The man she had been married to for 15 years confessed that he no longer loved her and did not want to be married anymore. Despite her intuition telling her for years, she ignored it until it was too late.
Nicole Rogers, an American author, announcer, and relationship coach, tried everything to save the marriage. She called his family and friends, found a couples therapist, and even told his lover and the man with whom she had an affair to stop contacting him. However, nothing worked and her marriage fell apart in six weeks.
After a traumatic last therapy session in which her husband suggested a six-month trial separation so he could try a new relationship, Rogers reached her breaking point and told him to go home and pack his bags. He left, and she went in the opposite direction because her whole body was in shock.
When she returned to her door, the therapist looked at her with sympathy. Rogers sat down and everything poured out of her – all the anger, ways she tried to save the marriage, confusion about what the future held, exhaustion from all the effort she put into trying to make it work. The therapist named this feeling she had been experiencing for years – one that Rogers realized was exhaustion from always trying to change her husband or convince him of something he didn’t want.
Rogers began working with a therapist who helped her understand this feeling and look at her actions over the past 15 years. She saw how she was always there for her husband despite their different aspirations for their careers and lack of excitement about becoming parents. She also saw how her dreams of success were in stark contrast to his slower pace and desire for stability instead of growth. Although they thought they were on the same page, it was obvious now that they were not compatible partners.
The therapist taught Rogers that “passivity is action” – meaning that saying “no” can actually be powerful in setting boundaries and prioritizing one’s own needs and wants. This concept resonated with Rogers as she realized that by constantly trying to change or convince someone who wasn’t interested in changing or being convinced, she was draining herself of energy without realizing it until it was too late.