Ending The War- BreakThrough for Couples.

Jan 06, 2012

By Blake Miller & Brenda Miller, Senior BreakThrough Instructor

Brenda's Story

One day, many years ago, I was walking along a street when I passed a young man. As I looked into his eyes I had the strongest feeling that this was the man I was going to marry.  This was a bit odd because, on that very day, within hours, I was to be wed to my high school sweetheart.

My marriage went ahead as planned and I never gave that young man another thought.  Six months later my marriage crumbled and on the day of the divorce, I met the young man again and this time we began talking.  Even though I wanted to share the news that I had a strong feeling we would be spending our lives together, I didn't tell him.  Within three months he asked me to be his wife.

Before I knew it, we were married with children, but something unforeseen happened to us both. We fell asleep; we became unconscious.  We went our separate directions, even though we still lived in the same house and had children together.  It was painful.   We both felt unhappy and hurt. Neither of us knew what to do about it, so we did nothing.  But, because we were unconscious, we didn't know WHY we felt this way; we just assumed the marriage and the other one was to blame. 

Marriage doesn't come with a how-to manual, so we fumbled our way through hard times, but never seemed to make any real headway.  Why did something that felt so right in the beginning, feel so wrong after marriage?  After all, nobody marries in the hopes of becoming miserable. 

Then BreakThrough came into my life. I'd lost a pituitary tumor to BodyTalk so I was pretty excited about taking another class associated with it.

I left the first BreakThrough class I took early because the two BreakThrough's that were demonstrated were about two mom's whose children misbehaved.  One of the kids slammed a door.  The other one threw his fire truck.  My eyebrows nearly stuck themselves halfway up my forehead in disbelief.  That is the worst conflict they could find?  Don't people have real problems?  My ignorance blinded me to compassion for those two women who felt their conflicts very deeply.  I doubted that BreakThrough worked on 'real' problems.  I felt like I had real problems several times a day, and I wanted something that would work; I wasn't going to settle for anything less. I didn't feel that I got one single thing from that class, other than time with friends.  No lights came on, no 'aha's' inspired me; no reason to do any more BreakThrough.  

On the way home from the class, however, I asked the other seven women in the vehicle if we could do a BreakThrough just for fun.  They grumbled a bit since I'd hauled all of them out of the class before it was over.  Then I asked them if we could meet for a year once a week and do the Steps and see what happened.  I wasn't really that interested in BreakThrough itself, but I loved spending time with these women, so any old reason was good enough for me.  We'd travelled in a pack for a while taking BodyTalk classes and I liked being with them so I was always coming up with reasons to spend time together.

For the whole year after that first BreakThrough class I broke through conflicts I had with my husband, but I didn't tell him that.  I never said a word to him.  I had a long list of complaints, some of them serious and some of them silly.  He never got groceries.  He never cooked anything except fish, which I didn't like.  He left his socks on the floor.  He breathed too loud at supper (silly).  He worked to many hours, days, years (serious).  He didn't know how to turn on the oven. 

The Steps showed me very clearly why a man would not know how to turn on an oven; because the woman (me) took control of everything and everyone.  I needed to be responsible for EVERYTHING and DO EVERYTHING, that was where I thought my value was.  The Steps began to paint a picture of how I was living my life; doing and being for everyone else and feeling exhausted and down-hearted. 

The more I worked with BreakThrough, the more it hit me that "I need others to be irresponsible so that I can be responsible for them!" And worse still that's where I was getting my value!  

This is when I sat myself down and asked myself a really important question.  "Do you want to live like this anymore?" Of course, I didn't.  But, at the same time, I was scared of change.  Still, the dawning realizations I was having from this work clearly demonstrated that how I was living my life wasn't serving me or anyone else. 

With each passing week, I came into more and more awareness about how I treated Blake, and how I was treating myself.  When I examined my beliefs under the compassionate microscope that BreakThrough is, I saw that the beliefs didn't work. I didn't feel in control of anything even though I wanted to control everyone by being responsible for them so I could feel valued.  I felt like an over-worked, over-stressed, unappreciated servant.  It was self-induced craziness.  I was more or less showing others in my life that "you don't need to live your life. I can do it for you!" My scheme, unknowingly, was to make myself useful to everyone by being responsible for things that weren't my business.  It made me tired and unhappy; I didn't feel valuable, I felt useless and worthless.

