Walking this morning and pondering the hard lessons that creating fundament shift in relationship is deeply challenging with only one trying to change. This hard lesson is coming more into focus as clients who for many good and deeply held reasons attempt solo change. Sadly, some partners, resist any change clinging to the status quo, even when the status quo is filled with distress, protest, anger, attack, or withdrawal.
As humans we are bonders. When our partners are attuned to our emotions, both soft and hard, responsive to each others wants, needs, longings, and engaged with us in vulnerable ways miracles can and do occur. I have been present for many of them.
When our partners will not or do not hear our hurts and share their own, attempting to shift difficult relationship patterns can re-wound, be a cause for increased anxiety, more loneliness and foster depression. If our human desire to be heard, seen, cared for, validated falls on deaf ears it can often be worse than emotionally laden and difficult engagement. Not being there can be akin to jumping into an abyss knowing there is no net of any kind, or worse there are lions in the pit.
Some very difficult decisions need to be faced if for some reason you find yourself in a relationship where the message is “You need to change!” Indeed you may need to…but this is NOT your work alone!