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Empowerment Insights

Transform your thinking and change your life with Empowerment Insights by Jenny Jarvis
Life Change Articles from Jenny Jarvis Coaching

Why we stay in relationships when we are not happy.

Staying stuck in a relationship for the garden.

This weekend I spent a whole day gardening with Matt. One of the things I thought, as we were contentedly digging and pulling weeds was, I stayed in a bad relationship because I didn’t want to lose this.

There were so many little things that kept me going in that relationship. We loved the same food (and sharing it which is very important to me). We gardened together, we travelled well together. I didn’t want to lose those things. So, I stayed.

It was less important that I felt lonely a lot of the time.

It was less important that I didn’t feel loved.

It was less important that I didn’t feel protected.

It was less important that I spent many, many nights in tears.

I was so afraid of losing some of the nice things we did do together, and I

wasn’t completely sure I would find someone who also liked those things.

What I know now is that that person does exist. We do love the same food, we love to wander around old buildings, we love to garden side by side. This time I also have all the other stuff too.

But could it get better?

One of the things I thought in my last relationship was that it would get better. In a lot of ways, it did. But it was more a case of giving me something small to appease me until the next time. There were lots of promises that never happened but because there was the occasional thing that did shift, it was enough for me to think “there it is, the next step”.

If you are both willing to work on your relationship, I believe it can get better, but it takes hard work and willingness on both sides. My ex would send me self-help relationship books, rave about how good they are and he could see his mistakes and then when I read them and wanted to talk about it, it turned out he had only read the first chapter.

So, when did I get to the point where I couldn’t keep tolerating anymore? It was the moment when I was sat crying and he said he had to go and see the neighbour for a cup of tea. Except it wasn’t that, he had been doing that sort of stuff the whole time. I just knew then, the very day I qualified as an NLP practitioner, I deserved more.

Prefer to watch a video (or read on)...

Being Single

I bought myself a ring that says “I am enough”. I had to have a reminder that I was enough exactly as I was. That being me was not too needy, my expectations were not too high and I could be OK wherever I was, but this tolerating was squashing me down and exhausting me.

I am sure of one thing, I was not at all afraid of being on my own. Even though I did find a new partner, being alone wasn’t the issue. In a lot of ways I had been alone for years. This is one question to dig deep on for yourself.

Am I afraid of being alone?

In the time I was single, I enjoyed every minute. I went for walks, I watched whatever I wanted on TV, I did the house when I wanted, I went to bed at 9pm and got up at 5am. I felt no pressure to organise the kids. Everything was simple. Straight forward. Easy.

If I stayed in that place too long, I may have stayed single for a very long time. And that would have been OK too. But I knew, deep down, the relationship I always wanted was waiting for me.

Changing Your Relationship Mindset

If I was going to date again, I had to make sure I was in the best possible mindset for someone new. There was no point in going into another relationship with the same mindset I had. The mistakes would all be the same.

I looked at my communication first.

What was I getting wrong?

Firstly, I was a brilliant (terrible) mind reader. I of course knew exactly what my partner was meaning (without him saying anything) and would go off on that tangent. I would hold onto my beliefs until I exploded with frustration. As I had very little trust, I also never believed what they said to me as an explanation. Not being able to trust is a deal breaker for me now. If I cannot trust my life partner, I know it’s game over. If I am not willing to believe them and my gut is screaming no, it’s game over.

Next, I looked at how I said things. I was never very clear. I hoped they would be a better mind reader of me than I was of them, and would get it right (heaven forbid if they didn’t). Surely if we were meant to be together my partner should automatically know what I want! This is always going to end in disappointment. How many times have you set your partner up to fail because they were unable to guess accurately where you wanted to go for dinner when you said, “I don’t mind”?

How did I improve?

I started to ask questions.

Be careful with your tone when you ask questions.

Check that you are not inadvertently setting them up to fail again.

Make sure that the tone you use is one you would be happy to respond to.

Be very honest with yourself as to the reason for your question.

Here are some examples of questions formats you can practice:

Instead of guessing say, “you know how you mentioned x, what did you mean?”.