As I broke through each separate trigger, without saying a word to Blake, he began to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work, he began doing the laundry sometimes, his and mine, helping me cook and clean up after a meal, but most importantly of all, he began to really talk with me. 

We talked about our problems.  We talked about how we couldn't live like this anymore and decided to separate.  With all the BreakThrough work I'd done, I didn't expect that to happen.  At the same time I had a solid feeling inside of me that I couldn't and wouldn't live like we were living – ever again.  We agreed that something had gone very wrong in our marriage.  Neither of us could see what might help us; all we could see was that the way we were living wasn't good for either of us.  We both cried when we said goodbye and neither of us could believe this was happening; in so many ways we still loved each other.  After he left, I cried so hard my eyes stuck themselves shut.  But, I knew it was the right thing to do.  Something had to change.  Oddly enough, I realized that the work I had done on myself had uncovered the strength in me to separate.  It was a healthy and practical step even though it was so painful. 

Because of the work I'd done on myself I was now strong enough to begin to meet my needs with understanding.  I needed to move out of a relationship that was unhealthy. 

Through the separation, I kept doing the Steps, sometimes more than ten times a week.  Then, the blame fell away. 

After four months he came to me and said that he loved me; he was now the one with a feeling we were going to be together.   I had always had one wish, and that was that this man with the beautiful blue eyes, would love me.  I couldn't ever remember not loving him, so we decided to try to work out our problems and ended the separation. 

Within a couple of weeks he took BreakThrough 1 and that began a whole new story.  Now we both had a tool to use to bring us into awareness about our conflicts.  I stopped doing everything and he stopped working non-stop and we began living a very different life. 

One day he picked up a book and read a passage and asked me what I thought about it.  Blake has worked in the oil patch for forty years and the only thing he's ever made time to read is oilfield related.  In that moment, I knew that this work was a gift for all of humankind. 

I had had a secret wish that I would have a partner who would sit with me and read me something that interested us and then he'd ask me what I thought and we would share thoughts and feelings about it.  I never told anyone about that secret wish.  Not even during a Steps.  This may sound hokey or silly or even unimportant or unrelated to the Steps.  It isn't.  It's not really about him reading that passage out of a book and then talking with me about it, it's about having someone to do what you love with. 

Why did Blake begin participating in our daily living chores?  Without thinking about it, I stopped living from the place of 'doing everything' and he naturally did what comes natural; he became a partner in all ways. 

Only when I was ready for a real partner, did he take BreakThrough. After we started doing the Steps together, we began living a love story even though we are two old, past-their-prime people.   We don't seem to care that we are old or past our prime, and find ourselves living life in love.  We still have some very real conflicts but now conflicts are reliable teachers, not deal breakers.  And even if the conflicts end up being a deal breaker, I'd rather separate again than live less than fully. 

The more real self-inquiry work you do, the more joyful your life becomes.  Wishes and dreams come true.  I don't except you to believe me, and I won't listen to you complain about your life, either.  I began to see that this work is such a blessed act of love that I would be crazy if I did doubt it.   I got hooked on feeling natural, laughing more, hurting less, connecting with others, practicing honesty, playing, loving, and feeling compassion – that all became the baseline for me. 

Today, Blake and I do BreakThrough together every time we have a conflict.  We feel the grace wash over us every time we do the Steps. We like being with each other.  How to play and how to love, all come naturally to us now, thanks to this work.  I couldn't make up how good our lives are together, and I have a good imagination.  It's kind of a miracle.  The reality is better than any fantasy I've ever had.

We have two chairs in our home referred to as the 'BreakThrough chairs' in our neighborhood.  Other couples have come to me and said that they want what Blake and I have.  I asked them what we have, and they say love, that's what we have and that's what they want.  At first I wondered how they could see how much we've changed, but when I thought about it, I came to understand that love isn't hard to spot.  Now people come and sit in our BreakThrough chairs and fall back in love, but this kind of love is so different than the love that is blind.  This kind of love has constant surprises because there are fewer expectations.  This kind of love is deep, wordless and touches on joy for no reason much of the time. 

