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Darren is a partner in a very successful law firm. He was the youngest to graduate from his class in law school and passed the Bar exam with flying colors. He didn't come from a family with money or connections. Everything he got he earned with his own sweat. So when he was offered a clerkship with a federal judge at age 23 and when he scored a desk in one of the most prestigious firms in Chicago at 25, Darren was well ahead of schedule.

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Sarah and Scott were both juggling busy careers when she got pregnant. They were nervous but thrilled when they found they were expecting twins. They’d always wanted a big family, so they figured they were just getting a headstart.
The twins were born two days after their third anniversary. After a relatively easy pregnancy, they were both surprised how hard it was after everyone came home from the hospital. Six weeks later Sarah was diagnosed with postpartum depression.

Months later Sarah started feeling better. However, feeling better didn’t mean like she felt like herself. Her therapist told her she needed to accept things were never going to be the way they were before the twins. Life was forever changed.
Caring for two babies and trying to manage two careers felt like trying to swim through quicksand. However, they did it. Scott changed his schedule at work and took more evening and weekend shifts at the hospital where he worked. Sarah was often up until one or two in the morning working on briefs and filings for her job where she was hoping to make partner at a law firm.

By the time the twins were two-years-old, Sarah finally felt like they were settling in. She was beginning to feel like they had a handle on being a family.

That is until Scott walked in one night after a late shift and told her he wanted a trial separation. He claimed there wasn’t anyone else. He said he didn’t want to see other people. He admitted it didn’t make sense. However, he wanted out, and he was willing to take the twins with him and manage primary care.

Believe it or not, it was Scott who reached out for relationship coaching, after he’d moved into a new house. All he wanted was the answer to one question.

What went wrong? How did the perfect life they shared become separate lives?

The answer is very simple, and it’s not what you might think.

It wasn’t that they fell out of love.
It wasn’t the post-partum depression.
It wasn’t the stress of having twins.
It wasn’t the pressure of family and two careers.
It was none of those things exactly.

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It was time. Scott and Sarah quit spending any time together and when that happened they quit being a couple, plain and simple. They quit being lovers or even friends because being in a relationship requires one thing more than any other. Time.

Without attention nothing thrives. Relationships are no exception.

Everything that makes a relationship work has one common denominator.
Communication takes time.
Teamwork takes time.
Trust takes time.
Sex takes time.
You can’t have intimacy or connection without time.

Two ships passing in the night is only romantic in poetry. In real life, those are two lonely people that aren’t going to be in love for long. Scott and Sarah quit spending time together and although their situation seems extreme, it’s not unusual. Lots of couples quit spending time together and then wonder where the spark went.

There are about 1000 reasons that seem incredibly legit for investing time elsewhere while ignoring your relationship. Kids need attention. Work is demanding. Ageing parents get sick. Deadlines loom. Life gets real, and it feels like you don’t have very many choices.

Except you do and if you don’t choose your relationship it won’t last.

I’d be lying if I said it’s always easy. I’m married. I get it. I’m the first person who would say my marriage is my first priority. However, there are days, sometimes too many days in a row where I am not investing the kind of time I should in my marriage. So, I know from experience how quickly a relationship can start to spoil when it’s left unattended.
Time is the most finite resource we have. How we spend it is the most accurate indicator of where your priorities are. Time is the most precious gift you can give someone.

If you want to stay together, your relationship needs to go on your agenda first and everything else, and I mean every single thing including kids and work needs to be scheduled around it. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. However, it does have to be a consistent daily investment in your future.

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Sharing is sexy. If you liked this post comment, share it, or pass it on to someone you love.

Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.

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He did it as a courtesy to me, but I immediately wished he hadn’t. I walked into work one day and a long time co-worker told me he’d emailed my boyfriend and invited him to his bachelor party. It wasn’t just one evening of potential catastrophe. It was a weekend long get away with the boys. I was secretly horrified.

