You Can’t Fix People You Didn’t Break by Melissa Cynova

Photo by Crossroad Images

One of the things that I often hear in my readings is heartache over the behavior of our loved ones. Our partner is cheating or emotionally absent. Our friends are neglecting us. Someone is being too smothery or won’t stop using drugs, or won’t pick up the phone or won’t love us back.

Someone is hurting us.

The first instinct in these situations is to try to fix it. We blame ourselves for our loved one’s indiscretions or their lack of attention. Clearly, we’re not doing enough to earn their love. We tell ourselves, in the words of Ani DiFranco, “Maybe if HE loved me, then I’d love me, too.” and we reach and pull and contort ourselves to feel worthy and ready to receive that love.

And what then? When we don’t get it? What if we lost weight or grew our hair out or stopped swearing all the goddamned time? What happens then? We expect/want/need the person to drop all of the previous broken behavior and come to us whole. After all, we’ve done so much to make them happy.

Why won’t they be happy?

Mostly? Because we can’t fix them and we can’t make anyone love us back. Unless our behavior has caused whatever the disconnect is – we can’t fix it.

If your partner is leaving the relationship, unless you have caused the absence, you can’t make them stay. You probably don’t want to, since that breeds resentment. If your partner has intimacy issues, unless you caused them, you can’t fix that.

Counseling can, but unless they want to go to counseling, you can’t fix that, either.

So what do we do? That’s the hard part. We have a hard conversation, and then we make a hard decision. If your partner is hurting you – in whatever way – it clearly can’t continue. So you have the very hard conversation that says, “This is unacceptable. I need you to stop.” If they don’t, or won’t get help to try to stop, you decide.

You choose living with them and this flaw, or living without them.

If you decide to stick it out in the same conditions, you’ve made a very clear choice to be ok with what’s going on. I know that some circumstances are appalling, but there is always hope. I had a client recently move herself and her children in with a cousin  – leaving everything – while her husband was arrested for domestic violence. She made a choice and got out when it was safe and she was able. There are always exceptions.

If you decide to go, then go. Flopping back and forth isn’t going to help in the long run, and it’s just exhausting. The wisdom here is realizing that the only thing you can control is your own behavior, and the only person you can change is yourself.

What if they change, though? In the future? What if they stop doing this thing that you’ve asked and asked them to? Well, let’s worry about that tomorrow.

After they’ve fixed themselves.

Photo by Crossroad Images

About the Author: Melissa Cynova

Melissa CynovaMelissaC_Bio is owner of Little Fox Tarot, and has been reading tarot cards and teaching classes since 1989. She can be found in the St. Louis area, and is available for personal readings, parties and beginner and advanced tarot classes. You can Look for her first book, Kitchen Table Tarot, from Llewellyn Publishing in January 2017.

Melissa lives in St. Louis with her kiddos, her partner, Joe, and two cats, two dogs and her tortoise, Phil.

She is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Go ahead and schedule a reading – she already knows you want one.

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