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The Exit Strategy

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One of the biggest parts of my business is people who come to coaching intensely wanting to save their marriage. It’s a worthy and noble thing to want. This bit we hear all the time about people “these days” thinking marriages are disposable, isn’t really true. The vast majority of people treasure their marriages, and although they may not know it until the marriage is rocky, would do most anything to save them.

So, imagine the surprise of a client who desperately wants to save their marriage, when I say the first thing we are going to work on is the exit plan. All of the sudden people who didn’t even know for sure they wanted to stay start digging their heels in. When the thought of leaving is so terrifying you can’t face it, you are stuck. When there is no way financially you could survive on your own, you are stuck. When you’re identity would shatter and you’d disappear entirely if you left, you’re stuck. Being stuck in a marriage is not a sign of commitment. It’s a prison.

Now, trust me, I know marriages are suppose to be, “till death do us part”, and yet we all know they aren’t. The paper a marriage license is printed on is in fact worthless. It’s the commitment that has value. But when a marriage becomes a prison of circumstance, it’s no longer sacred.


When I can help a client see the truth, that they can in fact leave, they can then, and only then, decide to stay. It’s the deciding that makes a marriage sacred. It’s the choice. Then you might have something worth the energy to save.

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This picture is the view through the hatch on my sailboat, annie. To be clear, although it might not be practical, annie is my exit plan. Now I know I wouldn’t be able to take my massive buddha collection, or my art, but it would be possible for me to take my kid, and my dogs, and live on annie. I’ve always dreamed of two things. One of them was an incredible relationship with a wonderful man, which I have. The other, living on a sailboat.

I have an exit plan. Is my marriage in trouble? No. Not even. Can I ever imagine leaving the man I love. I can’t fathom it. But you know what? I could. Can I conceive of the day my beloved does something that would make me not want to be with him. No, I cannot. However, if the unthinkable happened, I know I could, and would go.

Does the fact that I entertain an exit plan make my marriage less stable than most? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. Every morning when I wake up and look at that man, I choose him. I’m not staying because I’m contractually bound. I’m not staying because I’m financially entrenched. I’m not staying because I have to. Every single day I choose him.

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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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