A friend of mine shared with me “I probably need to get divorced.” I hadn't been in touch with him for a while, and was a little surprised that he wasn't already long divorced. A few years ago, he discovered that his preference is not for women. He does have a child.
I got to thinking about why a person might stay like this when it is so fundamentally at odds with who he is. Aside from inertia, I imagine his child has something to do with it. There is plenty of data out there about the benefits to a child of growing up in a two parent home, but I wonder about the model that he is providing.
I come back to this theme a lot because my experience is not always in line with what I want for my children. In my case, I want my children to have love in their lives and to be happy. I'd also like them to be curious, bold, take risks, chase their dreams, and play full out, but I think these are just what I see as a path to greater happiness.
On the one hand, I know kids come through pretty well despite a lot of parental noise and stupidity. On the other, I can't help thinking that the model we provide has a pretty strong influence. And I wonder about what our children pick up in the balance. If my friend is staying in his marriage for his child, is his child necessarily getting the message he wants him to?
If he saw his child in a relationship that went against his fundamental nature, would he tell his child to just hang in there a bit longer? I doubt it. But it's possible that this is the message his child is getting. In my case, I don't want my kids to sacrifice themselves on the altar of what's good for someone else, even if that someone else is his own child. Rather, I think if he takes great care of his own needs – obviously responsibly and with respect – his child will learn to do the same. And if that's what I think will work for my child, it's who I ought be.
I certainly don't want my children feeling like I am a victim of their existence. So I guess I am left with what best serves my child is my being great and fulfilled in my own life. Where I am not that, it is my role as a parent to work responsibly to be great and fulfilled, happy and loved, so that my kids can have that in their own lives. In other words, the best thing we can do is be who we want our children to be.
And this brings me back to my friend. I contacted him because he knows people and I am growing my business. He suggested no coach is going to solve this. He's right. It is not a coach's job to solve anything. It is my job to help a person see the costs and rewards associated with his choices so that he can powerfully choose his next step. Perhaps I can offer a perspective that he hasn't tried on. Perhaps I can give him a reason to do now what he might otherwise put off unnecessarily.
And so, my dear reader, perhaps this is what I can do for you. What are you tolerating? Does it really serve you? While you might have a certain comfort in the status quo, consider that you are paying with your life. So I invite you to take some time. Look at my Get Started page. Then, if you think I could make a difference for you, fill it out, send it along and we'll schedule a conversation.