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Tonya and Scott had been dating for about six months when he pulled the plug without warning. He gave very little in the way of explanation. Scott looked at her over dinner and told her he felt like he wasn't sure about how he felt about her and thought they needed to take a break. Tonya didn't need a decoder ring to know what that meant. Take a break meant to break it off.

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Kaylen had worked for him for six years. He was a great boss. He’d mentored her from answering phones at the front desk to a corner office. It was a small architectural firm. However, they were doing some incredible cutting edge work, especially when it came to environmental construction.

He was a good boss. She even considered him a friend, until a few weeks ago when she learned he was very pro-life and planned to vote Republican no matter what because of his pro-life beliefs.
Discussions got heated several times. The breakroom became a treacherous place to hang out. She started avoiding him. She figured it was temporary. However, the day after the election when she came in half an hour late, eyes swollen from crying, he was less than understanding.

He looked at her while proudly sporting his “Make America Great Again” ballcap, and told her she needed to get over it and get on with it. He explained God had delivered the election to Republicans to protect the babies.

And she quit.

We are one-week post-election and the heat of the moment doesn’t seem to be cooling off. We are also about one week from the Thanksgiving holiday when families and friends will get together for dinner, football, and the annual conversation about the state of the family and the nation.

And this my friend is an almost untenable reality for a lot of people right now.

I cannot even tell you how many emails I’ve gotten in the last week from people who can’t stand the sight loved ones because of political friction. Well, I will tell you. I’ve received 67 emails from people asking how to deal with the cavernous divide in their families and other relationships post-election. It’s been a part of almost every coaching conversation I’ve had in the last seven days.

The struggle is real.

I’d like to offer some heartfelt, love and light message that will make it easier or even possible to spend the day or an hour with people you know voted the wrong way and aren’t going to shut up about it.
I’d like to say love conquers all and what you need to do is surround yourself with white light and walk in like a goddamn love warrior and you’ll be ok.
I don’t even have that in me. I’ve taken the scorched earth approach with my Facebook feed in the last few weeks, so everyone knows I’m not ready to hold hands and pretend we’re all getting along.
However, I do know this:
Time is like a river running over rocks. Eventually, it flows over our rough spots and smooths things out without any effort on our part, if we let it. Time doesn’t heal all, but it does heal most things.
The thing to do right now is nothing.
If you can’t deal with certain people in your life, don’t.
Excuse yourself from the festivities. Fain the flu.
Don’t talk to people you don’t want to talk to.
Don’t over-explain. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, except maybe your Mama. She doesn’t want you showing up to dinner on the verge of tears at all times anyway.

Do not make any absolute decisions about forever. Stay true to how you feel right now, but be willing to allow the air to clear at some point.

The key to success here is simple:

Allow yourself to feel all the anger, resentment, and disgust you might be feeling without resisting it. All feelings are sacred, and many of us are feeling all the feels like a landslide at this point.

However, for the love of God and all things holy, do not act on that by ending relationships right now. We are all too emotional to trust our own judgement when it comes to big decisions.

The best practice for making big decisions is simple. Only make them when you’re feeling really good.
Ending a relationship with someone who has been in the landscape of your life for any amount of time is a big decision.

Knowingly putting yourself in a position where you might lay waste to a relationship on “accident” might also be a big decision.

Are you feeling really terrific right now? If the answer is no, relationship decisions are off the table. Thanksgiving dinner might be off the table too.

And here’s the thing…

No one is saying you ever have to talk those idiot former loved ones or friends again. Just because you don’t blow a relationship up today doesn’t mean you have to nurture it.

You can take a breath and take a break and unless you make a general public service announcement about why you’re doing it you are preserving your choices for the future.

Time is a friendly force. Time unveils things we can’t see right now. Time takes the sting off things that seem unhealable.

Time also brings clarity.

So, if you’re wondering how to deal with people in your life you can’t even stand to look at my advice to you is easy. Put yourself in timeout and wait a minute, or a week, or maybe four years. The best thing to do when you don’t know what to do is usually nothing right now.

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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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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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