“Adults get to behave however they want.” Brooke Castillo
My client, Maggie, has begged her husband, Joe, for years to spend more time with her. The kids are grown and off on their own now and Maggie is ready to travel more, go to concerts, art exhibits, and new restaurants. She would like to feel more connected to Joe, but keeps hitting what feels like a brick wall.
She asks him if he wants to plan a trip to the Caribbean and he says, “No, I can’t be away from work for that long.”
She buys tickets to a concert she thought would be fun for them and although he goes with her, he doesn’t even pretend to have much fun.
She makes dinner reservations for the two of them and he shows up 25 minutes late.
We could create at dozens of different reasons why Joe isn’t engaging with his wife and make all of those excuses sound pretty sophisticated, but ultimately here’s the truth: He doesn’t want to.
And here’s how I know that:
As adults, we ultimately do what we want to do.
Even when it’s inconvenient….
Even when we think we can’t afford it…
Even when it’s not what others want us to do….
We do what we want to do.
It sounds harsh, but it’s true, isn’t it?
We make up lots of intellectual words and theories that attempt to describe and excuse our behavior, but the truth is that if Joe wanted to engage and re-connect with his wife, he would.
If he wanted to make their struggling relationship a priority in his life, he would.
If he wanted to have fun, enjoying himself at concerts or plays or the newest restaurant, he would.
At the end of the day, if it’s important to us, we figure it out. Don’t we?
And, as adults, we pay the price for the choices we make.
Maggie now has one foot out the door because she’s not about to be disregarded or sit home alone watching her life pass before her eyes.
Like all of us, Joe gets to do whatever he really wants to do. And like all of us, he then will live with the results of those choices.
Have you been hoping for change and believing either your own or his excuses for why you haven’t been able to re-connect with one another? Maybe I can help. Let’s talk.
With much love and light –