The importance of overcoming your fears of change, embracing that life is change and acceptance of what is, so you can get unstuck, move forward and reach your full potential in every area of your life that is important to you.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a female viewer who feels stuck in her life. She has overcome many challenges in the past, such as addiction, codependency and how fucked up she used to be. She is struggling with accepting the fact it is time to move on from her boyfriend of five years, whom she has known for a total of twelve years. Three years ago, she was all ready to move out and move on with her life. Her career was going well, and she knew it was time to move on. However, after a little birthday sex with her ex-boyfriend to be, she got pregnant. She knows she should move on, but obviously having a daughter has complicated things. She asks my opinion on how she should go about ending this unhealthy relationship and moving on, but she also wonders if it is possible he will change and what she should focus on to make a successful transition if she does decide to leave. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of her email:
I’m so grateful for discovering your work. It is helpful to so many people, as I’m also a coach and appreciate your service, and I love to see how many men, including yourself, are well rounded, introspective and interested in pleasing women, (“Pleasing” is a bad word, because it means the guy sacrifices everything he is in order to make a woman happy, and he doesn’t have a spine to stand for what he wants. However, I understand your intent there), while having shitloads of fun!
Okay, here goes… the man I am with is not “the person” for me. (That is a bold statement. When you really love and care about somebody, have shared interests and the same goals, sometimes you will stick around hoping it’s going to get better, but most of the time, it does not. People may become a better version of themselves, but they typically do not change the way they interact with other people.) I believe there are many possible combos anyway. I’ve known this for quite some time, and our relationship, we’ve been friends for 12 years and together for 5, has always been a source of discomfort for me. (Why be together if you’re not meeting each others’ needs, growing together or having fun? When you ignore what’s inside you, it’s incredibly unhealthy. It destroys your ability to move forward towards the things you want in life.) He’s not as connected, inspired or passionate about life/self/nature, even football, and while this served a purpose for me and my own insecurities long ago, it no longer does and fuels doubt in my own ability as a wellness professional. (Everybody bullshits themselves about some things in their lives. The key is to recognize that and transcend it by making those choices and decisions you really need to make, or else it robs you of your enthusiasm and your will to live.)
Here’s how we are together today: In 2013, I had put away enough to move out on my own in a beautiful building where I wanted to live. I was open and communicative with him the entire time of my needs, my lack of desire to feed into the drama, and how I wished to part as best as we could. The main reasons I left were because the passive aggressive toying, neediness and general disinterest/inability to be compassionate and have adult conversations. This wore on me. Umm, insert birthday sex here on the week I move out. Yeah. Eight weeks later, I find out I’m pregnant. (Most people are thinking about safety and security in that situation and talk themselves into staying, but you had already made the decision to leave. This guy wasn’t going to change just because you were having a kid.)
Knowing well what I was getting back into, I’m back in the relationship. Of course the old issues have resurfaced. (I wouldn’t say they resurfaced. They were always there. You just, for a period of time, ignored them because of your child.) Now it has lead to a cycle of major frustration, a general feeling of being “over it,” withdrawing, trying to repair the scenario, being patient, “giving him a chance,” as he states, etc. (Everything that turned you off about this person is still there.) I’ve also ended up a stay-at-home mom. I love my daughter and am grateful to care for her, and while I’ve turned a successful career as a women’s fitness specialist into coaching, I’m, as you can guess, not supported in many ways, like sabotaging my coaching time with attitudes before and after, (The fact that you’re staying in this unhealthy relationship is causing how you feel about yourself to drop), questioning “who I’m really talking to” or guilting me into what “could happen would be all my fault” if I take my girl to daycare or get a sitter, so I can make more money for us and live my purpose. (The best thing you can do for your child is to get up, do something you love and be happy. Be a great example of somebody who’s self-reliant, happy and going for what you want, instead of being miserable.) Generally, it’s disrespectful. It’s not something I want my daughter to see and learn to accept from a man, and yet I feel stuck.
I love much about him, I accept him as a friend and his flaws, and we have many “things” in common. (That’s part of the difficulty, especially when somebody meets a lot of your needs, but they don’t meet all of them, or perhaps they are a terrible communicator.) As a woman and partner, I don’t want to accept this treatment. (You shouldn’t, and by the fact that you’re sticking around and putting up with it, you’re enabling this dude’s behavior.) I already know the answer and can’t change him. Yet as I focus on myself and growth and am confident in my future and in the lessons that this has created for me, I feel “weak” to the hope that we will somehow work out. (You’re bullshitting yourself.) I grew up in a divorced household, and it was super ugly. He knows and threatens the same out of anger, retreats in moments of sanity, and I don’t take this separation of us lightly.
Oh, should I mention we have never gotten engaged? (At the end of the day, marriage is really a legal agreement. In this day and age, you don’t need a man to pay your bills. You have your own career and can take care of yourself.) My guess is, we both know something isn’t jiving. He’s a great dad, (Maybe he’s a great dad, but he’s communicating with you in an unhealthy and dysfunctional way, and the longer you stay with him, the longer you’ll teach your daughter that that’s the way it is. It would be better for her to see you in a healthy relationship with a new guy), and in general a great guy, just a sucky partner FOR ME. Any advice on moving on? (Plan your work and work your plan. You’ve got to figure a way to set things up so you can get out of there. You need to get your daughter into a healthy environment instead of this dysfunctional mess.) On how to make the transition best for all? (Be honest with him and be honest with yourself. He’s always been this way. You can’t wait on him to change. Your happiness should be worth more than that to you.) On creating space for us to communicate better, with or without being together? On, if there’s any way for him to wake the F up. (Until he realizes the way he’s going about his relationships is not working, he’s not going to change.) Umm, he will have these problems with our daughter if not resolved, right? (Yep. That’s why you need to be the better person and take care of yourself, so you can present healthy parenting to your daughter.)
I’m eager to hear your thoughts. I’m a woman that loves to work really hard personally and professionally, play in the snow, make homemade macaroni and root for the Rangers. I used to be totally fucked up, codependent, (If you’re honest with yourself and see the fact you’re continuing to make excuses for this guy, you’ll realize that’s the definition of codependency), an addict and I spent a decade outgrowing those fear driven habits and growing within. Can’t a girl just enjoy a hot wing with a hot guy?? (Not as long as you stay with this dude, you can’t. You have to create a space for somebody else to come in and fill. You must participate in your own rescue.)
Thanks for the hope, perspective and F-bombs in advance. Keep keepin’ it real and sharing the love. You elevate so many lives.
If you have a question you would like me to consider answering in a future Video Coaching Newsletter, you can send it (3-4 paragraphs/500 words max) to this email address: Questions@UnderstandingRelationships.com
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Life is a continuous process of re-creating our lives, movement, change, personal growth, taking risks, overcoming fears and stepping outside of our comfort zone, so we can reach our full potential. The reality of life is, it is always changing and never stays the same. People come into and out of our lives to give us experiences and to help us grow. Resisting change leads to instability, unhappiness, dis-ease and chaos. Embracing change and going with the flow is necessary and essential to your happiness, health and enjoying life. You can’t stop an earthquake any more than you can change the weather, but you can adapt to the changes they bring. The more you can adapt to, look forward to and embrace change, the more successful you will become at maintaining your happiness, growth, balance and inner peace.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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