“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Oprah Winfrey
Maybe you’ve been working on yourself for a while now…telling yourself some hard truths, and making changes.
But your partner hasn’t been doing that.
When that dynamic occurs, it’s easy to think that you’ve outgrown your partner…and maybe you have.
But that doesn’t mean the relationship has to end, as long as it’s based in respect for one another.
When we find something that makes an enormous difference in our lives, it’s easy to judge our partners for continuing to struggle, rather than following the same path you did.
The truth is that their path doesn’t have to look the same as yours.
- Some people learn best through working with a coach.
- Some people learn best through reading, journaling, watching videos, or talking to a therapist every week.
- Some people learn through their own life experience. This is the most difficult option, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t choose it every single day. They live through their mistakes and hopefully don’t keep repeating the same ones over and over again.
But what if your partner isn’t learning anything new? What if they’re not pursuing any kind of personal growth at all? My husband isn’t into personal growth the way that I am, but he’s always reading books about health and nutrition, vitamins and supplements. He knows more than I ever will about these topics. His topic of growth isn’t better or worse than my own; it’s just different.
And what if they shit on your personal growth? This is where things fall off the rails for me, because it screams of insecurity. The only reason that someone who claims to love you would attempt to sabotage your growth is because your growth forces them to confront themself. In their mind, it would be easier if you would just be more like them…choosing to change nothing…so they wouldn’t have to face some of those same issues in their own lives.
- Losing weight or getting fit? He might be worried that you won’t be attracted to him anymore.
- Learning how to set boundaries? He might not like these new boundaries you’re setting because he liked it better when you had no boundaries.
- Starting to honor yourself and understand your value? That will require more of him in order to keep his marriage intact.
Take this analogy about crabs…
When crabs are in a bucket and one starts to crawl out, the other crabs reach up and pull it back down with them. It is literally the embodiment of the expression, “Misery loves company.”
If your partner wants you to stay small and miserable with him – so that he doesn’t have to grow at all – that is not someone who has your best interests at heart. They have their OWN interests in mind. They want to remain comfortable and quiet in their fear, which requires nothing of them.
And if that’s not what you want for your one precious life, that’s okay.
It has to be okay, because as you learn and grow, there is no pretending that you don’t know what you now know.
And I’m here for it.
If you’re ready to learn and grow as it relates to your marriage, I’m here for that too.