I had the pleasure of interviewing Vena Ramphal, Champion for authentic relationships and authentic erotic pleasures, recently and it was one of the most open and candid interviews we have had on The Divorce Magazine.
Here is part of it. You can watch the entire interview by clicking here.
It was January 2005, freshly into a new year and her heart knew that the relationship was over but her head said different.
Vena paced around her living room knowing that she needed to do something and realising that she couldn’t do it on her own. She had spoken to some friends and family and they had indeed been supportive but she now she realised that what she needed most was help from someone who was either a professional and/or someone who was neutral.
Vena did find the help and it was the best thing she could have done for herself at that time. Asked today about what to do when going through divorce and one of the first things she’ll say is, “Don’t go through it alone. It’s not worth it.”
My Marriage is Over.
She speaks warmly of the time they met. They were students in University and very much in love. So they got married and like most marriages, they were happy for a while.
“He was a good man,” she says but now they were on separate journeys. They were growing apart. They were becoming very different people, who wanted very different lives and what became apparent was that somewhat they had very different values.
2003 and 2004 were tough years. The fact that she really, really meant her vows made it even more difficult.
Her choices were to stay in the marriage and just shrivel up and die on a soul level or she would need to complete the marriage and move on in order to continue to be herself.
“People say that people get divorced too easily nowadays but is it really the case?” Vena asks.
“But isn’t your commitment to your own happiness one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself, to your (ex) partner and to your children too?”
With this statement I ask Vena what she would tell anyone who asks:
“Should I divorce my husband or should I divorce my wife? How do I know I’m ready for a divorce?”
“Wait a little bit,” is her advice, “Especially after long breaks or holidays where tensions rise and everything feels like a pressure cooker. You don’t want to be reacting to the holidays.”
At the same time time though, you don’t want to just sweep your feelings under the carpet for another year. Ask yourself, “Have I been here before? Is this something that I am starting to feel every year?”
Don’t be reactive but don’t kick those feelings and thoughts into the long grass.
Instead, do create the space, the mental and emotional for you to ask yourself the questions that are coming up for you. Do I want to complete this marriage or do I want to continue with it and maybe go to counselling with my partner or just speak with my partner. And work through the issues that we have?
How to create that emotional and mental space?
Take some time away from the conversation with your partner whether or not you’ve done it already but do spend time on a regular basis by yourself so you can create time to have a continuing conversation with yourself. This will help get some clarity.
During the interview, Vena shares a fabulous exercise that helps you hear your voice.
What has Vena learned from her divorce experience?
She’s so grateful and appreciative for the whole marriage, for the divorce and everything.
Losing that image of your future that you had of your life with your husband or wife can be terrifying.
But you cannot be your full self, you cannot be a loving, productive, useful human being, if you’re miserable in your marriage. You just can’t.
Of course Vena had her doubts and questions about ending her marriage. Her big one was not wanting to hurt other people or what will people think?
If you’re fearful about getting divorced, remember that you would not only be liberating yourself, but you give other people, the permission to liberate themselves as well.
Start to think of it, not as a failure, but as a success and in fact as a gift.
There is no question that divorce is a hurtful and bruising process but the choice is either to stay in this caged, small life, where you do slowly die on a soul level, or you can flourish and be yourself and actually bring more joy to everyone in your life.
When your marriage is over.
Think of divorce as a completion rather than as a splitting up. This completely changes the way we think about relationships, about endings, about going on to the next chapter of our lives and it changes the we think about marriage into a much, much healthier way.
Vena says that she started a journal and this has remained a big part in her life to this day. When you start journaling, you will be surprised at how much wisdom you have.
Doing this was a real roller coaster and that’s why you need to be prepared for the journey and you need to have a robust support system.
The mature approach to divorce – it doesn’t have to be acrimonious, it can be done intelligently, that’s not to say that there aren’t emotions but the point is there are ways in which you can hold, honour and process your emotions so then you can make clear decisions.
When committed to happiness first then we are able to shine and give the best of ourselves.
Vena Ramphal is the Champion for authentic relationships and authentic erotic pleasures.
She facilitates people to make choices that bring them more fulfilling love lives, whether its ending a partnership, creating a new relationship, or cultivating a deeper experience of erotic pleasure.
Vena’s work draws on the erotic wisdom of the kama sutra traditions and classical Indian philosophy.
As a coach she brings warmth, clarity, a sense of play and a deep belief that life should be delicious.