Waiting for Change
It was about this time last year that my client, Suzanne, was waiting for her daughter to graduate before confronting her husband about his affair.
She didn’t want that drama impacting her daughter’s special time.
She eventually told her husband she knew he had been having an affair for the last two years and that he was free to leave if that’s what he wanted.
Suzanne’s husband said he was sorry, that he’d made a mistake and that he wanted to make the marriage work.
Suzanne’s idea of making the marriage work was actually working on the marriage: counseling, working with a coach or even just reading a book.
Her idea of making the marriage work was gaining clarity about why he had an affair to begin with and doing the work to rebuild trust that had been broken.
He said he’d read a book, but he never did.
He said he’s go see a counselor, but he only went twice in the last year.
He said he just wasn’t into “all that personal growth stuff…”
She’s waited a full year for him to do what he said he would do.
Waiting for him to make an effort…
Waiting for the marriage to get better…
Waiting for her trust in him to return…
Eventually the time comes when you stop waiting for what’s promised and you start telling yourself the truth about the reality.
He wanted her to accept his apology and trust that he wouldn’t do it again.
She wanted real change in the marriage so that they wouldn’t end up back in this same place at a later date.
Every adult gets to do what they want to do.
He gets to NOT do any additional work if he doesn’t want to.
And Suzanne gets to choose whether or not she wants to remain in the marriage with him.
Every adults gets to do what they want to do; and every adult gets to live with the consequences of those actions. #adultingishard
Of course, we should give people the opportunity to make amends for hurts they regret.
But when they are consistently saying one thing and doing another…
You should stop waiting and start believing their actions (or inactions, as the case may be).