As we move into a new month and a new theme for these mindful messages, I’d like you stop for a moment…take a deep breath…and ask yourself why you’re here. What is it that you’d like to learn from these messages?
If you’re like most women in the Healthy Path to Love community, you are here because you feel stuck in your romantic relationship and need help with how to decide whether to stay or go. So the good news is, you’re not alone!
And the better news is, you don’t have to stay stuck forever…there is a way out of this confusing and painful predicament. But in order for you to find your way out, you must be willing to change and grow.
If you’re not willing to grow, reading these messages isn’t going to help you get very far. Yes, knowledge is empowering, but only if you apply it. If you are willing to grow, and you’re ready to be true to yourself, you’re in the right place.
Staying Stuck Where You Don’t Belong
Author Mandy Hale said: “Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” And she is absolutely right!
I recently shared how common it is for people to stay in an unfulfilling relationship as long as they can stand it. But when the dissatisfaction and pain of staying stuck outweighs the fear of changing or leaving that relationship, that’s when huge shifts take place.
Those huge shifts are what I call “growing pains”. And they are the catalyst for re-creating your life and relationships in a whole new way.
In my personal experience, I stayed stuck in an unhealthy relationship for thirteen years before I gained the self-esteem and courage I needed to move on. Yes, it was painful, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
The wisdom I gained from that experience made the quality of my life SO much better. It may have taken me thirteen years to figure it out, but at least I didn’t lose another decade…or two or three…of a life without true happiness.
How to Embrace Your Growing Pains
No one wants to feel pain, but when you realize that growing pains are a good thing, you can use them to your advantage. Why are they a good thing? Because they’re helping you grow stronger and giving you the wisdom you need to move on to a new chapter.
No one is forcing you to stay in your relationship. If you’re there, you’re there by choice. Some people will use the excuse of, “well, I made a commitment, so I have to stick it out.” I’m not suggesting that you leave without first trying to resolve the conflict. By all means, that’s part of taking ownership of being in a committed relationship – I get that!
However, being committed doesn’t mean that you just suck up your pain and suffer. A commitment to true love includes honesty and respect. So if there’s conflict in the relationship, it’s up to you to be honest about it. It’s up to you to respect your feelings and then respectfully communicate them to your partner.
This gives you and your partner the opportunity to work through the conflict. If you’re able to resolve the conflict in a way that works, your relationship will be stronger and more fulfilling.
If you’re not able to resolve the conflict, you’ll know you’ve done your best and will be able to gracefully let go of the relationship with integrity…respecting what you once had, and accepting that you no longer have it.
He Said, She Said
Even if you believe your partner is the one at fault for the conflict in your relationship, you can still accept responsibility your part. After all, conflict takes more than one person, right? Blaming your partner for everything doesn’t empower you…it takes your power away.
Perhaps you’ve allowed him or her to treat you poorly and now you don’t know how to speak up for yourself. Again, that’s a choice. If you’re not used to speaking up for yourself, it may not be easy at first, but you can definitely learn.
Maybe the connection you used to have with your partner fizzled out a long time ago, but you didn’t know what to do and don’t want to hurt their feelings. So you just accept the disappointment of feeling disconnected and continue to hurt your own feelings instead.
It’s common for people to develop different interests over time, and this sometimes causes a disconnect in the relationship. That’s okay…there’s nothing wrong with that…unless you ignore it.
Or maybe you’re the one at fault, but you have a hard time admitting it, or you’re punishing yourself for a past mistake. Whatever the issues may be between you and your partner, you do play a role in the equation, and the first step toward any type of healthy change is accepting that responsibility.
One Step At a Time (Exercise Included)
Once you take that first step, you can start moving in the direction of change by asking yourself a few key questions, and being real about your answers. If your answers are based on what someone else wants to hear, or what you think you should say, they’re not real.
So grab a pen and paper, and answer these questions. Remember, simply reading this information isn’t going to get you very far. If you really want to learn, you need to apply this knowledge to your personal experience:
- How do you define a fulfilling relationship…what does that look like for you? What you thought was fulfilling when you first met your partner may be different now.
- Do you think you deserve to be in a healthy relationship? If you’re beating yourself up for past mistakes, or have low self-esteem, you might be holding yourself back because you don’t believe you deserve a healthy relationship.
- Are you willing to face the truth of what’s not working? If you’re not willing to acknowledge what’s causing the conflict, it can’t be resolved.
- Are you willing to change and start moving in a different direction? Even if your partner isn’t willing to make changes, that doesn’t need to stop you. You have the power to make healthy changes on your own, and this will lead you to better choices for yourself.
For now, just answer the questions and accept your answers for what they are. Try not to over-analyze or get too far ahead of yourself on any of this…that will just cause more anxiety and stress. You’ll do much better if you just take one step at a time.
These are just a few of the questions I’ll be sharing with you this month, so stay tuned for more. If this process feels uncomfortable, but you still want to move forward, be willing to embrace the discomfort…pain in a huge motivator for change.
You’re Stronger Than You Think
You are much stronger than you realize. You’re capable of moving through difficult challenges…and I have no doubt you already have. Instead of feeling stuck as if you you have no choice, at least accept that it’s a choice…and then go from there.
Even though change can be painful, it’s only temporary, and it’s far better than the alternative of living unhappily ever after.
Be honest with yourself. Respect your feelings. Learn how to trust yourself so that you can make healthy choices moving forward. And give yourself permission to ask for help when you need it.
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,
Healthy Relationship Coach
P.S. If you have any questions about the coaching services I offer and how they can help you, feel free to contact me. I’d love to connect with you.