When Is Enough Enough?
When is enough enough?
Where is that line that says ‘maybe we aren’t a good fit’?
The way most people end relationships is that they wait for things to get so bad that they hit a threshold where the experience of the relationship is intolerable.
It becomes a race to the bottom where both parties are keeping tabs on all the ways the other person isn’t showing up, isn’t meeting their needs, and isn’t a good partner for them.
I don’t recommend this approach but alas it is the most recycled and definitely the most instinctual.
As an alternative there is something that is becoming popularly known as Conscious Uncoupling. This post will not be about that though, that’s a topic for another day.
Because what I see most often is this:
a lot of raw potential
heaping doses of personal work to do
unconscious but hyper-influential “escape plans” (ie having one foot out the door)
leaving a relationship without harvesting the spiritual growth you (unconsciously) chose the relationship for in the first place.
Whether you’ve already left the relationship or are currently toying with the option, my first recommendation will be the same.
It’s time for an audit.
Rewind the video cameras and replay what has led you to this moment.
Take some intentional alone time and examine, how were you or how have you been an active participant in creating this situation?
How did you contribute to the dynamic?
Where did you bite your tongue when you could have compassionately, creatively, and courageously been more truthful?
Where did you hear what you wanted to hear instead of what they said?
What about the times your intuition said one thing but you did something else?
Where did you compromise your commitments to yourself about what you stand for as a man/woman? As a partner? As a leader?
This is not to lay blame.
Blame has absolutely NO PLACE in relationship.
This is about accountability.
If you want the relationship of your dreams, you must accept 100% accountability for the health and vitality of your relationship.
And ideally so must our partner.
But this is something you get to commit to on your own, independent of what your partner decides.
Because if you make it conditional, you’re not actually taking 100% accountability.
And if you’re not owning 100% accountability, you will always find space to blame the other person for whatever falls in the area you have chosen not to be accountable for.
What does this look like in actual practice?
If I am taking 100% accountability for the health of the erotic intimacy in my relationship than I am regularly practicing how to get myself in the mood, how to inspire arousal in my partner, how to receive his seduction because I AM ACCOUNTABLE for he health of our sex life. I do not leave the health of our sex life up to mood or convenience. I take responsibility for my own pleasure, communicating my needs, asking for what I want, and empowering my partner to do the same.
If I am taking 100% accountability for the health of the communication between me and my partner, I am constantly listening to understand (even when I’m afraid, angry, hurt), learning his communication style, and taking responsibility for teaching him mine in a way that he can understand. This means I do not shut down, unplug, shut out, criticize, or disrespect him… and if any of those should occur I correct them as soon as possible. If I receive any of those reaction, I give him the benefit of the doubt, let him know what I need instead and then give him the opportunity to course correct, not be perfect at it the first time and practice showing up better.
If I am taking 100% accountability for my experience within the relationship I do not outsource my joy to him, my stability, my well-being, my financial freedom, my health, my social needs… I must be the Sovereign of my own life and take full responsibility for my own fulfillment.
What’s really cool is that when you do this, and you stop making someone else responsible for your happiness/well-being/relationship vitality, the other person gets the opportunity to add their genius and soul signature in so many layers of extraordinary on top of the foundation you’ve cultivated.
If you are asking “When is enough enough?” while inside the relationship, in all likelihood you actually gave up on the relationship a while ago and are looking for a “bad enough” reason to leave it.
I’m not here to give you that.
I’m here to challenge your sense of defeat and whatever encyclopedia of evidence you’vee collected to give yourself permission to leave the relationship.
If you want to leave, go for it!
I have no idea if this person is for you or not.
Only you can truly know that.
But before you go, don’t lose this opportunity to interrupt a pattern that WILL follow you into the next relationship if you don’t re-write it now.
If you are asking “When is enough enough?” your Inner Victim is driving the bus and is running all kinds of interference between you and what you say you want.
This version of you casts you as “the good partner” and them as the one that’s letting you down. It cleverly paints you as the noble martyr, you’ve “tried everything” after all, but no matter how hard you try, they are still the problem.
The thing is, I speak Victimese fluently. Because I have a melancholic, basket-case of my own living inside of me. So I know her tricks.
When we start to think we’ve tried everything, most often the truth is we stopped being generous a long while ago.
We stopped listening to understand.
We stopped being courageous for the both of us.
We stopped loving them with the depth and openness that we want to be loved with.
Invisible I’ll-do-this-when-they-do-that’s have snuck in and taken up roost.
We are not only wanting but we are waiting for our partner to be more generous than we are currently willing to be.
Now that I’ve pointed it out, that doesn’t seem like a very open-hearted or effective strategy, does it?
So what do you do?
Dare to be more generous than either party currently feels willing to be.
Note, I said generous not sacrificial.
You and your partner trigger the shit out of each other over another thing. They shut down and pull away. They don’t inform you of what’s going on and it hurts like crazy. Here they go again! Shutting you out. Not even having the curtesy to ask for space. You’d give it to them if they just asked! I just don’t know if they are for me! My King/Queen wouldn’t do this. They would lean in to be courageous in the heat of the moment. They would see that I’m hurting and take a stand for the relationship. They wouldn’t do this!
Shut down right back at them. When they come out of their shut down you’ll tell them how much they’ve hurt you, how you don’t feel safe or like you can communicate with them, how it feels like abandonment and activates all your childhood trauma. The conversation becomes about how much each person is hurting the other and everything feels like it sucks more than it’s good and you think about how it shouldn’t be this hard. And all the other times this has happened come flooding back to you and you feel like things have gone too far to turn around at this point.
Recognize that you’re both triggered and your partner is not a monster but seems to be taking space. Acknowledge that it hurts and then remember that you take 100% accountability for the health of your relationship. You take advantage of this time apart to leverage your inner circle to support you to show up as the partner you want to be (you do NOT enlist them to be members of your pity party). You choose to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, to trust them, to love them, to remember that just like you they never received the Official Perfect Relationship How-To Text Book and are making it up - just like you - despite all their traumas and trials, and you get ready to communicate in integrity with your commitment to relationship. You get clear on your feelings and prepare to share your needs from a place of honesty and compassion while also showing up to hear your partner’s experience and listen to understand what they need and want moving forward.
Can you relate to this?
Insert every other misunderstanding and you get the gist.
We tend to react from fear versus responding from a place of alignment with what we DO want.
I used the Old Way for years.
I’ll give you one guess as to how it went.
The New Way has revolutionized not only my intimate relationship but it has also made me a better friend, daughter, and coach.
Yes, sometimes too much damage has been wreaked but until you really show up 100% accountable and show up NOW for the relationship you say you want, you will not know.
I have seen relationships fraught with blame and hopelessness and on the brink of utter implosion, not only recover but become deeply connective and passionately in love again.
So, first things first, get clear on what it is that you are committed to creating.
I call this your King’s Credo or Queen’s Credo.
This is your agreement with yourself for what you are committed to creating as your Love Imprint in this life time.
And NOW is the best time to create it.
Whether you are in relationship or not.
No matter what phase of relationship you are in.
Whether you are just starting out, years in, or navigating relationship recovery - NOW is the right time.
This Credo will help you determine how you are showing up to the partnership and if you are really in alignment with what you say you want.
Then give yourself a 90 day challenge to show up in accordance with this Credo. Because YOU deserve it. You deserve the love story that this sovereign, courageous, daring you is capable of creating.
This will allow you to turn the relationship around if there is space for that to happen, and if not, then you can begin the process of consciously uncoupling from a pace of peacefulness and self-knowing that you do not currently have.
What are the three most important values to you as a partner and in partnership?
Let me know by shooting me an email!