Why do we hold on to a relationship that we know is not healthy for us? There is no solid one-answer-fits-all response. What is clear is that humans are creatures of habit; finding comfort within discomfort. Unfortunately, people who come from a dysfunctional family dynamic are also likely to repeat family dysfunction in their own respective families and romantic relationships. So how can you walk away from someone you love so passionately, whom you’ve invested so much time and effort into, and someone whom you’ve shared so many experiences with? Walking away is not easy but if you want to break those unhealthy relationship patterns from your past, some tough decisions may be in order. Here are some tips to help you walk away with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child:
First, identify if the relationship has ran its course or if it is simply going through a rough patch. Identify the red flags; take inventory of the good, the bad, and the ugly. An example of a red flag that can help you identify an unhealthy relationship is if you are keeping secrets from others or within the relationship itself. I am not talking about privacy. Privacy is important in a marriage to protect the integrity of your union but secrecy is something you keep from others because you are a) embarrassed, b) afraid others will dislike your partner, c) afraid of the repercussions, or d) all of the above.
Have the courage to say “enough is enough.” People often stay in unsatisfying relationships because it’s “not that bad,” because “they don’t physically hurt me,” or because “they have good intentions.” Is that really a reason to stay with someone who is not contributing, fulfilling, or adding something to your life in an edifying way? Why settle? Why accept less than the best because he or she is Mr. or Mrs. Right Now? Have the courage and will power to say, “I will not stay because there’s no one else. I will move on, let go, and find someone worthy of my love!”
Three, de-root the relationship from the ground and leave no room for any ties. Of course this will be a lot more complicated if there are children or shared assets involved but in any good battle won there is compromise and sacrifice involved. When you genuinely want to start living with purpose, let go of the mediocracy so that you may accept nothing but what you deserve. You will then find yourself starting to make the valiant decisions necessary to get what you want and need. De-rooting means you’ve cut the life of the relationship from its core, its root, and emotional source. When you make it ok to visit “here and there,” text “every once in a while,” you leave room for your emotional needs to be met by this human being who needs to be long gone from your life. Walk on by, and never look back.
Walking away from someone you still love is hard, sad, difficult, and at times could feel like a tragedy but it’s not impossible. I promise you, you will survive. Love YOURSELF more. You owe that to yourself. Make the decision to NOT allow your children or future children to grow up in a dysfunctional home. You owe that to them. Give yourself the right to be happy, with balance, fulfillment, and pleasure of living life on your own terms.