"If he would just..." Why this keeps you both stuck

“If he would just…” Why This Keeps You Both Stuck

We’ve all been there – trapped in that cycle of hoping that “if he would just…” stop a certain behavior, go to therapy, be more empathetic, etc., then everything would finally be okay.

We cling tightly to this umbrella of “if he would just…” allowing it to pour down a never-ending stream of disempowered thinking. But at what cost?

When you live stuck under that “if he would just…” umbrella, you are disconnected from your own power and agency. You are hyper-focused on trying to control or change someone else’s actions rather than looking inward at your own growth and choices.

This victim mentality keeps you frozen, waiting for someone else to be or do something to allow you to feel better.

There’s always another “if he would just…” lingering as soon as one issue gets resolved. It becomes a perpetual cycle that prevents you from ever fully healing.

Listen to the Episode Here

Watch the Episode Here

The Growth Mindset Path

Cultivating a growth mindset within a relationship involves a fundamental shift in perspective from a fixed mindset, which relies on external factors or the behavior of one’s partner, to one where responsibility and empowerment come from within.

Rather than placing the burden of fulfillment solely on the actions of a partner, individuals with a growth mindset understand the importance of personal agency and proactive communication.

Taking full responsibility for one’s own inner work means recognizing that personal growth and satisfaction are not solely dependent on external circumstances or the actions of others.

It involves actively engaging in self-awareness, introspection, and continuous improvement to enhance the quality of the relationship.

Making clear requests, as opposed to harboring unspoken expectations, is a key aspect of this mindset shift. Clear communication fosters understanding and allows both partners to address needs and concerns effectively.

By articulating needs directly and respectfully, individuals avoid the trap of resentment and passive-aggressive behavior, which can erode trust and intimacy in a relationship.

For instance, if there’s a household chore like taking out the trash, instead of silently hoping that the partner will notice and take action, a person with a growth mindset will make a clear request: “Hey, could you please take out the trash? It’s full.”

This approach acknowledges the importance of open communication and shared responsibilities within the relationship.

Moreover, embracing the imperfections of the relationship and being willing to work through challenges together is essential. Recognizing that no relationship is flawless allows for a more realistic and compassionate perspective.

Whether the partner fulfills the request or not, the focus remains on collaboration and growth rather than blame or resentment.

By reclaiming personal power and agency from external factors, individuals foster a healthier dynamic within the relationship. They become active participants in shaping its trajectory, fostering mutual respect, understanding, and a deeper connection with their partner.

Catching Yourself in the Act

The first step is being able to recognize when your brain starts going down that disempowering path of “if they would just…” thinking. This unconscious habit pattern can be remarkably sneaky at rearing its head, even long after you thought you’d moved past it.

Maybe you catch yourself thinking “If he would just put his dishes in the dishwasher, then I wouldn’t be stuck cleaning up after him all the time.”

Or “If she would just stop working late, we could actually spend quality time together.”

That’s your signal – you’re handing over your power to something outside your control. You’re making your inner peace contingent upon someone else’s actions instead of taking responsibility for your own.

Redirecting Inward

When you notice those thoughts, it’s time to consciously pivot and redirect your focus inward. Ask yourself some empowering questions:

“What is the clear request I can make here? How can I share my needs without blaming?” “What is one small action I can take for myself right now, regardless of what they do or don’t do?” “How can I reframe this in a way that aligns with my values and personal growth?”

Perhaps you might calmly say to your partner “I’ve noticed the dishwasher is full of your dishes. Could you please run it today when you’re done?”

Or you could simply run it yourself while practicing self-compassion.

The point is recognizing when you’re stuck in that disempowered mindset and consciously interrupting it. Bring your focus back to what you actually can control – your own thoughts, emotions and choices. This is how you reclaim your agency and forward momentum.

It’s a muscle that gets stronger which practice. You may still get “caught” plenty of times, but each is an opportunity to recommit to your growth mindset journey.

To pause, feel whatever arises, and take one proactive and empowered step for yourself.

The Ongoing Journey

Many of us hold an unconscious belief that if we just do enough self-help work, read enough books, or go through enough therapy, we’ll eventually “arrive” at a permanent state of having it all figured out.

We envision a future version of ourselves that is finally healed, whole, and free from struggles.

But gradually, we come to realize that this idea of total “arrival” is a myth. There is no final destination to personal growth – it is an ongoing journey without end. And this realization can initially feel defeating or disappointing.

The Beauty of Lifelong Evolution

However, this truth contains a powerful reframing: growth is not a means to an end, but a beautiful way of being. Each challenge, each stuck moment, each tender experience is an opportunity to evolve.

To get curious about ourselves. To peel back another layer and expand in mindfulness, wisdom and compassion.

When we let go of beliefs driving us to “arrive” somewhere, we open to the journey itself. We stop boxing ourselves into rigid expectations and make space for vulnerability, imperfection, and the full depth of being human.

Each day presents a new choice – will I choose empowerment over entrapment? Will I pause and feel the hard emotions or bypass them? Will I take accountability for my part or kick blame over to another? There is no “done” – only an infinite series of these conscious choice points.

The Practice of Coming Home

That’s why the real practice is coming home to ourselves, over and over. Noticing when the mind slips into disempowered patterns like “if they would just…”

Pausing to feel and experience whatever arises without judgment. And then realigning with our deep values and taking one proactive, empowered step to reintegrate mind, body and spirit.

It’s a lifelong journey of shedding that which no longer serves and giving birth to our ever-evolving potential. Of befriending the wounds and using them as incredible fuel for growth.

So don’t let the myth of “arrival” keep you stuck, for there are fresh awarenesses and choices available in each rising moment. Embrace the great journey you’re already on.

Help Is Available

The skilled and compassionate coaches at Choose Recovery Services understand how easy it is to get stuck in the disempowering patterns of “if they would just…” thinking. They have walked their own healing journeys and intimately know the pitfalls and traps that can keep someone feeling frozen, waiting for someone else to change so they can finally feel better.

The Choose Recovery team provides a steadying and empowering presence to help you recognize when your brain has slipped into giving your power away to external circumstances.

Our coaching holds space for you to feel the difficult emotions and experiences you may have been bypassing. You can learn to release yourself from the “if he would just…” trap and redirect your focus inward to reclaim your true personal power.

Whether you are trying to heal from a betrayal, transition through a life change, or simply desire to live with more self-determination, the Choose Recovery coaches will walk alongside you in this great journey.

They will mirror your courage as you build the muscles necessary to consciously choose empowered perspectives and actions over and over, regardless of what anyone else is or isn’t doing. 

With their guidance, you’ll learn to embrace the ongoing evolution of growth rather than anxiously seeking a mythical “arrival” point. Their coaching can help you locate your inner compass to navigate this lifelong path of vulnerability, accountability and wholehearted self-reclamation.

Learn more about this topic and many others by tuning into our Choose To Be podcast.

Related Posts

Victim to Chooser

Being betrayed by a trusted partner is one of the most psychologically devastating experiences someone can go through. The shattering of core beliefs about your

Read More »