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Ask Coach Paradise

Coach Paradise is here to help people make the kind of changes that will allow them to live the lives they only dream of. Recently returned to her own tropical home, she is offering her services so that others can create paradise in their lives wherever they are. No concern is too big or small for her unique coaching approach which comes with compassion, creativity and a heartfelt desire to help others produce extraordinary results. If you have a question for Coach Paradise, please send it confidentially to her at anne@coachparadise.com.
Dear Coach Paradise,
I am writing to request your assistance with my situation. I have struck up a relationship with a married co-worker. He has four adult children. He has said that he wants more than just a friendship.
However, I have made it a practice, throughout my career, never to have such relationships with co-workers. I am not going to say that I have not had relationships with married men. Yet, I gave that practice up years ago, and want to keep that commitment.
I am new in this town and somewhat lonely. This gentleman is a great conversationalist and knowledgeable about many things in which I also have an interest. I have told him that we should be friends only, and he as changed his behavior and respects my wishes. In addition, he is very ill, and I think our discussions are a form of therapy for him.
Now, please tell me how I make myself believe it? I am afraid that I will really have to give up the relationship in order to keep my commitment to myself.
Thank you for your help,
Lady Tempted
Dear Lady Tempted,
I have read your letter a number of times and what keeps jumping out at me is what a caring person you are and how you are trying to make your decision about this relationship based on the values that you hold dear – a commitment to pursue love relationships only with unmarried (available) men and to exercise great care in embarking on such relationships with co-workers.
As a coach, I know that you have all your own answers. I would invite you to reread your letter as an answer to your question. You actually seem very clear about this relationship. You had the courage to articulate your boundaries for your friend and he had the grace to respect your wishes so that you two have been able to maintain what sounds like a mutually satisfying friendship.
Tell me more about being lonely and how you think that taking this relationship to another place would solve that problem for you. I invite you to ask yourself if the action you are contemplating will move you closer to honoring your values or farther away? Sometimes people make decisions based on what seems easiest at the moment, minimizing the size of the waves. True fulfillment never results from selling out on yourself. Asking for less, lowering your standards, essentially cheating on yourself – Is that what's going on here?
Choosing to live your life based on your values is not what society teaches. It is not the easy, well-trodden way. Don't settle for what you can have Would you be willing to write down what your ideal relationship looks like – how you really want it to be, in detail so that you can allow such a relationship into your life? You sound clear that this friendship is not the relationship that would make you happy and fulfilled. Take your own best advice. Tempt yourself with something really juicy.
Warmest wishes,
Coach Paradise

Editor's note: Coach Paradise (aka Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist, and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 340-774-4355.

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