|Should I Stay or Should I Go? Holding on to Marriage [relationship]|
|It is the season of endings and beginnings. I look out my window and most of the trees are bare. Yet two oak trees stand with their tenacious dried and brown leaves rustling in the wind. Every year, these leaves hang on for dear life through the winter. Sometime around April, when the new buds begin to appear, they quietly make their solitary trip down to the ground. What are they holding on to? Or is the tree simply unwilling to let go? What must it be like to look around at the bare landscape and know that their fellow foliage made different choices? |
These trees remind me of some of the couples that I coach. Their situation looks bleak and yet they are holding on. There is the memory of who they were. There is the dream of who they were going to become. Relationships are mysterious and magical and often coaching moves the couple to a new place that the evanescent leaves can never hope to go. A place of stability and permanence. Are you in a relationship that is holding on?
Set aside some time to talk
Create an atmosphere that will help you both listen to each other respectfully. If there are safe havens in your relationship, create one for this conversation.
Four questions to ask yourselves about your relationship
What are our complaints about each other and what are the disappointed dreams that lie behind those complaints?
Can we tell each other our dreams? Are we are willing to honor each other’s dreams?
Are we locked into playing roles that don’t fit us anymore? Do we need to switch roles? Do we need to let go of some of the roles? Who are we together without the roles?
Do I distance myself from a quality in you that I marginalize in myself? Do you do the same?
I watch the two trees in my yard, and I probably have some wisdom for them that they themselves might not be able to articulate. Similarly, our relationships watch us. The relationship knows things that we ourselves do not always see. And more than anything it wants us to be having this conversation - to connect in a way that will revive the relationship or give us the courage to let go.