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Nurturing and Releasing Options

by Crystal

When a marriage encounters issues you have three options.   You can work to improve things, accept things as they are and stay in dis-ease, or choose to leave. 

The whole purpose of this site is to support people as they work to find more fulfillment in their lives and/or marriages so that leaves only two choices in which to focus.  They are the:


1.  Nurturing Option

2.  Releasing Option


The first, the Nurturing option, is choosing to stay committed to the marriage and work to bring it back to a healthy state of happiness and fulfillment.


The second, the Releasing option, is executed when there does not seem to be hope for the boundaries of both parties to be met and a parting of ways is the best solution for both sides to find happiness again.


In order to try to explain these two options with some clarity, we offer up the following worst case scenarios:

Jack and Jill were married.

One day, Jack does the unbelievable. He encounters someone who triggers an emotion in him. Things get out of hand and he has an affair.

Eventually Jill finds out and their entire world is shattered to say the least. At first they both feel like they're living outside of reality. Almost like they're experiencing life from a 3rd person point of view.

With time Jill comes to see that Jack didn’t do it to “intentionally” hurt anyone. Something triggered an action in him that even he couldn’t explain. Jill also came to understand that if Jack had felt more fulfilled before the encounter, he would not have been tempted. She saw that she was not responsible for the affair at all. But she also saw that she did play a role that added to the discontentment in Jack’s marriage.

Jill came to see that, yes, Jack had made a horrible mistake but she still loved him. Even though she “accepted him” as being someone who had made some very hurtful mistakes she realized that her boundaries needed to be respected.

Unfortunately, Jack continued to show signs of being distant and tense. Jill sees this and starts to worry and get stressed herself that Jack might stray again. So she "actively" makes differences in order to try to correct the problem. She does not just ignore the issues. Nor does she just “bite her tongue” around him because she knows that neglecting things will not alleviate any stress or pressure for either of them. She finds resources for both of them to help deal with their issues. She also learns how and “actively” engages in, helping them both feel more fully loved and accepted.
Nurturing Option)

Unfortunately Jack continues to not show interest in changing and over time, Jill sees that things are not improving. He’s still acting in ways that are not respecting her boundaries. She makes her concerns clear to him, in very loving ways, and lets him know that she accepts that this is who he is and still loves him but she is unable to live "happily" herself under these circumstances. In fact living like this is crushing her. She makes it clear that she loves him as much as ever and would give anything for things to be different but they aren’t. So if he chooses to continue to act in ways that hurt her then she must leave. She’s clear both with herself and with him that her actions are self-preservation and NOT an attempt to manipulate him to do anything. She realizes that when she takes this step it might cause him to ‘bottom out’ and finally have the strength to change but it is just as possible that he won't. At this point she is fully prepared for the possibility of him moving on without her. And as a result, she is also prepared to move on without him even though she will always love him.
Releasing Option)


When the Nurturing option is executed, using unconditional love as a basis, it is very often successful at recovering the marriage and many times brings more fulfillment than ever before.

When the Releasing option is executed, using unconditional love as a basis, it brings a peace of mind that it is the best choice for all involved and that brings a feeling of contentment.

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Last updated: 07/11/09

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