After being in a narcissistic and sadistic relationship where I tried everything to "fix me and my partner," the best relationship advice I was ever given was to make a choice. There are three options. Two of these choices free up energy, one keeps you stuck in the mud.
So what was the advice, you ask?
Wait for it...
It is so simple...
You have three choices in answer to the question "Can you accept him or her exactly as they are and not expect or want any (yes, any) changes, ever?"
Your choices are:
If 1: Yes, proceed to stay in the relationship.
If 2: No, proceed to leave the relationship.
If 3: Maybe, see a relationship coach.
Simple. No more drama, no more complaints.
1: Yes = Acceptance
2: No = Not acceptance
3: Maybe = Sitting on the fence and lots of trouble.
Do you believe it is that simple?
1 = Yes
When we first meet our partners, we see all the kind, loving and generous things about them. Then, after about three months, we start to see everything. They might blame us when they are in a bad mood or say we are not perfect, and what we thought was cute we may now see as a put-down.
If we can accept all the quirks and imperfections and accept that there is nothing we can do (or not do) to change any of these annoyances, then we won't complain. We will look lovingly at our partner as a vulnerable human being who is struggling in the world to find inner peace and love just as much as we are and we will support one another on our journey.
If we say yes, we will be loving to ourselves and say no to disrespectful and abusive behaviour and we will take responsibility for looking after ourselves, leaving a room, going out or doing whatever we need to do to look after ourselves, knowing that we can not change our partner's behaviour but we can take care of ourselves.
I am not saying that behavior cannot change. What I am saying is that YOU cannot change the behavior of another person. It is amazing how many of us think that we can change someone else's behavior by doing something. Strange, isn't it, how we pick up what I see now as false beliefs!
Number 1 is a total yes, not a yes with a caveat.
If we are disappointed or sad or unhappy or hurt we will look at what we can do to heal ourselves from within and we will take responsibility for our sadness or disappointment. We will not project that disappointment onto our partner as we agreed wholeheartedly that we could accept then just the way they are and do want to change them. Right?
Well can any of us do this? People do.
For those of us who cannot accept their partner just the way they are there are two more choices.
If we choose number 2 we acknowledge that there is nothing that we can do to change this person and their behaviour is disrespectful and intolerable, so we now have the choice to leave. Give yourself permission to leave and leave gracefully.
Be loving to yourself and look within at how you were attracted to someone who does things that you can no longer tolerate. If the relationship was abusive, are you abusing yourself? Start to be loving to yourself and you will attract a person who is also loving to themselves and who can share love with you. It is a lot more complicated but that is the topic of another blog. Now let's look at the third choice.
If you are in this camp and you can not tolerate the behaviour of your partner but you do not want to leave and you do not want to stay you have chosen "maybe."
When we are choosing "maybe" we will probably complain a lot about the relationship. We might even be someone who takes themselves to a myriad of counselors and courses looking at what we are doing and how we are co-creating this relationship that is abusive or intolerable.
We may fall over backwards and be compliant in the hope that they will change or we may become a bully and boss our partner around until they cave in and become compliant. Guess what? NONE of those things work for us or for our partners.
I hate to give you the news but MAYBE is a pretty uncomfortable place to be. It's often described as either stuck in the mud and not seeing a way out or sitting on the fence -- both of which sound pretty uncomfortable.
"Maybe" usually has conditions, which are nearly almost never met. "Maybe's" have fantasies that things are going to change when they do something. "There is just this one thing that annoys me, I know she will change that when we are married." Or, "Once I move in with him then I will get him sorted!!!" "When he gets a better job he won't be so cross." Conditions don't work for loving relationships.
So what is it going to be?
Your choice, your life!!!