EP 153: Staying in a Relationship Out of Guilt and Obligation with Brooke

This call is about asking for what you want in a relationship and if you don’t get it how to leave without feeling guilty. Today’s caller, Brooke, is deciding whether or not to leave her marriage. She is struggling with guilt and obligation due to a major expectation hangover that came up after they were married.

The big picture in ending a relationship with someone who is going through a difficult time like an expectation hangover, a physical diagnosis, death in the family etc. but those things do not give someone an excuse not to show up in a relationship. There may be an initial time when a diagnosis is given or the person is dealing with the shock when the person needs space or a little extra leeway where some extra TLC is in order. When our partner is down in the dumps dealing with a difficult issue we have to pull up and withhold the space to let them transition into their feelings. However, if they continue to pull away, withdraw, and be a victim then the issue is more about how they are showing up in the relationship.

When we talk about vows such as, in sickness or in health, it doesn’t mean if a sickness occurs the sick person gets a permanent permission slip to stop showing up as a spouse or partner.

We cannot let people off the hook because we feel sorry for them. And, we shouldn’t allow our own issues to be an excuse for not being a good partner. Don’t let yourself off the hook because you feel sorry for yourself and don’t let your partner off the hook because you feel sorry for them. Loving someone does not include pity. Pity is not love and eventually, it leads to resentment.

You don’t really know someone until a massive expectation hangover hits. How someone shows up in the difficult times is an indicator of how they will show up in the rest of their lives.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Do you make decisions out of guilt or obligation? Does guilt stop you from doing something you feel is self-honoring?
  • Are you wondering why you are in a relationship where you don’t feel like you are being met?
  • Is your partner going through a rough time or an expectation hangover and it impacts how they are showing up in the relationship?
  • Do you pretend things are OK when they are not? Do you wear a mask or have trouble with vulnerability?

Brooke’s Question:

Brooke would like guidance about what to do after experiencing an expectation hangover in her marriage due to her husband’s illness.

Brooke’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • Her husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after they were married.
  • Her husband has moved in with his parents.
  • She feels betrayed.
  • She feels obligated to stay with her husband.
  • She felt sorry for her father.
  • She chooses weaker men.
  • She feels resentful towards her husband.
  • She wants out of the relationship.
  • She is playing the part of the victim.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • She should ask for what she needs from her husband using both her feminine and masculine energy.
  • She needs to get a coach or a therapist and/or participate in my Personal Mastery Course.
  • She needs to shed the guilt.

Takeaways For You:

  • If you are questioning your relationship and you want to leave, are you doing all you can so you can leave without the guilt and obligation?
  • If you are in a relationship but don’t know why then ask yourself what you are learning from the relationship.
  • To have difficult conversations, just do it. Don’t let fear stop you.
  • Take off your mask. Often, it is vulnerability that gets us out of victimhood.
  • Trust your choices! The biggest life lessons are often the hardest lessons.


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What we attract or bring into our adult life are things to help us heal unresolved issues from our childhood. https://apple.co/1hO8XZR #overitandonwithit Share on X Just because someone has an illness doesn’t give them an excuse not to show up as a spouse or partner. https://apple.co/1hO8XZR #overitandonwithit Share on X Journey-mate relationships are when there is a circumstance that ends the relationship and both people realize there are tremendous lessons to learn. https://apple.co/1hO8XZR #overitandonwithit Share on X

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