Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Fly on the Wall…

It’s interesting to me that so many people have complete communication breakdowns within their relationships. I say this because I received correspondence from a guy who talked on and on and on about how his girlfriend of many years “wanted a ring but he needed a prenup and didn’t know how to tell her without her getting really upset.” It seemed like after many years together, asking for a prenup, even though people don’t want to enter a marriage thinking that it might not succeed, was really no big deal. It seemed to be his biggest worry though. I tried to help him through a good solution but he seemed to be defending his relationship at every turn. I didn’t think much about it since it didn’t seem as though he really wanted my help other than to tell me “how great his relationship was and how jealous he isn’t”. Okay…nothing more I could do. I didn’t have enough information to go on and it wasn’t really my business anyway (like I ever care what’s my business and what isn’t…hee…hee…) Or was it?...Days later, I was strangely put right in the middle of the relationship as a “fly on the wall” when his girlfriend told me her side of the story. Apparently she doesn’t even like him at all and would “never marry him and the relationship has lasted much longer than it should have.”…uh oh…It appeared that I was the only person with all of the information now. Someone was using this “prenup” issue as an excuse. I wasn’t sure if he knew that the relationship was over and his desperation to keep someone he “wasn’t jealous of” every time he turned around made him come up with excuses for why it wasn’t working, or if he really thought it was working but she had somehow made him feel like the only problem was that he wasn’t proposing in hopes that he wouldn’t propose and she could keep it all in its place. Wwwhhheeeww….! What a mess! I was pretty sure that it was a little of both but clearly the two of them weren’t communicating with each other on the topic. It seemed like the relationship, as it stood currently, was a huge energy sucking waste of time for both of them. Of course it wasn’t the first I had seen this. I have seen many people stand frozen in time while their relationships stole years from them. The problem with this was the blame of each other when they would finally take action and pull it apart. This one wasn’t going to end pretty. I was quite sure that one of them was going to cheat on the other and use an excuse that it was the other’s fault for reasons that likely weren’t anywhere near the actual reason- they didn’t like each other. The jealousy, the marriage, the prenup, the kids,…they were all just “stuff” that protected each of them from the real truth that apparently seemed more hurtful than slinging excuses at each other.

The point is that if people had a fly on the wall of their relationships that they could play back in order to get the whole story, it would be much easier to know where they really stand. Now, I’m not suggesting that we bug each other’s conversations with friends…though it’s actually not a bad idea if we are planning on not having a real conversation with each other…BUT as a rule, people in unhealthy relationships get caught up in the drama of not knowing what’s going to happen. Again, it’s none of my business but I know what’s going to happen. That guy is going to end up in years of therapy talking about how the love of his life got away because he was afraid to ask her for a prenup “when all she wanted was to marry him.” His therapist will ask him why he thinks that he pushes women away from him and leave him single and dwelling on the fact that he has a fear of commitment while he weeps around town for 10 years (because that will be the only information he will have for the therapist). As for the girl- she will be dating someone else in 2 months and not even remember his name.

So how can we protect ourselves from staying involved in something that will pass our lives away? It’s actually not easy but we can do our best to recognize the warning signs of the reality that our relationship is the wrong relationship for us.
  1. If your partner is out all the time flirting with other people and you are pretending that it doesn’t make you jealous, it’s probably not the right relationship for you…
  2. If every time you talk in public, your partner is questioning why you talked about what you talked about, it’s probably not the right relationship for you….
  3. If your partner is throwing out ridiculous requests that you can only fail at:

  •  “I want a ring but I won’t sign a prenup…”
  •  “Rotate the silverware so it’s used evenly…”
  •  “I want to go out of town but only when you’re working, not on your days off…”
  •  “I want a child but you have had a hysterectomy…”
  •  “My parents won’t accept you because you’re not the right religion…”
  •  “My children don’t like you and they come first…”
  •  “I don’t like the color of your hair, how you talk, your body type, and I don’t want to be seen in public with you…”

Bottom line- it’s not happening! It’s probably NOT the right relationship for you… You don’t need a fly on the wall to tell you that it’s time to move on.  You will only have yourself to blame when years pass you by if you don’t heed the warning signs and move on yourself. Waiting for the other person to take action will leave you screwed up thinking it’s over for all the wrong reasons because most people don’t have the courage to tell you the simple truth- It’s not me, it’s you…AND we all know it’s THEM!...