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Counseling – The Good, the Bad and Fence Sitters

We generally think of being held hostage as strictly a physical act. But can it also be an emotional/mental way of existing? I believe it most certainly can. Do you ever get the feeling that something is wrong in your relationship, but can’t quite put your finger on it? It feels like you’re trapped, and as strange as it sounds, being held hostage. It’s possible you’re matched up with a “fence sitter.”

Fence sitters lack real commitment to the marriage relationship. This problem is not a male specific one that women are somehow immune from. Full out commitment to marriage is not a given because a person has gone through with the legal proceedings. Fence sitting in marriage is certainly an equal opportunity experience between the sexes.

Those who are dating or have married fence sitters often think the problem is about a lack of love. Rarely is love the primary issue at hand. Fence sitting is about avoiding making decisions for the health of the marriage.

Fence sitting people find themselves deceived into believing someone else can make them happy. They are looking for a rescuer. They avoid making intelligent, well thought out decisions for a fear of failure. They are more focused on what could go wrong than what could go right.

A serious challenge exists for people who are dating or married to a fence sitter. Their behaviour has been a key contributing factor to the problem. Much of their time has been occupied trying to make up for this short fall of their mate. Fence sitters gladly welcome help from others. Acting in a more responsible manner is not something they are looking forward to doing.

Those spouses who want more equality in the relationship will need to create new boundaries. As a result of the changes, some new friction points will need to be worked through. Stick with the process. The lack of participation in the relationship has become a habit for the fence sitter. You are expecting them to carry more of the emotional load in the relationship.

It’s vital to be patient if you happen to be a fence sitter who wants to change their ways. Eliminate the idea of a quick fix happening in this situation. To a large extent, fence sitters have been taught to be helpless. Gaining competence in making marriage decisions is no different than any other area of life. It’s important to start small.

Start by putting the marriage first. Other interests are given higher priority in the life of a fence sitter. In areas of their lives that fall outside of the marriage, they have learned to be rather decisive. The marriage is deserving of a greater amount of time and energy.

The payoff is tremendous. A by-product is a more satisfied marriage partner. You will have earned more of his/her respect. Your feelings about yourself will definitely change for the better. Best of all, you will gain a lot of personal satisfaction for doing the right thing.