Do you pretend that your primary relationship is in good shape, but underneath it all, you know something isn’t quite right? If you are less than happy in your marriage, do you skirt around the critical topics of conversation to maintain the status quo? Are you building a house of cards on quicksand or a strong structure on solid ground?
What would happen if you openly discussed your thoughts and feelings with your significant other? How do you benefit by avoiding the critical conversations? Undoubtedly, there is a payoff for you if you are unhappy, but choose not take any steps to resolve the issues that contribute to that unhappiness.
Are you afraid of losing financial support? What stands in the way of you creating your own financial security? In this case you stay in a relationship, even if you are unhappy, because the financial support means more to you than your own happiness. One of the payoffs is you don’t have to risk putting yourself out there to look for a job or get a better job. Meanwhile, you lose the growth you would gain as an individual that only comes from stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone. Are you pretending not to know that you are capable of financially supporting yourself?
Maybe you are afraid you will never find anyone else who will love you. Are you settling for a mediocre relationship because it is familiar? Dare to imagine what a great relationship would look and feel like to you. When we let go of something that is just okay we open up space in our life for something great to come in. This applies to relationships as well as other areas of life.
How is the communication between you and your partner? Are you willing to step out of your usual way of relating to your partner and ask for and expect better communication? Are both you and your mate willing to work together to create a better relationship? Sometimes challenging relationships show up in our lives to teach us how to stay centered and calm in the midst of drama. If you are the only one in the relationship who is willing to make positive changes, you can still experience personal growth. Ask yourself what might you learn about yourself if you stay in the marriage for now? What are you pretending not to know in this situation?
Are you concerned about what others will think? Are you willing to sacrifice your peace of mind, your health and your joy because others may not understand or approve of your choices? It’s important to ask yourself why someone else’s opinion is more important to you than your own. Are you pretending you don’t know what you need to do to take care of yourself? Are you pretending to be a victim when in reality you are a willing participant in your own unhappiness?
Do you stay in an unsatisfying relationship out of obligation? How would you feel if you knew someone was staying with you because they felt they had to, not because they wanted to be with you? Is it really kind and loving to stay in a marriage or partnership because you are afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings? Or is it an act of love to set them free to find someone who will really love and cherish them? How would you want to be treated? Are you telling yourself that you stay because you don’t want to hurt someone else when the real truth is you want the other person to make the decision so you won’t feel guilty?
Are you indulging in magical thinking? This is a belief that issues will somehow be resolved without any action being taken. As time passes, the issue, like a wound that is not exposed to air and light so it can heal, festers and gets infected. Stifled anger and frustrations manifest in moodiness, hurtful remarks and insensitive behavior. If both parties in the relationship choose to continue to avoid having the critical conversations, needed to resolve the problem, irreparable damage may be done. On the other hand, if the couple is able to discuss their feelings openly and honestly in a mutually respectful and kind manner, there is a greater chance for resolving the issue, promoting growth and strengthening the relationship.
When we stop pretending we do not know the truth, take steps toward better communication in all our relationships and become honest with ourselves, we begin to get unstuck. When we open our minds and our hearts to the possibilities that are all around us instead of allowing fear to rule our actions, we lead happier and more fulfilling lives.