it is symptomatic because I know all couples (except those who have read books like TSS) do it. It is not necessary to co-create to have a blast of an adventure together. You just have to have such a great, inspiring Intention for yourself that your partner would be quite happy to come along for the sheer exhilaration of the ride. It doesn’t matter if he or she believes in it, wants it, or thinks they want something different. It will be so amazing they’ll come along anyway.
Now of course we shared lesser goals of having great vacations, of going to Disneyland, of being able to one day afford a meal in a nice restaurant, of owning a car of our own… but those are not personal Intentions. My personal, private, massive Intention allowed us to share in the experience of all those things along the way. My wife loves Disneyland and I don’t care for it but I went there so many times I consider Mickey Mouse to be a personal friend. Why?… to see the sheer smile on her face that my Intention allowed to happen. I never dreamt of going to Disneyland. I dreamt of seeing her childlike happiness that could only happen when I created the financial possibility through my private Intentions.
And that is the difference. I don’t know if my wife has ever had a big, private Intention and if she has it is probably related to staying alive because she has lived with a chronic condition. I have never once asked her, not would I for fear that my reaction could interrupt her dream. Maybe she does not have one at all. All I know is that I had this massive personal Intention, in fact several of them and every time they have been fulfilled over the last 29 years she has, luckily for me, been there to savor the results.
So from my clinical data of one marriage, and the evidence of divorce statistics, I simply cannot support co-creation of Intentions. I think you are taking an unnecessary risk because you don’t both have to want the same thing to enjoy the same adventures along the journey.
I hope that helps in some way. Have a great week.