The Cure for Doubt: the Ultimatum

Climbing, Home Life, Mental Health ,

Just because I wrote an article about love and relationships does not mean D and I have been without problems. In fact, we went through a long period of turmoil for a couple of years that seemed to be constant. It can mainly be traced to my self- doubt about our relationship. Having never had a serious relationship before, I didn’t know whether this was the right one or the best one for me. I doubted. I compared him to others. And I played the game of “the grass is always greener” for far too long.

Then, one day, I went down my usual road of trying to get D to argue why he was the one for me (in a roundabout sort of way) and he stopped. He said no. He realized where this was headed once again and he made this statement instead. “I am done arguing you for you. I know that I want you. You have to decide if you want me. That’s your problem, not mine.” And he left the room. It stopped me in my tracks.

Those four sentences changed my perspective on my relationship with D and on my own worldview. Instead of continuing to look for perfection and always putting myself in a mental position akin to having one foot out the door, I realized I I needed to commit fully or I was going to lose a good relationship. I have read articles discussing divorce, how one of the signs you know a relationship is going downhill is when you stop arguing because neither person is fighting for the relationship anymore; they’ve given up. I realized that this was D’s version of throwing his hands in the air, that the confidence I had in him never leaving me was actually more tenuous than I imagined.

Looking back, I realize that this ultimatum of sorts is similar to the mental place I need to go when I am climbing on lead. When I have it in my head that I can give up at any time, I don’t push myself at all. I give myself leeway; I give myself the equivalent of one foot out the door. But when I have convinced myself there is no way out and when I have climbed up to the next bolt and am 10-20 feet above safety, I have no choice but to clip it or take a major fall. I am all in.

You have to be all in- in life and especially in love. Your partner can tell when you aren’t. Moreover, your brain can tell when you aren’t. There is no lying to your brain. Decide to be all in or all out; there is no in-between.

Is there something in your life you realized you needed to be all-in for and weren’t? What was the result?

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