Are you sitting on the fence? Why you shouldn’t play the waiting game

When you’re sitting on the fence in a relationship, it’s the most painful place to be. It’s a place of waiting for something to happen, or for some motivation to make a choice between staying and leaving. You feel lonely, unfulfilled and unsatisfied. And you wait because it isn’t easy leaving someone who you know has a good heart and does their best to make it work.

Leonardo Aguiar via Flickr

Leonardo Aguiar via Flickr

In my private practice, I have noticed that guilt keeps a lot of people in relationships. On some level you might feel it would be wrong for you to leave someone who is good to you. But if you’re unhappy, you’re fooling yourself if you think your partner doesn’t notice.

The moment that you do make a choice – whether it’s to leave or to stay and accept the person as they are – there is freedom in making a choice. You can move away from that painful place and either move on or move forward with your relationship by confronting your issues, and working on them with your partner.

A really effective way to deal with the guilt you might feel in leaving is to shift your perception so you have faith that your partner will be okay without you. They will survive.

I often witness clients who won’t leave because of guilt-provoking thoughts that hold them back.

Do you have thoughts like this?

I don’t want to hurt him. He’s a good man and does his best.

He’s never done anything bad to me. It would be easier to leave if he was a jerk.

He won’t be able to handle it if I leave him.

Some of my clients who are on the fence won’t leave because of similar thoughts. These thoughts come from a place of fear. They keep you on the fence, passively waiting for some motivation to help you make a choice. And the motivation usually doesn’t come. Then years pass by, and you are still in this unbearable place.

If you choose to leave, you can both find more passionate, fulfilling relationships with other people. It’s important to trust in the other person’s ability to cope. In trusting them, you acknowledge that they’re strong and will get through it. You also acknowledge that they deserve a relationship with someone who accepts them as they are.

Eleazer via Flickr

Eleazer via Flickr

If you’re in this place, make a choice and get off the fence. No matter what you choose to do, be confident in yourself and your partner. You can find peace of mind by making a choice, and you have all you need to find the love you want.

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6 Responses to Are you sitting on the fence? Why you shouldn’t play the waiting game

  1. beque says:

    I’m sitting on the fence and have been for over 7 years. Problem is that my previous relationships were also fence sitting so I don’t know if I’m capable of anything else and I’m 36 and don’t want to miss out on having kids! My partner is lovely but I wake up with waves of fear and think about it every few minutes during the day. It’s seriously killing me, and my poor partner, his self esteem is suffering and I’m wasting his time. Most posts I read are by women about men and the men sound just like me. I need to get some help or read some posts by other women who were in my situation and decided to leave or stay and how it worked out for them. I’m so scared of the future. I’d rather die than carry on like this.

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  3. JS says:

    I am like beque (posted 2014). I have been hoping for the counseling and some other things to change. They really have not. He has changed somethings about himself, but his old self reals its ugly head since I cam back and leaving a few years ago. Its like Stockholme syndrom perhaps? years of emotional abuse, mistreatment, etc. and now he thinks I am not damaged and am to keep moving forward as I have allowed it to be, and enabled him. So part of this is my fault. I am not backed into a tight corner, with feelings of no where to turn for help, no way out, and to die as I am a slow miserable life.

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