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August 21st, 2023

How our marriage is really starting after 25 yearsLessons thanks to my sisters

The past few weeks have been particularly intense. For the umpteenth time, something happened in our relationship that apparently just didn’t resolve. And I almost had thrown in the towel. Was I done with our marriage. But… everything that is in my vibration (also what is not resolved) comes back into my life. Until I learn the lesson from it (sometimes finally) and it disappears from my frequency and thus from my life. And the women, who are actually my sisters, I sometimes cursed, but in the end they offered me the insight, which I needed. Doesn’t mean that this solves everything, but now I know where I have work to do and it feels like starting over.

The biggest life lesson I learn from my ‘sisters’. Over the past year, I’ve seen quite a few posts about Sisters and Sisterhood go by. And there were women I really couldn’t think of as sisters. Only in the last week have I realised that all women are my sisters. Only sisters don’t necessarily involve love. In this case, a slap in the face every time, where they actually, without knowing it, held up a mirror to me.

Feminine energy

In terms of feminine energy, I have had (in retrospect) a huge deficit in my life so far. Only in 2016 did I experience how nice it is when a group of women is together. Without men there. And how we can carry and support each other. I did want more of that. I don’t really manage that yet.

The women who did exist in my professional life were often women with a masculine energy, because although they think a woman with a high position is necessary in business, they forget to do so with their feminine energy, but as women, they actually just stand their ground in a male dominant world.

I also think, this is being made more and more ‘normal’. The soft female energy is not allowed to be there. Because then people are allowed to be who they are. Using their talents and love is allowed to flow. And then the world becomes that beautiful place, which a small, but influential group, especially does not want to see.

Women in the male energy (including myself)

Currently, I see very clearly in what is happening and happened in the Netherlands.
For instance, there was the ‘a smart girl is prepared for her future’ campaign that ran from 1989-1992. According to wikipedia: The aim of this information campaign was to stimulate emancipation and labour participation among girls and young women, and to make them aware that they would not be able to rely on the financial situation of the breadwinner model in the future.

This campaign also already used techniques to influence people. Of course, you also want to be seen as smart. And so two-income families became the norm:

Day nurseries shot up like crazy for all those children who were no longer being raised by their often loving mothers. You can also see that this generation struggles with raising children.

For example, I see millennials (born between 1980-1999) struggling with parenting because they often raise their children without rules and boundaries. Things a child needs. Because crossing boundaries is part of discovering life. And even my daughter of 20 (2003, i.e. generation Z) sees how children behave with such a boundless upbringing.

Feminism, women at the top and positive discrimination

For a while, under the guise of positive discrimination, companies had to hire a woman if there was an equality with a male applicant. And of course, we regularly hear how many women are at the top. And how little that is in percentage terms. And neither money nor effort is spared to ensure women get to the top. Why? First, because they get to be torned away from their family. And almost always these women lead from their masculine energy. The publishing industry is a great example of this. Many women in high positions, but I don’t know anyone who actually embraces this role from being a woman. Often it is feminists who believe that women at the top is important. But meanwhile lead in the male way. As a result, nothing changes in the workplace. Take a look at this page, and how these women even recommend the male way of working:

Incidentally, as soon as I hear figures and that people think this number really needs to go up and ask what it will take to do so, I think, “Ask the women themselves. Ask if she wants to be at the top. Ask if she wants to risk not being able to have children anymore. That she won’t have any more free time. That her career comes before her personal happiness.” Many women run into burnout sooner or later. The quarterlife crisis is similar. If you deny yourSELF, don’t listen to your own needs, don’t learn to respect your limits, then the “man with the hammer” will come and he will make sure you do have to stand still. The stubborn women, are even more likely to suffer burnout. They are already so programmed that you have to go along with the flow, that it is seen as failure if they don’t. And so they change themselves, deny themselves, just to fit into the picture someone else created. Instead of looking at what they would really like, and finding an appropriate form of income to go with it.

More and more time spend on work/job

With the rise of mobile phones, we saw another new trend emerge. In the beginning, a mobile phone was a condition of employment that was seen as special. And employees therefore thought it was very cool if they received a mobile phone from their employer. Now, of course, this has become commonplace, but what this has created is that even for the ‘boss’ (what a shitty term btw), we are still busy in our private time. The off button is no longer there the moment we close the office door or the staff entrance. Whereas it used to be unthinkable to be bothered by work outside your working hours, almost everyone has now accepted that this is part of the job!!! And you are actually considered a rather a-social employee if you feel that your private time belongs to you. Precisely, with our lives taking place at campsites over the last year, we see how often people are actually called by their work/clients.

