≡ Menu

When You Know that Enough is Enough

There is a story…a story about two frogs…the two frogs were playing in a meadow when they were caught by a farmer…he brought them back to a farmhouse and put two pots on the top of his wooden stove…one frog he put in a pot of cold water and set the temperature under the pot to low…and the frog stayed there…the other pot he let boil and then threw the other frog in….that frog jumped out of the pot immediately.

“We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.” ~Mao Tse-Tung

Ignoring the Problems in Your Relationships

What happens when you are in a situation that you tolerate? After a while, it becomes the new normal for you. Think of it this way, when you have a bedroom that you keep immaculately clean, you like it to stay that way.

If, for some reason, your habit changes (let’s say you get a new roommate or you were sick for an extended time) and you start leaving clothes on the bedroom floor…and they stay there…after a while, your brain starts to think that it is normal for the clothes to be there.

What happens if you are in a relationship with someone…and they yell at you, loudly…and you do nothing or very little to stop it or voice your concern. They yell at you again and maybe hit you…and you don’t do anything to stop it…after a while, that becomes your new normal. You become accustomed to that kind of behavior towards you. You don’t know when enough is enough.

It becomes very hard for men or women who are in an abusive relationship of any kind (and there are many) to leave because for them, it is the new normal. It is like the frog in the pot that starts out cold…everything seems fine…and the frog doesn’t notice that the temperature is getting hotter until it is too late…and then, it really is too late for that frog.

Aren’t you glad that you aren’t a frog? That you have the ability to see those behaviors that you don’t want to have in your life anymore. When you realize that the behavior that you were tolerating is NOT normal, you can change it…can’t you? When you no longer ignore it…when you see that it is there…that is where the power is.

How Do You Define Normal in Your Relationships with Yourself and Others

You might need to do research to find out what a healthy normal is in a relationship. You might not know…especially if you saw bad, violent, abusive, or codependent relationships modelled for you by parents, relatives, friends, or others in your life. Look around…ask questions…read books…find blogs…there is a lot of information out there.

  • What do you think a truly functional relationship should look like?
  • What is normal for you now in a relationship?
  • What would happen if you could feel powerful while you are in relationship with another?
  • What is your WHY for having a wonderful relationship?

When you no longer tolerate the intolerable, when you know when enough is enough,  opportunities come into your life. You can be open to new ways to improve your relationships. You might have to make the hard decision to leave a relationship…I don’t know…and remember that everything is relationship…

Are you tolerating the intolerable? Is it in a relationship with someone else…in your relationship with yourself…in your work life…in your relationship with your own body…you can do this lovingly…with a positive motivation…because you are the director of your own movie…aren’t you?

Believe in yourself and know that you deserve…really deserve…to have relationships that work…that support you in being the amazing individual that you are…that embrace respect and love…and step up to that plate and claim the very best…because you can…because you can feel that you do deserve it…it is as simple as that…

When you know that enough is enough…think of that life where you no longer tolerate bad behavior…just like that…that life, over there, where you know your own value…and it is a lot…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

The following two tabs change content below.


I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nisha July 5, 2012, 3:56 pm

    Great article, Sherie! I think my relationship functions pretty well, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t parts that could be improved. I love your ideas, and your metaphor is PERFECT! 🙂

    • Sherie July 5, 2012, 4:10 pm

      Awww..that is very sweet of you to say, Nisha! : D Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Sharon O'Day July 5, 2012, 11:49 am

    Sherie, I did an exercise at a conference recently where we were instructed to list everything we were tolerating, on a list only we would read. Big things. Little things. Most stopped after 15-20-25 things, feeling we were done. But the moderator pushed us to keep going … until we reached 100. Needless to say, it’s a very enlightening exercise, one that can help us defuse many potential relationship issues long before they becomes a problem.

    • Sherie July 5, 2012, 12:37 pm

      Wow, Sharon, that is a great exercise! A list of 100 things…who would think there would be that many and yet…when we think of all of those little things, they can add up, can’t they? Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Love your view point!

