Yup. I’m guilty.
Many relationship problems
come from one of these two errors:
being loving without truth and limits,
or being truthful without being loving.
– Dr. Henry Cloud
You have to ask yourself if you are really happy with your current reality, or would something make it better? We must ask ourselves how long we’re willing to continue to live with things considering the way they have been going. Do you want your current reality, frustration, or problem six months from now? Are you willing to continue living the way things have been for another year? Another two years? Do you want to continue having the same conversations in the future? The same feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, rejection, and more?
If you are in an abusive relationship are you willing to continue living with that abuse in the hopes that things will improve? Are you willing to be beaten for another two months in the hopes that things will get better? Are you willing to live with being talked down to for two more weeks?
I asked myself if I could take my current reality a month and even two weeks from now and the answer was always, no.
“When you ask yourself if you should have hope for this person or business to get better, the first diagnostic is to see what has been happening up to this point. Unless something changes, that is exactly what you can expect to happen in the future. The best predictor of the future…is the past.” (94)
The previous section really spoke to me because I had reached a point of hopelessness but couldn’t put it into words. Dr. Cloud’s words really made sense to me and validated everything that I felt.
I WASN’T CRAYYYYYYYZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AFTER ALLLL!
But what if you and I were not in the same situations and you want to keep going? What if you don’t want things to end but you’re at an impasse and not sure what to think? From the main points he makes in this chapter, the following ideas may help you define the answer to those questions as to when the relationship is worth keeping-
♦ Admission of a need to change (105). If there is to be hope, there needs to be a sincere acknowledgment that change is needed. A repentance of the harm and hurt that actions (or inaction) have caused. A heart-driven cry for help. A statement that change is needed immediately. The first step for an abuser or addict to move forward is the admission that there is a problem. An abuser or alcoholic will probably never make strides towards improvement if they don’t see that a problem exists. If they don’t see that a problem exists, there probably is little hope for the relationship to continue.
♦ Investment in a change process (102). In addition to admitting the need for change there should be active participation in a change process. If your marriage is suffering and you are going to counseling but your spouse is not, there is probably little reason for hope. However if you are both attending counseling together or on your own, there is more hope for the future of the marriage.
On the other hand, if your abusive, alcoholic boyfriend has started going to AA meetings there may be hope for the future of the relationship. When there is investment in a change process over time, hopelessness can be suspended. Do you want the rest of your relationship to be about making the change happen? How long are you willing to let the change process last before hopelessness takes over?
♦ You’re not driving the change…entirely. When my marriage was suffering, it seemed like I was driving the change for positive improvement. Did I have my share in causing the hurt? Absolutely. Was I perfect? No way. But I felt I was the one driving the wagon for forward movement. I didn’t feel it was mutual. It made me feel alone and I realized that we were not on the same page with where we wanted to be. Not only should there be movement, but there should be some signs of success early on.
“If you are having to nag them into doing the work , chances are that if you quit nagging, then the work is going to stop as well. And if the work is not sustained, the the change is less likely to occur.” (104, 105)
I recently wrote a post about a concept Dr. Henry Cloud discusses – necessary endings. His book Necessary Endings, was SO influential that I decided to make one of THE MOST pivotal decisions of my life. Two chapters in particular (5 and 6) clinched things for me and when I read them, the film came off my eyes and the answers became crystal clear.
I want to share these two chapters with you over the next few days.
The pivotal decision I made was to end my marriage. A little history (and herstory) is needed for background, and to put things in perspective… Read the rest of this entry »
NOTE: These are not my ideas. This intellectual property belongs to Dr. Henry Cloud and his book Necessary Endings.
I’ve just reread Henry Cloud’s book, Necessary Endings. This book was pivotal in my decision to end a toxic relationship – my marriage.
I am proud of the decision? No.
Was it necessary? Absolutely. It had become a toxic relationship.
And no slander to my ex-wife, it was on both of us. It always is.
This book was SO profound to me that I decided I am going to summarize a couple chapters of the book over the next few weeks. I am really looking forward to having a dialogue in the Comments section of each post so if you’re game and want a head start, GO GET THE BOOK ALREADY! http://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Endings-Employees-Businesses-Relationships/dp/0061777129
Have you read the book? Please let me know in the comment section below, or click the “thumbs up” icon. Let me know if you’re planning on buying the book, or planning on joining in, in any way. This is going to be really exciting!
I’m going mention the major points of chapters 5 and 6 (at least) since these were the two sections that validated what I was feeling and going through. It will answer questions like-
This book was a life changer for me.
It is a staple book on my book shelf. It is thoroughly highlighted and marked up with extra notes.
I hope it impacts your life in a positive way.
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