Not only less real women, also less real men

In diezelfde periode zijn er steeds minder ‘echte mannen’ gekomen. De zogenaamde ‘metroman’ deed zijn intrede. Vooral herkenbaar During the same period, there were fewer and fewer ‘real men’. The so-called ‘metroman’ made their appearance. Mostly recognisable by their appearance. Wikipedia says this

Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that's where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ. In the Nineties, he's everywhere and he's going shopping.

And no-offense metrosexuals, the real man has been relegated to the background as a result. The hunter instinct is deteriorating. The need to take care of the family. The need to defend the family members, or defend injustice has become more and more of an oddity with the advent of the metrosexual. And frankly, since 2020, I understand very well, why that is very fine. The man who fights for freedom. Who stands up for injustice is almost non-existent. By the way, this is not necessarily a negative thing. I believe that we are fighting this battle on a very different calibre. And that victory comes thanks to everyone who believe that action is NOT requiered and they are not fighting for or against something. They ‘simply’ create the new world.

In Dutch it was first called a Metroman. Via wikipedia, I now see that they have now also attached ‘metrosexual’ to that term. Although it has NOTHING to do with sexuality, but of course that totally fits in with the 2030 Agenda which we are now seeing the LGBTQ movement making its advance and where since 2022, preschoolers in The Netherlands have been going through the program ‘Kriebels in je buik’ (butterflies in your tummy) already learning about sex, preference for boy/girl masturbation etc..

And earlier in 2023, the Miss Universe pageant in the Netherlands was won by a transgender woman. The by birth woman, no longer counts. Everything is about political agendas. Many years ago, I discovered this with the Eurovisian Song Contest. Since then, I have started to see it on many more things.

Really, I have nothing against different sexual preferences. And I have nothing against men and women who feel they are in the wrong body. Back in 1992 in Tunisia, I had a from birth woman who had since become a young man, as a (very nice) guest. And thanks to the travel agency, that earned him a challenge that I was allowed to solve. But you fall for a woman, or a man or someone’s energy (regardless of gender). I don’t think there is anyone who says they exclusively fall for a transgender man or woman.

Transgender just means that the gender you have (or what you don’t even have to have by now, but can say you feel that way) was not obtained at birth, but chosen later. And the latest development is that you don’t even have to have completed the operation to become a man/woman to go through life as a man or woman, but that this is based on feeling. I am curious to know whether the m/f in a passport will therefore also come off, as this no longer has any added value.

We always choose a different path

Anyway… We have been very conscious of these steps. When hubby fell ill due to illness right after the birth of our eldest, I went to work full-time. Even though he was back to his old self 1.5 years later, at that time there were too few jobs and companies thought you had been out too long. He couldn’t get a job anymore. Besides, keeping a job was already a challenge for him 😉 . From that more or less forced choice (in retrospect I can say choice on a soul level), there was always a parent at home for our children. And we didn’t think it was worth giving up that base for a few hundred euros extra.

In 2007, when the eldest had just turned 7, we moved from Kampen to Dronten. To our first house we bought. We deliberately chose a place where we could still buy a house on the basis of 1 income. Because, we had known for a long time, we NEVER wanted the burden to be based on two incomes, even if we both had jobs.

The second income should always be extra. And never needed. That meant making choices. And so moving and changing the children’s school and environment. I still think that was a good choice for us. Also, when we changed schools again within Dronten. The welfare of the children was paramount. And sometimes it seems difficult to change schools, but actually they feel much better when they go to a school where they feel good. Incidentally, school choice was another thing. I would have liked to have chosen Freinet education. But although by 2007 The Secret came out and I read it too, I still didn’t understand much about manifesting. There was such a school in Blokzijl. But that was in a place with much more rain than elsewhere, AND it was far away from many employers. I didn’t dare take that risk back then.

Sisters without the -hood

Anyway… Back to Sisters… I deliberately don’t say sisterhood. Because in a hood, in my opinion, you are supposed to be safe. And the sisters who showed me lessons reinforced my sense of being unsafe.

