A client once told me that the reason she remains in her unhealthy relationship was because she and her partner owned a property together. After years of cohabiting and sharing her partner with other women and his drinking binges, she vowed that this year would be different. After acquiring my services, it was clear that she wanted change, but unclear of how to make them. She talked about their fun times, family (two small children), money saved sharing the financial obligations, great gifts, the love, and the amazing intimacy.
It was during our second session when she realised that fixing the relationship would mean sacrificing her trusting him, believing his lies, and accepting that he may never stop spending time with his friends, or hang out having a drink. It also meant that she would now have to consider breaking up her idea of a happy family, selling the property, buying him out, or sharing the quarters. This was now becoming a challenge for her, one which she was ready to commit to.
What she did first…
She did an assessment of her finances, as she did not want to remain in the relationship or live in the same quarters. It was very important for her to gain back her independence as she had been co-dependent on her partner for years.
She sought the support of her family and close friends. This was also a challenge, as many of her loved ones assumed she was happy, and that there would one day be a wedding.
It was now time to consider the children. With the support of a family therapist, she had a conversation with them to find out how they felt about the relationship, and how they viewed their family life. Might I add, the children’s responses were astounding as they had seen and understood far greater than mommy thought.
For years, she has struggled with personal insecurities, it was now time to get into counselling for herself. Money was tight, but after a few calls, she managed to secure the perfect therapist. This was a unique situation, as she was also dealing with abandonment issues from an early age. This was also an opportunity for her to sit and be okay with being imperfect.
Where is she today…
This beautiful woman is no longer in that relationship, however, she continues to fight for total freedom. With the support of a loved one, she has been blessed to buy her ex out. The problem she is having now is that he continues to threaten her with family court and child support. Although the children are in her care the majority of each month, and he has never missed a monthly child support payment, he uses court threats as a way to continue to control her. Thankfully, she has been privy to a great support system and his threats no longer sway her.
Although each case is unique, what remains the same for many is that an unhealthy relationship, is unhealthy. There is no amount of money, gifts, or intimacy that can change the relationship until both parties agree to put in a 100% effort. If you want to know how much effort your partner is making, give them some time, and allow the real them to show up.
In closing, I want to add that while this may not be your situation, I feel this can encourage you to make the right decision for you and or your family. Leaving may not be your option, but be encouraged, help is out there. Especially, when both parties want it.
All the best,
Tina T Laws is the owner of Tina T Laws Consulting and is the founder of Under Konstruction and the Perfect Partnership Programme.
She coaches women (and healthy couples), towards living their best life. She believes that having a great partnership gives you the added strength in life to become the most powerful version of you to present to the world.
He may not be perfect for you, but he is a perfect fit for me!
Tina is a certified Relationship Coach, as well as a trained Domestic Violence Facilitator and Advocate.
Facebook: Tina T Laws Consulting