The idea that I would be married more than once was not my plan. My life have been about taking care of my business and my employees and providing for my family. That path has had several dissapointments. The first one is no one told me that running a large manufacturing business would take some much of my time, energy and effort. Second, I thought that providing well for my family would give us the happiness and connection for a satisfying life together.
There are no children in my first marriage. At the end of high school we married, moved in together, and went to the same college. The next five years were tough. She graduated with honors and I began this business. Two years later she left. I didn’t see it coming. It was a long while before I was even interested in dating.
Raye is wonderful. She was a God send. We met at a chuch function and within a year were married. I had been divorced almost 3 years and she was single for 2. Her boys were 2 and 3 years old when we met. Not wanting the same mistakes from the first marriage, we spent a lot of time talking and in pre marriage coaching. We have one son of our own, who is now 15. We have been together 20 years.
Our oldest son, Rayes son, now has a 2 year old. All of Rayes time is spent taking care of her son’s child. I didn’t mind at first, however now two years after our grandson was born, she moved out of our bedroom. I was pressuring her too much and she needed room. I was so angry. It was like all of a sudden this happened. Flash backs of how my first marriage ended were showing up in my mind and I would get so angry at her about it. I didn’t want our marriage to be this way.
The phone call to Dan was one of the most difficult things I have done. My mind was focused on her and her behavior. I knew there was things I needed to do different, yet her behavior was so uneccessary to me. She didn’t seem to understand how hard I worked to provide for her all these years. She has never worked since we married because we wanted her boys and our son to have a great childhood.
Unpleasant surprises are sometimes hiding in the package you open. Learning to be open and transparent about my own life was hard work. Opeing the package in my heart and looking at me was unpleasant. The judgements and unforgivness that was wondering around in my heart was a surprise. The process of learning how to have a congruent heart and open mind to change took a commitment to trust this process Dan kept referring to. Dan had a great reputation and I was practicing trusting the process.
Three months into my time with Dan, Raye moved back into our bedroom. She told one of her best friends, “I don’t know what Dan did, but Kurt is like a different man.” The way that made me feel was amazing. My commitment to work with Dan payed off in great dividends. My employees see me more aware, more kind, less angry and happier. I feel different on the inside. What I didn’t know, was how I was breaking this silly rule Dan called withholding. I share the idea often. My withhold was first with myself. I was refusing to allow myself to own my judgement. I was afraid others would judge me if I was truthful about my past. Once I learned to let go of that, it was like a ton of bricks off my chest.
Taking time to practice the skills, as Dan says like learning to play baseball, did produce the results he felt they would. I now have more open and honest conversations with my friends and have been spending more time with a few of my close male friends. It’s been worth it. And others notice it, too. That feels good.