  • Anita July 5, 2012, 3:51 am

    Great post and one that I certainly could have benefited from years past when I was going through my divorce. I was fortunate to get help before getting into another relationship and it has benefited my life ten fold. I have shared your wisdom 🙂

    • Sherie July 5, 2012, 10:32 am

      You have made a great point, Anita…you got help before you went into another relationship and that is brilliant that you recognized the need for that. Quite often, if we don’t recognize the patterns of behavior that allowed us to participate in that kind of relationship, we repeat it…not always but often…thanks so much for your comment, and sharing!

  • Lisa Birnesser July 4, 2012, 5:19 pm

    Very powerful words, Sherie. Too often folks don’t have the experience of a healthy relationship. The next step is then to seek out what you are used to, which can be a recipe for an abusive relationship. You can definitely become numbed out to constant abuse, which is a dangerous place to be.

    • Sherie July 4, 2012, 5:23 pm

      It is, Lisa…I like how you called it being “numbed out”…that is a great way to put it, very apt…and it is a dangerous place to be. Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Karen Presecan July 4, 2012, 5:32 am

    Sherie, this is a wonderful article! There are so many people that could benefit from this!! I love your frog analogy..it’s compelling way to get across the fact that if we sit in a bad situation long enough, it could break us.

    • Sherie July 4, 2012, 12:01 pm

      Karen, thank you for your kind words!! The frog analogy is one of my favorites because it so illustrates how easy it is for that kind of bad situation to be tolerated. Thanks for your comment!

  • Sherry Nouraini July 4, 2012, 12:36 am

    How beautifully written, and I can think of a couple of people who should read this.

    • Sherie July 4, 2012, 1:31 am

      Thank you, Sherry! : D

  • elizabeth July 4, 2012, 12:11 am

    aww this is true.. People stay in a bad relationship because they are afraid of change or they just except it and don’t think they deserve better.

    • Sherie July 4, 2012, 12:34 am

      Exactly, Elizabeth! When they know better and expect better, they do better! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment!

  • Sally K Witt July 3, 2012, 10:31 pm

    Loved the frog story! Yes, I AM glad that I am not like that frog. LOL

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 11:49 pm

      LOL. Glad to hear it, Sally!! : D Thanks for your comment!

  • Amy Marin Carlson July 3, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Sherie, I like your metaphor with the two frogs and how we can become desensitized to unhealthy situations. Sometimes we have to trust in the perspectives of those who care about us to reflect what they’re seeing back to us. Great insight.

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 11:50 pm

      Amy, thanks so much for reading the post and I am glad that you like the metaphor about the two frogs. Thanks for your comment!

  • Helena July 3, 2012, 9:13 pm

    Excellent article Sherie! I have been in those abusive relationships where the violence and abuse becomes the new normal, and you think that you deserve this because it’s just how it is supposed to be. It’s not until something clicks in your own mind that this definition of normal is no longer acceptable, that you are willing to find a way to get out of the pot. Sadly, for some people it never does.

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 9:21 pm

      Too true, Helena, a lot of people don’t have that “click” in their minds. I am glad that you did get it! Thanks for your comment!

  • Susan Preston July 3, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Amazing article, Sherie. It is so true, that a lot of times people stay in abusive relationships because it becomes the ‘New’ normal. Other times, people are just existing in their relationship because they think it is easier then starting over and some have fear of the unknown or being alone. I will definitely be sharing this. Thank you for sharing your brilliance and wisdom. Awesome!

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 6:03 pm

      Susan, thank you so much for your insights and your very kind words. : D Thanks so much for sharing and for your lovely comment!!

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk July 3, 2012, 4:58 pm

    You bring up some important points about relationships. I too have been in some that just didn’t work after awhile and I had to let them go. I felt at one point that is was emotional survival that made me feel the need to leave. We do have to take care of ourselves as well as respect ourselves enough to make the change. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Cathy, the fact that you paid attention to your warning system and discovered that it was emotional survival to leave is awesome. We do need to take care of ourselves and being aware is so key. Thank you for your comment!

  • Moira Hutchison July 3, 2012, 1:06 pm

    Excellent article Sherie! I have also experienced an abusive relationship which I am now happy to say I can look back upon and see what it taught me!

    The most important thing I suggest to my clients is to ask themselves – where is my joy and does this relationship / situation add to or deplete my joy and happiness in life.

