It’s common for people to get stuck in relationships, not because there is anything sticky in the relationship, not because there is any confusion or misunderstandings about it , but because we dwell on “if only.”  “If only they would do this….” or “If only we could be like that…” or “If only they wouldn’t…” or even “If only it could be like what is was before…”

If only statements are neither bad nor good.  The issue is in how we use or abuse them.  If only can help our minds rise up out of the perpetual now to change our lives for the better.  If only can help us recognize something in ourselves that isn’t being served, things we didn’t realize we were or needed, things that we would like to achieve but haven’t worked on, etc.  If only can be a key to our soul, to the inner voice that leads us down the path of our best and highest good and our becoming.  It can lead us to a life so brimming over with life that we are able to share it with others and never deplete or sacrifice ourselves.

But if only statements can also keep us trapped.   They can be used as a means to deny what is really in front of us.  They can be a way we ignore or excuse away abuse, neglect, and disrespect.  Most often seen in the vicinity of “but”, if only statements allow us to look straight in the face of what we know is true and then turn around and talk as if it’s not.  Yes, the marriage is over but I stay because what if they change back to who they were when we got married?  How can I leave when that’s still a possibility?  Yes, the relationship is everything I never wanted and does me harm, but if only I could know whether they are the one or not, then I would know what to do.   If only there was a sign that would tell me what I should do about this situation then I could move on (they say as the situation is amputating them at the knees, starving their soul to death, and stabbing repeatedly in the back.)

So look at your relationship to “if only.”  If it’s helping you to discover yourself and improving your life, then great.  If not, then perhaps it’s time to set new boundaries or even break up. You can do better, you know. 😉