by Stacy Ekstrand

Dear Stacy,

I've been seeing someone for 7 years. I find our relationship to be toxic, yet I continue to go back. I feel great when we are together, but then we have no contact for a few days. So obviously my moods fluctuate during these periods. Help!!!

Thanks for your straightforwardness regarding where you are in your relationship. Seven years is a long time to have a connection to someone and it can be quite painful when it is toxic. It can feel like quite a roller coaster ride when you feel great one minute with her, almost like a high, then toxic/ill the next.

Often people spend a lot of time trying to "figure out" how come the other person is doing what they are doing, which can drive them crazy. They may never be able to come up with the answer but they spent a lot of their precious time trying. Often they try to come up with a reason for why the person is acting that way so they can tell them what they need to do to "fix" them. This effort to "help/control/fix" them usually is done as a means to get what they need from the relationship, however, they quickly find that controlling never works nor does relating to someone as if they are broken in need of fixing. The typical response by them is anger, resentment and distancing.

If you have a complaint, rather than try to "fix" the person or spending time complaining, accept who they are and put in a simple, specific request. The request allows the person to say yes/no or give you a counter offer. The answer will let you know where the other person stands. You can then choose whether you will accept that or choose to leave. However, if you stay and choose to continue to complain, it will likely bring repeated negative consequences to the relationship.

If you consistently do not have your conditions of satisfaction for a relationship at the % you are looking for despite your requests, you have a choice to make. If you choose to leave it may be painful in the short run, but you will get over it and it is less painful then to stay unsatisfied (in chronic pain) over a longer time.

Consider that if you are in limbo about the relationship, you will be going through the grieving stages until you make a choice either way because you are not getting all of what you want when you have one foot in/one out. It is not complete, one way or another, that is often very painful until you choose, in or out- both feet.

Thank you for an excellent question!

Best wishes- Coach Stacy


To learn more about what Ontological coaching is click here.

If you would like to submit a question or learn more about becoming a coaching client or a coach yourself click here. Your question and answer could be in the next issue of Melt Magazine.

* Stacy Ekstrand, L.C.S.W., C.P.C.
    *Stacy is a licensed psychotherapist and is a Certified Professional Coach. As an Ontological Coach, she works with people to obtain an extraordinary life by their design. Some examples of her clients include; a seven time Emmy award winner who is working to put a television show on the air, a computer business owner looking to increase his capacity to be in an extraordinary relationship, an HR Administrator at a major corporation wanting to develop his coaching skills, a female business owner wanting to produce a book, an insurance salesman wanting to save his marriage and increase his business/income, an art teacher wanting to enjoy her job more often.
Stacy also assists in training other people who are interested in becoming a coach.

For more "Ontological Coaching" click here to view back issues.

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