Q: Dear Karen Kaye,
I tend to get lazy or too comfortable in my relationships, and then I lose interest. Am I starting over or running away?
Thank you, Penny
A: Dear Penny,
Truly starting over, you do not leave unfinished business behind. Whether you are starting over within an old life or creating a completely new life, please be cautioned there are no “geographical cures” (changing locations), and there will be pluses and minuses to the new life. If starting over leaves someone or something behind incomplete or distressed, you may be running away from something that you will probably take with you anyway.
Remember, whatever you are leaving behind, you are 50 percent responsible for the results and outcomes. Therefore, if you didn’t communicate well or live up to your agreements, and did not set and keep reasonable boundaries, no magic will occur that will allow you to accept and correct your personal weaknesses. Things may get better for a little while, and then get even worse when your guilt or shame kicks in.
I am a big believer that people need to stay the course with any relationship (work or personal), and do what it takes to re-negotiate a situation (with professional help) until corrections are made from both sides, before burning bridges that cannot be retrieved. Difficult situations can change when you let someone know, ‘we either change and get help or I will have to leave, but I really do not want to. I am willing to give something up to create change on my end. How about you?’
The sad truth is the people who feel they need to run away oftentimes believe they are the victim. They justify their actions by thinking it is the other person who needs to change in order to make them happy.
Once you have given the relationship three to six months in good, qualified counseling to learn how to renegotiate your needs and wants, you can reassess the situation. People (including you) do not change overnight. Many take three steps forward and two steps back, but as long as there is a steady shift, you are on the way to maturing and living in the correction of your relationship. This will be a major success for both you and your partner, and lay a foundation you can count on to bring strength to you and your relationship.
I have come to realize in my 27 years of private practice that relationships are in our lives as learning lessons and as a “laboratory” where we test our beliefs of ourselves and others… helping us grow up and get past our own limitations as individuals.
Karen Kaye, LMHC
If you would like to speak to Karen Kaye directly about this or any other topic, call 954-384-1217. See ad page 55.