Say how you feel in a very calm way “you know how x happened, it made me feel x and I know you probably didn’t mean it, I just wanted you to know”.

Clarify things “you know when you said x, can you just talk me through it again, so I understand?”

Be honest, when they ask what's up, don't automatically respond with a grumpy (something is definitely up) "Nothing!". You can say, "I'm not exactly sure, as soon as I know I promise I will tell you but right now, I'm just feeling a bit out of sorts." If it is something you think they did say "when x happened earlier, I felt really bad about it." You then give your partner a chance to respond.

Listen to the response carefully and accept it as truth (this is assuming you have complete trust in them and is not based upon the lack of trust in past relationships). Acknowledge what has been said and let them know you believe them. If you don't that's a whole other article!

Example of how to communicate well

An example of using these techniques was a conversation a few months after we started dating. My ex had kept me a secret for 2 years, so I was triggered by the fact my new partner hadn’t told his dad about me. This time I remembered everything I had learned and I just asked.

I said, “I’m feeling difficult about this due to my last experience, but I know there will be a valid reason, I trust you and I don’t want you to change anything, I just want to explain that it’s making me feel uneasy”.

His response was so open and clear that my anxiety disappeared immediately. In the past I would have held onto that for a very long time, made up stories in my head and used it against them at a later date.

What can you do to prepare for a healthy, happy relationship?

Look at the times in your past relationships (or current) and see what you are doing to respond to a situation. Write it down. Look at it. Is this the way you would want someone to speak to you?

Where is it coming from?

Is it learned behaviour?

Is it from fear?

Is it from mistrust?

Is it because you don’t love yourself?

Is it because you think you are not worthy, so you push others to test them?

If you are looking for a new relationship, first it’s helpful to revisit your previous ones.

Write a list of your main past relationships.

Write down all the things that were good about it.

Write down the good traits your partner had.

Write down all the things that were bad about it.

Write down all the bad traits your partner had.

Compile the list of good and bad traits that were the same across all the partners.

You now have an overview of where you habitually go to in a relationship. Which bits suit you and which bits don’t?

So, in answer to my own question of why I stayed in a relationship, it was because I knew I would miss the things we did enjoy; the gardening, drinking wine and eating nice food, looking at old buildings on a lazy day out, travelling and going on road trips. Turns out I got all of that (and a lot more). I also got the relationship I wanted too.

One of the best ways you can start today is download my 40 questions to ask in a new relationship. Look at the questions and answer them for yourself first. This will give you a clear idea of what you are looking for, whether in a new relationship or your current one.

If you want to know how you can work with me, the best way is to book a Free Introductory Call.

How can an Introductory Call benefit me?

I know (as someone with introvert tendencies), having a call may feel like the last thing in the world you would want to do. I know that feeling of staring at the phone thinking, I really want to do something but this feels very scary. In all honesty, I still feel the same for a second when the phone starts to ring!

The reason it is important is that we need to know if we want to work with each other. This works 2 ways.

Building a relationship where you feel confident enough to tackle some deep issues with me starts here. Before you part with any money, before you commit to 3, 6 or 12 months deep work, we both need to know it's the right thing for you.

Because I understand how hard it is, booking the introductory call via the website creates the whole initial link. You get the meeting time you want, you receive the zoom link and reminders and then, when the time comes, we have an informal chat about what you want out of all of this. I will guide you the whole way and during this first call, we will already begin to design the life you want.

How I can help

My 1-1 programs will give you the focus, challenge and direction to find what you are looking for.

My membership will surround you with inspiring and positive people.

My Emails, YouTube and Social Media posting will give you the daily boost you need to know you are not alone, others are going through similar things and it is possible to change if you choose to.

Take the first steps towards your own Powerful Life.


Jenny Jarvis is a practicing, certified, UK Life Change Coach and NLP Practitioner who has empowered numerous people to live a life of their dreams, unleash their relationship with money and start and grow brands and businesses to great success. A truly inspirational individual, Jenny is also the mum to two amazing teens, a Reiki Master and motivational speaker. She inspires all to harness their greatness through energised coaching sessions, workshops and her membership club.

Book a free introductory session with Jenny and discovery how you might work together.


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