I was coaching a client this morning and she was asking me about her relationship with her husband. They have been ‘working’ on things for over a year and he is still stuck in many of the places where he was stuck before. She is continuously angry and upset with him because he doesn’t seem to be moving forward.
Her knee-jerk attitude was to blame him for not growing and changing. She thought it was his fault for not doing the work to move their relationship forward. Her questions are often about ‘Why doesn’t he blah, blah, blah…’ or ‘Why does he continue to blah, blah, blah’.
As usual, I heard her out and reinforced the ‘rightness’ of her decisions. But then I put it into a different perspective by asking her to reflect on something. I asked her why she continues to blame him? She has tried for over a year to make this work. She has done a lot of work on herself, read all sorts of material on relationships, and grown who she is and what she expects in life. She has become truly comfortable with herself and she truly likes who she is. She has a great idea for her business and wants to grow it into something that will make a very good income and she’s taken steps to move her business forward.
But the moment John (not his real name) enters her thinking, she stops valuing her own opinion and starts listening to him. In order to have him in her life, she forfeits her dreams and can never really move forward because he doesn’t want her spending any of ‘his’ money on all of these really important things.
And she does NOTHING about that. He is not the problem – she is. She has her answers but she’s afraid to act on them. She knows that she wants a different relationship and yet she keeps going back to him. The more time she spends with him, the less she is willing to invest in herself. And then she gets mad and begins to take action.
But the interesting part for me is that it doesn’t need to be this hard. He is not the obstacle – she is. She continues to make the same choices that make her unhappy and yet she’s making it about him and his unwillingness to change.
The truth is, she’s not listening to her own heart and she’s not making decisions that are good for her. She knows that she deserves more and that she’s given this relationship her best shot, but it’s not where she wants to be. So it’s time to take action and finish this so she can open the door to her dreams.
My first piece of advice to her – to love herself enough to move towards her dreams rather than hanging back hoping this guy will love her enough to change. This is not about him loving her more, it is about HER loving HERSELF more.
Second – break the habit of living life with this man and begin the process of living life for HERSELF. Her life with this man has become a habit – for both of them. And habits are comfortable. But at some point, being comfortable gets very much in the way of growth.
So my challenge to all of you readers is this: Where has your life become a habit? Where are you comfortable and what habits do you need to challenge? What action do you need to take to prove to yourself how much you love you?
We all do this! So let’s take the plunge and kick a limiting habit this week.