Control tweaks

Joey Garcia

My business partner and I recognized early on that we are not compatible for marriage, kids or romance, so we have never been physically intimate. But we work hard and are close to earning major money. His new girlfriend provokes fights about our business. If he works when she is off and available, she threatens to leave him or actually does. When she returns days later, he avoids our business (and me) for a week. If I talk about it, he gets defensive, promises to catch up, or says nothing needs to be done. He used to be a nice guy who was always on top of business. Now he has pushed away friends, and even family; his finances and credit are in shambles. He is also angry or depressed. Mutual friends say I should be nice to her and leave them alone but continue with our projects and eventually he will refocus. I have tried this for a year, and things are worse. When do I walk away from my 10-year business partnership? I am becoming angrier and more depressed every day. If these people are in love, why are they always fighting and miserable to be around?

As I read it, both you and the girlfriend are trying to control this man’s behavior. With that kind of pressure, it’s no wonder that you and he are both angry and depressed. My friend, Byron Katie (, says that emotional depression results from believing a lie. In your case, that might be the belief that your business partner should be living differently than he is choosing to live. As long as you are trying to control his life, your emotions will feel out of control.

I want you to close your eyes for a moment and think about all that you have learned and gained personally from your 10-year commitment to the business. Find a path in your heart that is deeply grateful for the experience even if nothing more comes from it. You may have to work hard to find this inner refuge and may struggle to return to it, but it’s worth the effort. Your freedom depends on it. This is the sweet spot that allows you to make decisions that bring you joy while maintaining your integrity. After you have connected to your gratitude, keep working at the business until you are clear that you no longer want to. Not because your partner’s girlfriend is annoying or difficult; not because your partner is annoying or difficult; not because they think you are annoying and difficult (we’re human, remember? All of us are troublesome at times), but because you want to do it and would continue even if more obstacles stood in your path.

So why are people in love always fighting and miserable to be around? There are esoteric and parapsychological answers like: They are astrologically incompatible or numerically challenged or carrying baggage from a past life. There are also biologically inspired answers like: It must be biorhythms or hormones or diets full of salt, meat and sugar. Oh, and psychological answers like: They are working out their relationships with their parents through their romantic liaisons. Plus, spiritual answers like: Humans love poorly and these two have not discovered how to love each other or themselves. And there are reality-based answers like: You are not with them all the time and have no idea if they are “always” fighting, but you are fighting with the idea that they should not fight and that makes you miserable. Personally, I’m on the team that wants you (and your business partner and his girlfriend) to be happy. Why not be the first one in your triangle to step in that direction?

Meditation of the week
I was a sophomore at CSU Hayward when my friend Whitney Gaunt decided to drop out. He wanted to be a chef, but cooking school was expensive so he bought the best knives he could
afford and moved to Italy. He worked in restaurants, gradually building on the bits of Italian he had learned in high school from a
friend’s grandmother. “Every step I’ve taken professionally has made me
larger,” he said recently at Fish in Sausalito where he’s now chef. What will you do to
step fully into your wild and delicious life?

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