Not that long ago, on a bitterly cold day, James and I went to the mall.
We'd just gotten inside away from the freezing wind, when I remembered a bag I’d left in the car.
“I’ve got to go back,” I said, looking at James with despair.
“Ah, I’m sorry, honey,” he said with true sympathy. Then he pulled out his iPhone, leaned against the entry wall, and gave me a reassuring look. “I’ll wait right here for you.”
This wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
But since I was the one who had forgotten the bag (and talk incessantly about healthy boundaries), I began my trek back across the parking lot—proud that I hadn’t whined or tried manipulating him into going back to car for me.
Taking ownership, dear reader, is a personal win.
In the past, I used to show up in romantic relationships as a child looking for a parent, a rescuer, a saviour, a knight in shining armour.
After a lot of dedicated work, I'm now able to partner as a healthy adult.
Going back for the bag alone was an important moment for me.
Still, with every step, my mind pounded with one pervasive thought:
If he really loved me, he would have come with me.
Thankfully, I remembered to pause and connect to the truth.
Because I know that voice. And it’s never made me happy.
If I followed that line of thinking, it would lead me straight into self-righteousness and anger—and nothing I want is there.
So I turned the flawed logic around:
If I really loved HIM, I wouldn't want him to come with me.
Too often, our painful thoughts come from fantasies we’ve formed about love that are based on what we’ve read or seen in the movies.
That's a problem. Because (NEWSFLASH!) romance novels and rom-coms don't depict mature, healthy love.
They're almost always an unconscious expression of codependency that's rooted in childhood wounds.
Did I really need James to be uncomfortable to prove his love?
Nope. Not anymore.
That's why I walked MYSELF through the discomfort of that cold, wintery day. And it's why I walked back to James victorious.
There was no pouting, no punishment, and no passive-aggressive bullshit.
For me, this is serious growth!
Showing up as a healthy, capable adult feels wonderful.
If you're not there yet, take heart. The purpose of any relationship is to educate you about YOU.
If you're still in the learning phase, that's perfectly fine.
I am too.
Sending you so much love,
P.S. Sir James would like you to know this story is an exception.
He has run back to the car on my behalf many times and is absolutely SICK OF IT. 😂😂😂😂
Also, he told me to tell you that I've never had to get myself a glass of wine for the last 12 years because HE'S the one who gets it for me. (Which is true and I love it).
P.S.S. Listen loves, we're not meant to do everything alone and communicating our wishes to others is an important part of healthy boundary development (as long as we honour their right to say no).
It would have been just fine if I had asked James if he'd be WILLING to go with me. I made a personal choice NOT to, because I'm still working on some unhealthy dependency tendendancies from the past.
Relationships give us an opportunity to experience joyful reciprocity and it's beautiful when partners choose to do something for the other in ways that are considerate, kind, and thoughtful.
But if you're using manipulation or emotional blackmail to get your needs met, let's change that NOW! CLICK HERE to purchase 3 sessions of private coaching with me and start a love relationship with yourself.