Jeanine asked me the following question at one of my free webinars:
"Hi Dr. Paul, thank you so much for your wonderful work and for these complimentary calls. Dr. Paul, my parents divorced when I was 9 years old. I am 37 and single. Part of me resists serious commitment because I feel like, 'What's the point? It's all impermanent anyway, so why even bother?' I am afraid that after the honeymoon is over I will be taken for granted and trapped in a loveless relationship/marriage. Can you help? Thank you!"
Jeanine, I can hear how scared you are to end up like your parents. But the truth is, everything is impermanent. Life in a body is impermanent.
Your parents didn't role model for you what a good relationship looks like, so it sounds like you are stuck with some major fears and false beliefs about love and marriage.
The point of a relationship is to learn, grow, share love, and enjoy fun and companionship. I believe we are here on this planet to evolve in our ability to love ourselves and others. Relationships offer us the most profound arena for learning about love. Close relationships — those with a partner, parents, children and friends, trigger everything that is unhealed in us — everything that prevents us from loving ourselves and others — giving us the opportunity to heal our fears and false beliefs.
Your fear — that you "will be taken for granted and trapped in a loveless relationship/marriage" — is coming from some false beliefs.
Let's look at your fear of being taken for granted. Since others tend to treat us the way we treat ourselves, you might want to look inside to see if there are ways you are taking yourself for granted, or ways you do not speak up for yourself and take loving care of yourself when others are treating you un-lovingly.
I assure you that if you do your inner work of learning to love and value yourself, and learn to take loving care of yourself around others, you will not end up trapped in a loveless marriage. If you were loving yourself and sharing your love with others, you would attract a partner who is also loving themselves and sharing their love with you.
I'm wondering why you believe that you would ever be trapped? Obviously, your parents divorced, so neither of them was trapped. You might want to go inside and explore where you got the belief that marriage means being trapped.
I suggest you focus on learning to see, love and value your own beautiful essence. The more you learn to love yourself, the more you desire to share your love with others. Loving yourself fills you up with love, which you then want to share with others. When we love ourselves, we generally desire to have a partner with whom to share our love.