Many things can keep you stuck from moving forward in your marriage. Especially when you have been struggling for a while and now just no longer know if there is anything you can do to make it better so you can stay or if you finally need to leave the marriage and think about divorce.
Most of what keeps us stuck, or keeps us doing the same thing while not making any progress is fear. These fears are made up mostly of thoughts and beliefs that we have held for a long time. Many of which we do not even realize we have. As soon as we start to think about what to do, we find out just how hard it can be to think about leaving.
You have to find your answer for your life and your marriage, but it is not easy. You already know this if you are here, and you have probably already been stuck in the place of indecision and uncertainty for a while. You may not know how to be in your existing relationship, but also do not know how to decide to leave it either.
I want to share with you one of the common things that keep us stuck and unable to know what our best next step to take might be.
The first fear that will keep you stuck is judgment. The fear that “people will judge me.”
We all have well intentioned family and friends that want to see us happy and be there for us. BUT, they also want to feel comfortable, and feel “okay”.
See, change makes people uneasy. It brings up all kinds of fears and thoughts that may or not actually be true. So when we confide in someone about our marriage and the struggle we are facing, it is going to make them feel uncomfortable. Not because of us, or because of our marriage but because of all the thoughts and beliefs they have about their own lives. Because of their own fears.
They will have fear about how it will might impact you, and how it might impact them. They will worry about what people will think of you. They will have fear about what they would do if they were in the same situation.
It will bring up their fears and also their own judgments. They will give you their opinion and advice based on these fears and judgments. So what they are really doing is telling you THEIR story because this is all they have. They have their ideas, their expectation, their experiences, and their own judgments and this is what they draw upon when you share your struggle. All they can really do is tell you what they think from their own perspective.
This judgment from others can keep you stuck for sure, but your OWN judgment about yourself can keep you paralyzed.
Maybe there was a time when you had thoughts about someone else’s marriage ending and you judged them for it. Maybe you thought he was a bad guy, or that he must have had an affair, or that she did something. Maybe you thought they did not try hard enough to “fix” it. So you judged them for choosing divorce.
So now, when you think about ending your marriage, or are uncertain about what the next step is for yourself, you start to think it through. You think that people will decide you are a bad guy, that you didn’t try hard enough, that you had an affair, or that something bad must have happened. You have the same judgments of your own, except this time, they are against you.
The thing is, we cannot know what goes on inside anyone else’s relationship. Just as you did not know the whole story or both sides of the story when you were doing the judging, no one else knows the whole story about you and your marriage. You did not know what is was like day to day for them, and no one else knows what is it like day to day for you.
This applies to anyone else who is not married to you. So all those other people you are concerned about, they are not in your marriage. They do not know what you have tried, or what you have done. You are the only one who knows. You are the only one whose opinion is valid.
You have to drop your own judgments in order to find our answer for you and your life and realize that other people’s opinions are just THEIR story, and their perspective. They are only showing you their fears and uncertainty when they start to feel uncomfortable.
If you want to find out how to move past judgment and find your answer for your marriage, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Exploratory session with me. Let’s see if we are a good fit to work together.