Peace keeps happening when we put any conflict up against the Steps.  That keeps surprising me even thought this work feels like my life's work and I do it regularly. 

The war between couples is fought on wounded ground.  BreakThrough ends the pain of ignorance and you end up where you started your life; free and in love.   We don't know where we'll end up, and perhaps you won't end up with a partner, but you do end up feeling free and in love: with yourself and when that happens, everything is brighter. 

The Steps do all the work.  All you have to do is answer the questions, honestly.

If you have a partner, or even if you don't, and would like a joyful relationship with yourself or another, BreakThrough may be for you.  You might not 'get it' the first or second time, or even the third time you take BreakThrough, but if you persist and have a little bit of courage, enough to tell the truth, your reality, too, will become better than any fantasy you've ever had. 

Blake's Story

I started falling in love with Brenda on the first night we met.  It seemed like we had something special and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was opening up to someone.  We couldn't keep away from each other.

We got married, had children and our lives got busy and we fell into bad habits and didn't really live anymore; and then it got worse.  At that point I began to blame myself and Brenda for a life gone a way I didn't want it to go.  And although it seemed like our lives were successful in some ways, we kept growing apart.  Then, Brenda started going to some classes that I didn't understand (BodyTalk and BreakThrough) and it seemed like that was highlighting the different and unhappy directions we seemed to be taking. 

When Brenda took BreakThrough, she didn't tell me much about it and we never did it together, but I could see her feeling more content.  Then the hard part came, and that's where we separated because we could see that we weren't really living.  How could I love her and she love me and we not be able to work it out?

During the separation, I read Ekhart Tolle and that turned my head.  The blaming of other and self began to disappear.  Through that I could see that I loved Brenda.  That began my journey back.

We started doing BreakThrough with each other and it was so beautiful to work out problems that way.  Our relationship held feelings of being back to our first date.  It was very exciting to feel the sense of warm, strong and deep love.  The BreakThrough's were a big part of our days then, and they are now.  My realization of what BreakThrough was doing for me was becoming evident. This work rebuilt our relationship.  I became less and less scared of the work.

For men, I think it's a scary feeling to do this work.  I was resistant at times and denied some of my triggers.  With some of Brenda's patient encouragement and dedication to the work, I was able to find some damaging behaviors I had no idea I was doing. 

I would also like to say to other men that it's so easy for us to blame our partners and go on denying that the problems have anything to do with us.  This work will show you that the hurt you think that the other has caused is actually inside of you.  Blame is the hurtle you have to get over to be able to see what hurts you.  The Steps do that for you.  When you take a minute to stop blaming, it frees the mind up and you let go of who you were acting as and that gives you the opportunity to see who you are and to see what's hurting inside of yourself.  At first I found it very difficult to take responsibility for my actions and sometimes still find it difficult.  But, when I do, through the Steps, there is lots of joy and relief, and love and happiness.  When you love yourself this way, then you can love others.  When you hurt yourself by not taking responsibility, you hurt others too. 

I feel that many men, if they're like me, instead of being honest when they have an issue, do what I sometimes do, which is avoid, defend, deny, and twist words so I don't look bad, which is not taking responsibility, and I look bad anyway.  That's not what I want for my life.  When I deny and defend I'm not happy.  When I take responsibility, I am happy. 

I don't always want to face myself, but when I do it, I'm very grateful for Brenda and this work because I realize it's exactly what I want to do.  I feel awful when I'm blaming and don't' want to feel like that anymore. 

Brenda and I are still not without conflict, but now we sit down and do the work right away and come right back to love. 

I know this is an article about couples, but I've had many physical benefits from the Steps too, so I know it's working in all areas of my life.

BreakThrough has made the biggest changes in my life and I am so grateful for it.  There is a way to free yourself.

From the place of my improved well-being and feeling about my relationship, I'd like to encourage all men to do this work to improve their own well-being and relationships.  BreakThrough is really a teacher.  When you stop living from rules that don't work, you start living life as it was meant to be lived.  It's really a nice way to live.

Our Story

Our future is unpredictable. 

We still have issues that we work and hopefully a day will come where we don't have many issues to work.  Until then, love comes easier, joy is present more often, and, understanding and compassion don't take so long to rise up.  

Doing BreakThrough as a regular part of our 'help-self' has been like harvesting love.    

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