24 August 2023 marks 27 years since I first saw hubby and immediately knew I would marry him. It is also the day we got married 25 years ago. Last week, we expressed our doubts for the first time. One because he was giving up his freedom. The other because she doubted he takes enough responsibility.

In all these years, I have also noticed that in the month of an anniversary, our relationship was always under extra pressure. Only this year did I start looking at this very consciously. Because why is precisely the celebration moment always a sh*tmoment in the end? I now realise that dissatisfaction within the relationship is ultimately the reason for this. Disappointment that the partnership is not as I hoped. That the other person is not and does not do what I hoped. And that I always have to stand again to ‘save’ us as a family. (Yes, I also know by now that I choose to do that myself – I’m just not very good at letting things run into).

Right sisters gave me a huge kick in that every time… After all, there are many women who find hubby handsome. Some of them want him. And hubby, in turn, is quite keen on attention. These sisters don’t care that he has a wife and 3 children. They have set him as their goal and are going for it. One sophisticated, the other through detours.

I feel when his heart is no longer just with me. Even though nothing else has happened, energetically a distance is created between us each time. I know immediately: another sister is involved.

Open relationshiop

We see with many that the path of spirituality means that an open relationship should be possible. And I have to tell you that in 2017, the moment hubby had a retreat in Portugal, I gave him ‘carte blanche’. Change was needed. In him and in our relationship. And if that meant meeting someone else, so be it. And then we talked about whether we wanted that. Also left it open once for six months or so. Open to whatever would present itself. Nothing happened, but we did get the realisation that we both chose NOT to have an open relationship. And should another relationship present itself, a choice would have to be made.

In 2020/2021, that open relationship thing came out in full force in the spiritual world. Anything went. And especially men often feel, that anything goes. So too in Portugal.

And we saw and see one relationship, after another breaking down. Families falling apart. Dreams falling apart.

But who actually says that open relationships MUST if you want to be spiritual? Is that also in the list of points you have to meet? Just like that you have to believe in a flat earth to really be called awake? We all create our own reality. And if you have to do anything at all in this life, it is to listen to your own heart. And discovering where the little voices are coming from. Because sometimes, of course, it’s fine to do something exciting and outside your comfort zone. Therein lies growth, after all. But that doesn’t mean that a concept you completely agree with intellectually (we don’t own each other) can remain emotionally supportive. And there is NOTHING wrong, in my view, if you come to the conclusion, that you don’t want to share someone. Regardless of what causes that. We are where we are, right now.

Sister that is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back

Last month, there was another sister. And although hubby could know by now when someone wants something more from him than just someone to talk to, or someone to do chores for her, his ego still got happy again from the attention and especially from the energetic connection that was also made this time. I knew immediately. And I also realised again, that once again it comes at a time of anniversary.

This time it was intense… I cried tears. My ego played up quite a bit. Full of self pitty.

In 2019, I already felt I would like to be alone for once. I looked into an option of renting something near my work during the week at a campsite or something, in nature, and then being home on weekends. I could then cycle to work so hubby had the car available. I didn’t find that place. And then came C. I had to work from home. Husband was allowed to go to work because they made operating systems for the food industry. And that industry was apparently not allowed to go on hiatus. True, I was now regularly home alone, but then I also worked. And there was C, where all my attention went. We decided to go in May and left in August. By then there was no me-time at all, just very hard work to get everything cleaned up on time.

Now we live in a caravan. Which is maybe 9m². Not really a place to be alone. Then one of two has to leave. I can’t express my emotions if I want to do so unseen. I have nowhere to retreat to for a while. In Portugal, by the way, things were better. But since we have been travelling since last April, and mainly living in campsites, any kind of retreat has been done. But most of all, I realise now: why is hubby not allowed to see my emotions? Not to know what is going on in my emotional life?

Who sees me, who sees my package?

We are an odd couple: originally a hard rocker and a classy girl, a handsome man with an overweight woman. I have noticed that many people would not put us together as a couple because of this.

In Portugal, I learned who does. Those who look at people, rather than packaging, know that we are a wonderful match. Of course with our challenges, but there is also clearly a very strong bond.

At one our Soup for Our Soul family evenings, one at which I think only 3 people attended. 1 woman came who immediately assumed that hubby and our ‘skinny’ friend were a couple. By now I had already learnt my lesson and so knew what her focus was.

