There is a light that never goes out in my head. Sometimes I wish it would but it doesn’t.
My friends and I were at Nick’s Riverside Grill in Georgetown a little bit ago. For a good twenty minutes of our cocktail hour, I was not checked-in with them. That’s because I was fixated on a guy that was berating his girlfriend before literally grabbing her by the back of her hair.
Part of me wanted to reach through the metal bars that made up the gate surrounding the outside bar and choke the life out of him. My more evolved self talked to the bouncers and they diffused the situation in a heartbeat. Before this diffusing occurred, however, I was beside myself with the actions of the girlfriend who, despite his words and physicality, grabbed his hand and prepared to follow him wherever he wanted her to go.
I was very honed in here and this was a hand grabbing that was derived from a complete lack of confidence on her part and a simultaneous feeling that she was lost without him. If you’ve ever been angry and choked up at the same time then you know how I felt that night.
Two weeks ago, I was walking through the Tysons Corner mall and my phone rang. I reached for it quickly so as to not disturb the Banana Republic shoppers and it slipped out of my hand. A young man picked it up for me, handed it to me and went on his way. What struck me was the lack of eye contact and quick manner in which he detached himself from the situation. What I heard next explained his actions and made my blood boil. The woman he was with said, ‘are you his maid too?’, before rolling her eyes at him.
“It’s none of my business. It’s none of my business. It’s none of my business.” Does repeating it three times really make it better? Not really. But there is some truth to it just the same. I am in the business of coaching people through relationship issues, but I am not the answer to everyone’s problem even if I want to be. And make no mistake about it, I do want to be.
That woman feeding her 9-month old in the restaurant whilst she tries to eat because her husband won’t help her?
That man who pretends he does not care that his wife is eye-humping every man in the room and dresses as if she wants it all in return?
Nope and nope. I’m looking the other way.
I mustn’t fuss with their issues as I do not have full context nor does anyone want a stranger lurking into their relationship issues. But what if they did? What if these people just wanted a good talking to from someone that understands the human condition and makes a living out of observing and coaching people through relationship issues? What kind of advice would I give? And for that matter, what kind of plea’s would I make?
1. Please understand that every time you accept anything but what you need and deserve, you are giving credence to whatever you get. If I am with you and I get to sit around while you do all the work, and you stay with me and have sex with me and do things for me despite it all, why would I change? It’s not that I shouldn’t change but if I’m selfish, lazy or clueless by nature, then changing is not naturally in my cards.
2. Please examine why you choose to stay. I had a client tell me that they are afraid of leaving because they could find themselves second guessing the decision. I asked them very plainly, how long have you second guessed the fact that you’re staying?
And, which of these two situations allows you a different opportunity? Whether you’re conflicted with staying or leaving, you’re conflicted. But leaving is the only one of the two options that offers you an opportunity to see the other side. So you either stay and nothing changes or you leave and something can change.
3. Please examine what you love about yourself. Seriously. Whether it’s your fire, your wit, your ambition or your humor, there are things that make you awesome. If you don’t know, find someone that can help you find yourself. For if you don’t love yourself, no one else will love you and all of the bad you tolerate will seem okay to you since you don’t love yourself enough to feel as though you deserve better.
4. Please find your voice. And while I don’t intend to come at this from an overly anthemic posture, there is something to be said about ‘Fight Song‘, ‘Roar‘ and ‘Brave’. These are songs about moving on, being strong and not allowing the weight of the world to weigh you down. Pound for pound, you’re better than that. But truth in advertising, no one knows unless you act like you know!
I was walking back from the basketball court today and I saw a couple swinging their child between them. It was so nice in that they would stop a couple times and allow the child to explore the leaves while the couple simply embraced each other. I don’t know what their secret sauce is, even if I want to dissect it.
But as I turned the corner and caught a couple jawing at each other about bills and mysterious texts, it was all I could do to not grab them by their ears and make one last plea!
5. Please be with someone that will make you happy and vice versa. It’s not enough for one partner to want a future with the other, it takes two and when working lifelong love is a pretty damn sweet tango. If you find yourself questioning the validity of your relationship more often than not, well that my friends is a pretty strong indicator. Explore it!
One of the best songs in the whole wide world, by the way, is ‘He Thinks He’ll Keep Her‘ by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Good message and somewhat appropriate to what I’m rambling about here.
Thank you for reading. You are a big part of my ability to push through. Sincerely!
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great article…perfect timing
Do not settle
Wow great article. I wish I could do what you said. I’ve been beat down so long I feel scared to be alone. You definitely hit my situation 2-5 with emphasis on 2 and 3. Now if I can only muster the courage.