Ready for a fresh start, a new outlook,
a different relationship? Have you been been ready
for a long time and are too afraid to leave or make
Have you noticed when you’re really finished with something it is not hard
to leave it? Look back at your life at the times when you really hit your limit.
Even though leaving may have meant a hardship in some way, when you were really
emotionally and spiritually finished, there was more impetus and energy on going
than staying , right? That is because when you have made a firm decision on the
inside, the outside will always follow. However, when you are undecided on the
inside, you won’t be able to walk out of the situation or the door. Often
the reason you are undecided is because you still have work to do.
Relationships are like high school or college classes. If you don’t get
the point, you don’t get to graduate. If you leave your relationship before
getting the point, you have to repeat the class in your next relationship. It
is almost as if the Universe says, “Okay, I see you still don’t understand
about being co-dependent so I’ll just find you someone just like your last
partner and we’ll try this issue one more time.” The Universe, bless
it’s heart, is generous in that way.
There is only one hard fast rule about leaving relationships that I ever espouse.
That one is, if you are abusing or being abused in anyway and you or your partner
will not seek immediate therapeutic intervention or help...leave. The only way
to stop the cycle of abuse in families is to leave the situation until therapy
has an opportunity to change the negative dynamic between you and your partner.
My only other strong assumption about relationships in general is that I think
the one you are in is usually the perfect place for you to be no matter how bad
it might look to you. Amazing though it may seem, I always bet the couples who
come into my office fighting like cats and dogs are the ones that will make it.
There is energy and aliveness in those relationships. No one has checked out
or abandoned the process. The people in them simply do not have the tools they
need to make it work.
We choose certain kinds of people because we need to learn certain things about
ourselves. Relationships are always mostly about you. That’s why you get
to be in charge of your own curriculum. You can learn the lessons you need in
this relationship or move on and learn them in a different one. My suggestion
is that you learn the lesson you need first, then if you decide to leave you
are not running away from your issue. If you get the lesson and then decide to
leave it is probably because you are taking care of your self in a positive way.
“I don’t even know what the lesson is,” I hear you saying impatiently.
Well, let’s see if we can give you some tools that will help you see more
clearly. Let’s look at your situation in a metaphorical way. Very often
your partner is a mirror or metaphor for what you need to learn about yourself.
For instance, if your partner lies to you, there may be a way that you are lying
to others or yourself. Perhaps you lie to yourself about what you really need
and want in a relationship. Perhaps you lie to yourself or others about what
is really important to you, or how his or her actions hurt you. Maybe you even
lie to yourself about what you are feeling.
If you have a partner that abandons you, he or she may be reflecting back to
you the ways in which you abandon yourself. Maybe you do that by denying your
feelings, giving up your perspective even when you feel you are right . Maybe
you are the kind of person who always takes care of everyone else’s needs
but not your own. Maybe you abandon your right to privacy, respect or space.
If you have a partner that cheats on you, ask yourself if there are ways in which
you cheat on yourself by not listening to your intuition. Do you discount your
concerns or are you willing to settle for less than you deserve.
Is your partner abusive? In what ways do you abuse your self or others? Do you
abuse yourself by choosing to stay in an abusive situation in which your inner
child gets abused again and again? Do you abuse yourself by denying your pain,
anguish and terror? Do you abuse yourself by not listening to the part of you
that deserves better treatment?
As you search for the problem, let your mind expand a bit to include your past
and be creative. Sometimes the answer may seem allusive but it’s there.
No doubt there is a pattern in your relationships in which the same sets of problems
seem to occur repeatedly. Maybe they wear different names and faces but the issues
are similar. Those patterns are probably a very close replica of the same childhood
issues you dealt with at home. Try to see what the pattern is and then you will
have the answer to where your work lies. If you still can’t get the answer,
process the question with a trusted friend who may be able to offer a more objective
perspective. Don’t give up!
If you can step back from the situation a bit, you may begin to understand that
having difficulties in your relationship is really an opportunity for growth
and..that person you are always mad at...may be your best teacher whether you
choose to stay or choose to leave.