It was an important insight. Who sees ME and who sees MY BODY?

But clearly, more reflection was needed.

The past weeks I’ve contemplated a lot. I even assumed our marriage was over.
After all those years, I still was treated without respect. Boohoohoo. I deserve better. YES!

If everything is a mirror. What is reflecting within me?

I started talking to myself and to a friend and also to hubby. And I listened to several podcasts. And I came to the following insights:

  • I do not receive respect, if I can no longer see hubby himself with respect (for whatever reasons valid to me)
  • Husbandlove has always had ailments and illnesses, which in my eyes caused him to get out from under duties and responsibilities. Hilleen was then going to sort it out. In the beginning from love, but eventually with anger and frustration. So he couldn’t take responsibility either, because I always took responsibility.
  • If I don’t like my own body, how can I see that he does like mine?
  • We hadn’t really talked about our feelings for a long time, but I had since put that responsibility on him and taken it away from me.
  • I would like to sparkle and shine more. That is in me and hubby is not responsible for that. He can support and help me though.
  • I would like more time to myself. Not always doing things together. That is something I have to do myself, indeed, allow myself. After all, hubby doesn’t stop me, I stop myself.
  • Husband makes little effort to make me feel seen. Despite knowing that I do like certain days or moments, he rarely makes an effort. And I recently discovered that he doesn’t feel seen either. Doesn’t feel taken seriously!
  • If I don’t set boundaries, I can’t expect hubby to take them into account either.
  • If I don’t say what I like, I can’t expect hubby to take that into account either. He is not a mindreader.
  • We both usually respond to each other from the ego, not from our love.

We can react humanly with an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but then we get nowhere. Not in this relationship and not in this life.

Of course, it is not for nothing that all kinds of posts/articles/podcasts appeared that made me think extra. Some days I saw all kinds of birds flying. Often in a V formation. The V of vrijheid (in Dutch = Freedom) I thought at the time. So an affirmation to get out of the relationship.

But much more often I read or heard things that went the opposite way. And basically they come down to this:

If I don’t change, I will face the same issues in a new relationship.

So I don’t get anything out of the relationship. The reason I didn’t do it before either is because our meeting was magical, but something magical happened in 2017 too, which clearly showed that we belong together. Putting an end to the relationship didn’t work for me either because of that.

We are also a rock-solid team…. When we want to be.

So we’ve talked and cried a lot over the past few weeks. And finally we’re talking about feelings again. What moves us. What we like. What we missed. Etc.

From both sides, the commitment is there. And that feels very nice. Alone, of course, a relationship cannot be saved.

In early 2022, I imagined us (thanks to our investments) having a wonderful party on the beach at some exotic resort. Me finally wearing the green evening dress I had wanted to get married in, but couldn’t find anywhere at the time (before the age of the internet 😉 ). With our children and whoever we wanted to be there at that time.

The reality is slightly different. We are pretty much flat broke, camping in Friesland and not unpacking. Still, there is reason for our own modest party: Even after 25 years, I choose him again.

Thanks to all the sisters who kept coming my way, I see where I still have work to do. It’s actually bizarre that it took 25 years of marriage for me to finally choose to do things differently together. Pfiew…

I realise I need to value myself. I may set boundaries, but I may also ask for more. To listen more. And above all to always stay in love. We all have our ego. The little me and the little him that wants to react in a certain way based on past experiences. If I can look with compassion at where the reaction may come from, I can move past my ego.

Yesterday we were at a beautiful place, a Buddhist temple in the north of Friesland. And there was a very beautiful text hanging there. I took this part into my heart. I felt: this is how I want to live and be this is how our relationship finally gets a chance to be full:

"Any being who purifies his or her heart/mind from irritation and anger, covetousness and greed, jealousy and arrogance, in that person the heart/mind opens with unconditional love and compassion for all beings, without distinction between family, or stranger, friend or foe, man or woman, human or animal, or whatever. And when the heart/mind opens so unconditionally to all beings, then wisdom and insight also unfold and all qualities of mind also unfold, and the one in whom this process is completely complete, we call him Buddha."

Note to self: I don’t need to become the 5th Buddha, but I do wnat to remain in love as much as possible and respond from there ❤️.

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