The Power of the Exit Plan


In my line of work, it’s not uncommon for me to get a new client who realizes their marriage is on the rocks and wants to save it. That client is desperate and dialed down. They want one thing, and one thing only. They want the “happily ever after” they signed up for.

So, it often comes as a big unpleasant shocker, that the first thing we usually do in our work together in that situation is create an exit plan.

When two people blend a life, it very quickly becomes a lot of things. Convenience starts to play a role. Finances co-mingle, and standards of living often improve. Parenting might become a part of the equation. Living arrangements become very fixed.

When someone is trying to save a marriage, they are often doing so because for whatever reason they feel like they HAVE to save that marriage. On some level, most people don’t want to face, people feel like it’s a matter of survival and not a choice.

It never actually is.

Survival instincts are very powerful. However, sometimes they aren’t that smart. When a person is locked into needing to save a relationship, chances are pretty high they won’t go about it the most emotionally intelligent way.

An exit plan sets you free.

Once you know how you would get out, and how you would survive, you enter a whole new space with “saving a relationship.” Once you know you can leave, then and only then, can you choose to stay.

A relationship you’re stuck in has very little value.

A relationship you choose is a whole different ballgame.

I don’t ever want to see a client “fix” something they don’t know for sure they want in the first place. You can’t know you want something until you have the freedom to choose it.

One of the reasons I’m not totally sold on the idea of marriage is because the contract itself tends to reduce choice. Commitment isn’t a once and done kind of thing. It’s the kind of thing you have to do every day.

So, as counter-intuitive as it might sound, if you’re trying to save your relationship, the first step might be figuring out how you’d get out of it.

Once you do that, you get to choose to stay, and the solutions for saving it will look and feel entirely different.


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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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