What is it that keeps us working so hard for the friendships and intimate, love relationship that we so desperately desire?
Over the years I have witnessed hundreds of women who are working harder than ever at friendships and relationships that are depleting them of energy, enthusiasm and inspiration. And yet, despite recognizing that these relationships are exhausting and exasperating, they continue to try harder to do more, be more and say more.
At some point, the exhaustion, frustration and depletion becomes more than they can bear and something momentous happens, changing the relationship forever.
Perhaps it is an affair. That becomes the catalyst for the ending of a marriage that was not healthy to begin with.
Perhaps there a fight of epic proportions for which things are said that can never be taken back.
Or perhaps there is silence. A silence so great that the hole that is left creates emotions that will take years to heal.
By the time this happens, the wounds are so deep and so painful; they require extreme care to heal. And usually, the relationship can't recover from them.
Divorce is often the result of what is not said and done, rather than what is said and done; although many would argue differently. And by the time a woman comes to me for support, it is hard to get clarity around what she really wants to say or wanted to say or wishes she had said.
The same holds true, by the way, for friendships. There are often parallels between what happens in divorce and what happens in the demise of a close friendship.
Why is this?
Well, if we aren't saying what we really want and need to say, our partner/friends can't hear what we really want and need them to hear.
It is not much more complicated than that.
Here is the simple truth. You don't have to be, do or say anything special to be loved. Nope. You just have to be YOU.
You don't have to buy sexy clothes. You don't have to prepare fancy meals. You don't have to clean your house top to bottom. Nor do you have to sacrifice your goals, your dreams, your desires or your interests to express your love and devotion.
You -- the raw truth of who you are -- is perfectly enough.
Love is meant to be shared, from the inside out. It is not meant to be earned, bought or judged. It is simply meant to be felt and shared.
When you find yourself in a relationship or friendship that is causing you to work hard to do, be or say anything that doesn't feel authentic to who you are, it is time to come clean. It is time to say what needs to be said and allow the relationship to grow -- or fade.
While this is not an easy thing to do, it is what will lead you to freedom.
Freedom to be the YOU that you are meant to be!
Follow Laura Campbell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lauracampbell