Before they left on the weekend trip, we had a very predictable conversation. At first, I tried to talk my boyfriend out of going. I told him I knew a lot of the people who would be going, and they weren’t that much fun. I said most of them were churchgoers. This wasn’t going to be a typical bachelor party. I tried to convince him there might be a lot of praying some bible studies. He didn’t buy it.

Then I begged him not to drink too much. I implored him to be civil. I knew chances of that were pretty slim. I knew he would get trashed, and I knew what it might look like.

Monday morning the report came in from my co-worker. I got emails from other friends who’d attended the party.
It was bad, as in appalling. It was beyond my greatest fears about his behavior, and my expectations were sub-zero to start with. He didn’t do one horrible thing. He managed to pull off several unspeakable stunts. He said a few dozen things no human should ever utter including several things about the bride to be.

All of it culminated with him peeing in a water bottle in the car because he was too drunk to hold it. Then he shook up the bottle and let it fly all over everyone in the car.

Yes, that happened. Yes, it was my boyfriend. Yes, I continued to date him.

I’m surprised we were still invited to the wedding but when we went several people didn’t speak to us. I wasn’t anywhere near that party, but I was guilty by association with this asshole.

This happened more times than I care to admit. Most of the time he was tolerable. However, sometimes he would say the most disrespectful things. Sometimes he would get aggressive with other people. Sometimes he would be openly rude in front of my friends and family. Occasionally he was terribly abusive to me.

He drank too much. He cared too little. He did nothing to improve himself. He was a horrible human. It was a mess. I was a mess. My asshole, unemployed boyfriend, was a trainwreck.

That was then. I wouldn’t go out to lunch with a man like that now, let alone share a life with him.

This afternoon I was having a conversation with a client where I explained to her why I would never date an unemployed, or underemployed man.

It’s not about the money. A man has to be doing something with himself to be worth my time. It’s about what having a career, a vocation or a calling says about the quality of a man you might date.

That man commits. That man is educated. That man contributes to something. That man is there for other people. That man is probably adulting like a boss. I firmly believe every woman deserves a man who can and will take care of her.
Income level is not the thing. Contribution, connection, and commitment are everything.

The client wanted to buy into that but couldn’t let herself admit it because she didn’t want to be thought of as materialistic. She didn’t want to let a good one going through a bad patch get away. She said she didn’t want to be judgemental.

I wouldn’t call it judgmental. I would call it decerning. I can be that decerning now. I couldn’t before. I didn’t have one ounce of self-respect. Times have changed. My standards are much, much higher now.

The standards we set for others in our lives are a very reliable indicator of our self-worth. We don’t demand better from others when we don’t think we deserve it.

There is no way around it. When you let people get away with things you shouldn’t, it’s because you don’t believe you’re worth more than that.

When I was dating that man who routinely embarrassed me beyond words, I had absolutely no sense of self-worth, as in none. It’s an extreme example. It might seem obvious. However, when you’re busy making excuses for other people your full-time job, it’s easy to be distracted from noticing how little you have left yourself.

We all deserve to be treated with dignity. However, until you know you’re worth that you will invite a lot of abuse into your world and wonder why it’s showing up.

If you’re looking around your life baffled by why someone else is showing up as a class one asshole, you probably don’t need to look any further than yourself for the explanation. Your self-worth is sub-par, probably really subpar. You’ve got work on you to do.

You can’t change anyone else. You can only change you.

Work on yourself.
Love on yourself.
Be with yourself tenderly.

Spend time with people who celebrate you.
If you do that long enough, you won’t have to worry about horrible humans in your life for very long. They’ll be gone before you know it. Because once you own your worth, you won’t give them the time it would take to have lunch. They won’t take up space in your head anymore.

Sharing is sexy. If you like this post comment, hit the share button, or pass it on to someone you think might enjoy it.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Sharing is sexy. If you liked this post comment, share it, or pass it on to someone you love.

Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.

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