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 1:18 pm

      Moira, that is an excellent question to ask! Glad you are out of that abusive relationship and that you can look back on it and see what it taught you. That is a great way to reframe that experience! Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Carolyn Hughes July 3, 2012, 10:25 am

    Having been in a relationship where I was constantly put down, it took me a long time to build up the courage to say ‘Enough is enough’ and insist on some boundaries. It is not easy to stick to your guns when you are wobbling inside but I’m glad I did and wish I had done it sooner!

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 10:37 am

      I hear you on that, Carolyn! A lot of women wish they had done it sooner, once they have that realization. Applaud yourself for having done it, it is a giant leap. Thanks for commenting!

  • Alexandra McAllister July 3, 2012, 10:19 am

    Great article, Sherie. Yes, I agree…’When you no longer tolerate the intolerable, when you know when enough is enough, opportunities come into your life.’ That is so true. I ended a verbally abusive friendship in January and it was one of the best decisions ever! I still have a couple of things to work on. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Sherie July 3, 2012, 10:36 am

      You’re welcome, Alexandra. Glad you stood up for yourself and got out! Way to go! Thanks for commenting, dear!

  • Darris June 28, 2012, 12:57 pm

    I have a husband that keeps me on track in our relationship. He asks for what he wants without manipulation or withdrawal. I am very familiar with abuse (1st marriage) and the impact on one’s soul. The first time I read, ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’ I had to put it down, it was too painful. I wasn’t ready to leave my marriage. When the verbal abuse turned physical I left. I’ve read the book twice since and handed it out to a dozen people. Understanding the cycle of abuse probably saved my life. Thanks so much for this post.

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 2:16 pm

      Darris, how awesome that you have a husband now who can ask for what he wants without manipulation and withdrawal…abuse is so damaging and the fact that you were able to get out is incredible…so many people don’t and that breaks my heart…I haven’t read that book but so glad that it had such an impact on you. Thank you for reading the post and commenting, my dear…I really appreciate you doing so…hugs…

  • Mary Page June 28, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Oh sent you my Tumblr account link instead of my blog link. Account is good, but it is brainstorming for my oil paintings, and drawings. Plus I practice looking at a pic and making a humorous remark–free association.
    Mostly masterpieces from famous artists, but it has many nudes and many paintings that are not well known and not the norm. Just wanted to let you know so as not to offend. 🙂

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 1:38 pm

      Mary, no problem at all!!!

  • Mary Page June 28, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Always like your blog just have not posted in a while. Sometimes the abuse happens so gradual and starts out as a problem then develops into something more. Experienced that with my ex husband. I believe as women our nuturing tendencies tend to lead us in that direction. I believe these types of articles help remind you and reflect on relationships. I had to get a friend to observe to confirm what was really going on. When I was in the middle of that I was so busy trying to nuture and take care I truly did not notice how bad it had gotten. A trusted friend periodically sitting down and telling me what was observed helped me make the decision to break the relationship from my exhusband.

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 1:37 pm

      Mary, that is the problem, isn’t it…when it starts out gradually and then builds…you are very lucky to have had that friend who helped you see. I am so glad that you go out and had the courage to leave…big hugs…and thanks so much for commenting, my dear!

  • Eva Blaskovic June 28, 2012, 7:02 am

    Excellent, excellent article, Sherie! Outsiders who have a fresh view from a distance can see the problems immediately (just as they would see something wrong with a frog continuing to sit in a pot of water on a stove with the element on). Even the person involved, once they are out of the situation, looks back and wonders how they could have put up with it. The frog with the slowly heating water is an excellent example of the mechanism of how people can continue to bear something so seemingly stupid and hurtful to themselves, but mostly it is an explanation of how it happens in the first place and why it’s not so simple to get out of until one realizes what’s happening–that is, has a comparison of what’s normal, or humane, versus what’s not.

    • Sherie June 28, 2012, 11:28 am

      It isn’t simple until you realize what is happening…just like that frog that starts out with the cold water on the stove…it thinks everything is fine and then…slowly but surely, as the temperature rises and it still doesn’t notice…it gets cooked. If you can see/hear/feel what is happening, then with that new awareness, you CAN make changes…but if you don’t KNOW that it is happening, it is a different story. Love your insights, Eva!!! So appreciate you commenting!