Before I was married, I spent my share of time doing what many single women who don’t want to be single do – working my way to the obvious. Working your way to the obvious typically involves coming to the realization that the relationship you’re in makes absolutely no sense and you should walk, or, in some cases, run away as fast as possible. Working your way to the obvious involves numerous justifications about why the relationship was worth it, such as, “I learned this and that about myself,” or, “It was a good fit for that time in my life.” Working your way to the obvious often culminates at, “I’m willing to grow and change and he’s not,” or, “We want different things.” All of this doubting, debating, and realizing is generally facilitated by a patient friend who, on the other end of the line, is thinking, “He just said what to you, and you are still considering sticking with him!”

During a particularly drawn out, working-my-way-to-the-obvious session, my “facilitator” offered up, “What advice would you give me if I was in your situation?”

“‘What advice would I give you?’ How diplomatically can you say, ‘He just said what to you, and you are still considering sticking with him?”’

What a relief, I did have the ability to determine which direction the shore was. Why did I ever think I didn’t?

“What advice would you give me,” has more than once anchored me to reality. Talking with a frustrated colleague the other day, I had the chance to hand over the anchor.

“I know,” she said. “I know I have to stick this out.”