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He can't, he won't, why bother?

Blog Listing

A collection of stories, insights, pain and laughter that details our lives, our experiences as women and mothers and the wisdom that comes out of that.

He can't, he won't, why bother?

Julie Tenner

“He can’t” “He won’t” “why bother?” – have you said these words?

To avoid the pain of rejection we come up with some pretty creative and convincing beliefs that keep us from trying something new. 

It’s not hard to have these beliefs validated – you will find people to tell your story to who agree with you, and you’ll avoid talking about it to those who are likely to give an opposing view.

In this way, we filter our reality.  We create a story, based on an old wound and we look for the evidence to support it in our every day, or in our relationships. 

It’s a form of love from our ego.  It keeps us safe.  It keeps us from trying to break free of the belief and ending up in pain – possibly pain equal to or worse than the pain that originally triggered the story you run.

We all do it. 

So when I hear women say about their partner or husband “he can’t, he won’t, why bother?  I know how it’ll go” – I wonder what glass cage they have confined themselves to.  I wonder what is on the other side for them if they would only pattern-interrupt long enough to break the glass?

I used to think like this.  I used to say this, so I get it.  I get the feeling of hopelessness and apathy.  I understand the deeper pain of not feeling “met” by those most intimate to you.

“I’ve grown but he’s stayed the same” is another one I hear all the time.

The part of this that I only now realise is this:

·      We are only limiting ourselves

·      In actuality he/she is everything you seek – the question is why you don’t see it and why you stop yourself from seeking it?

·      When you sit in the feelings of resistance that come up for you, when you are required to change your patterning and offer up more vulnerability with the possibility of rejection, you change what’s possible, you meet you inner child and your outer world shifts in response

·      The more awkward conversations you have, the less you have  

The more I want to run from a conversation, the more I know it is necessary for my soul growth.  The challenge and pain is equal to the support and love that can come out of it.

So I used to label my husband as unable to meet certain needs of mine – like having rich conversations about spirituality, parenting and consciousness, so I never entered those conversations with him, convinced he didn’t have the capacity.  I undermined him and in doing so capped what’s possible in our relationship.

We keep ourselves safe when we don’t go to places that feel uncomfortable and when we do this, we ingrain the story we’ve built a lifetime upon. 

Do you know your story?

The one where men take and women give.  The one where you’re worn out and down and no one notices.  The one where it’s not ok to be all of who you are; you’ll be rejected, isolated and ridiculed.  Or perhaps the one where the masculine continually lets you down and isn’t there for you on a deep level.

What is the story you are running behind your choices to have or avoid conversations?

Because the truth is – he, or she, is everything – just as you are.

They are calm and they are rage.  They are shame and they are pride.  They are narcissistic and they are altruistic.  They are depth and they are shallow.  They listen and they tune-out.  They connect and they disconnect.

The fact that you see only one is your perceptionit’s your story.

The more I found myself, the more I found safety in being seen as everything, the more I opened up to my husband and let him witness all of me.  It didn’t happen all at once and it didn’t happen quickly, it was a slow burn, or blooming ,of me into him; of me letting him see my soft spots and my vulnerability and of me owning my part in all of it.

And you want to know the crazy thing?! 

I’ve discovered he is everything and capable of meeting me in the places I never thought he could.  All the blocks I had stacked against him of ways he didn’t measure up or couldn’t meet me are pure fiction, my fiction, that I told myself to keep my story of inadequacy and rejection safe. 

There is no topic off-limits these days, no conversation too “icky” not to be had and no place he can’t reach me, if I allow him the opportunity to do so.

So whilst I think it is wise to not rely solely on one person meeting all your needs and to get into gratitude for where those needs are met in forms other than your intimate relationship, don’t tell yourself the story that it’s not possible – because I’m living proof it is.

Yesterday we celebrated our 11th Wedding Anniversary (15 years together) and at the end of that night, after some profound intimacy, we said goodnight with an embrace and “we’re so much better than 11 years ago” whispered into our ears and hearts.  I want the same for you xx


Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.