I’m Growing, My Partner Isn’t
If you’re making positive changes and “growing” in your life and your partner isn’t, what do you do?
Cathy: Hey, Reid.
Reid: Hi, Cathy.
Cathy: So, we work with a lot of people that are doing pretty intensive work on themselves.
Reid: Mmm hmm…
Cathy: They do a lot of coaching and tapping, and they’re changing their lives or becoming someone they want to be, someone powerful and new. And we’ve gotten a number of requests for information: what do you do if your partner isn’t growing – your partner is very content where they are?
Reid: Mmm hmm…
Cathy: And you want to share your excitement, you want to share what you’re doing, and they’re just like “eh, that’s okay.” And it seems like the relationship is growing apart because of that.
Reid: It’s a tough question. I wish I had like a witty little joke I could make, and everyone’d be like “ha ha ha!” and just feel better. (laughing) Maybe that was the joke. I mean it’s a tough situation, right?
Reid: You get on some track of like, “Oh, I’m doing all of this self-development…” – maybe it’s just you’re losing weight, you’re going to the gym, maybe it’s you’re reading every book you can get your hands on, taking every seminar, and you’re transforming your life – however that’s showing up. And your partner does not want to go along for the ride.
Cathy: Mmm hmm.
Reid: Biggest thing, is don’t make your partner wrong. As frustrating as it is…
Cathy: It’s really easy to make them wrong.
Reid: Yeah. You’re like “What are you doing? Like we can reinvent ourselves, we can do whatever we want! The world is ours!”
Cathy: “Don’t you want that for us?”
Reid: Yes. “Why don’t you love me?” (laughing) Don’t make them wrong, because if you make them wrong… “If you’re making me wrong, I’m never doing it!” I’m like, “you can go to hell before I’m gonna do that!”
Reid: “Because I am a stubborn New Englander, and I’m just not moving. (laughing) But – and this isn’t a guarantee – if I see you rocking it hard, and just transforming your life and having a blast, I might be more inclined to, “hmm, so what was that book you’re reading?” Especially if you just leave the book sitting on the toilet.
Cathy: That’s a good place.
Reid: And never tell me to read it. Do not check in to see if I read it, because again, I will never read it.
Reid: You just leave it there, I might get to it. (laughter) And basically, role-model what’s possible and have so much fun – not like “I’m rubbing it in your face” fun, but where people are just like… Make your partners compassionately envious of all the stuff that you’re doing, and just continue to politely invite them along. Now the situation is they don’t – and if they don’t take it, and that’s really a deal breaker for you, like your life is changing and not in a way where you guys are moving on the same track or parallel tracks, then you might need to start really considering…
Cathy: Is this a good relationship?
Reid: Is this a good relationship? And have that conversation. The other thing that you can do often is, if you really evaluate what your relationship at home is for, like what are the purposes of it…
Cathy: What do you need out of it?
Reid: Yeah. The companionship piece, you might be able to source a lot of that growth, companionship, out of community.
Cathy: Mmm hmm.
Reid: And then you still get to have a roommate that you love, who’s the father or the wife, or the whomever of your children… And you just respect them and you kind of let it be that.
Reid: That’s not for everybody, but like, just because you got hooked on “Sweating to the Oldies” with Richard Simmons doesn’t mean you have to get divorced, because your partner doesn’t want to do that.
Cathy: It’s great to make an informed decision – maybe even write a pros and cons list.
Cathy: Like, what am I getting out of this? What do I need out of this? And we have an interview question on when to know when it’s over. So you can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXqWWEZnjtE if you want to watch that.
Reid: Yeah, or just hire Cathy. Like really honestly, be like, “Will you coach me for an hour?” Because you’re good at that. I’m a little bit snarky. You might not like my sense of humor. Cathy’s much more kind and generous.
Cathy: (laughing) If you like snarky…
Reid: If you want snarky, do you want me to be like “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?! DUMP HIM!!” Then you call me… or her… but again, you have more options at your disposal than you think. And start implementing the things that you are learning in those seminars and reading in those books, so that you can hold space for your partner that they may not wanna come along with you on the journey. And that’s its own little mini-workshop.
Cathy: And you can talk to them about it.
Cathy: They may not realize how important it is to you. They may not realize that it’s occurring to you as something that is hurting the relationship.
Reid: Mmm hmm.
Cathy: So telling them what you’re feeling and what your needs are gives them an option of opting in or opting out.
Reid: And I would say these are the needs you’re trying to fulfill. They don’t have to be the ones to do it.
Cathy: Right, right.
Reid: Again, like really honestly, making the other person wrong is the first step towards it never happening, at all. I mean think about it for yourself. How do you handle people blaming you? Especially around personal growth? Like, does that make you jump out of bed, “I’m gonna do that! That thing today! Wheeeee!” No! You’re like, “Burn in hell, my friend. I will never do that.”
Cathy: Thank you!
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