Mary is separated from her husband – she has lived away from him for several months. During that time, they have sought coaching from me to help them get back together. Both of them have done some day-long processes with me to transform their limiting mindsets that interrupt their ability to be a couple. And every time they do, there is a shift in the relationship.
But like my weight loss, their change hits plateaus where nothing is changing. Their relationship stays stuck in a state that is not ideal for either of them. They complain and share their displeasure but, ultimately, they continue doing the same things, entering the same routines, and having the same conversations that go nowhere.
Mary is unhappy. Her husband Larry keeps saying ‘it takes time’. She wants to try different things to keep things moving forward while Larry feels justified in not yet being ready to change, happy with the lack of closure, and allowing a situation that is not ideal to continue to be the norm.
Periodically, Mary gets committed towards her ideal future – a relationship that is strong, connected and healthy. And when she does, she speaks up to her husband and says ‘I’m moving on. If we don’t get help – I’m going to move on’.
And it’s interesting to watch the dynamic because the moment she decides to be responsible for her happiness, responsible to achieve her dreams, all of a sudden Larry perks up and decides to be a part of that change by getting the help that they need. And their relationship improves – they get closer together.
What Mary didn’t realize is that by remaining in a relationship to Larry she found boring and unfulfilling, she was actually being disrespectful of what she wanted from her marriage. By settling for what he would give her, she was communicating non-commitment to her own goals and dreams. She would lapse into the pattern of complaining and pointing fingers because he didn’t want to try new things or get more help.
Eventually, however, she would get it. She needed to stand up and move towards her dreams. Furthermore, she needed to stop being afraid of a future she could not yet see.
Ultimately, her life is her responsibility. If he is not her ideal mate, then she needs to let him go and get on with it.
This story is typical of many of the couples I work with. By putting up with the ‘way things are’ we are failing to stand up for what we want. We do this because we’re not sure that it is out there, we’re not sure it’s possible, we’re not sure we’re worth it, etc. Truthfully, it’s up to us to dream the dream of what we want and to take our dreams seriously so that we act on them.
As I have watched my clients in the past few months step out of their comfort zone to move towards their dreams, I have seen that their partner often makes the shift with them.
You could say ‘why didn’t they do it before?’
Life will rise up to give us what we want when we get committed to achieving it – and not a moment before. By accepting what is and living in a way that we know is not right for us we quietly communicate to the people around us that they don’t have to do anything else in order to have us in our lives. However, when we make moves to go get what we want it forces your partner to assess whether they want to be a part of your life – or not. The choice, at that point, is theirs.
At every turn, you are responsible for the love of self – it really isn’t about waiting for another to be that force in your life. When you love yourself your partner, your friends, and your world will reflect that to you.
What do you think?