An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's Over

6:01 PM |

When to say when...

Today I was talking to one of my friends about a girl who is in the process of trying to decide if it's time to let go. She's been in a relationship with a man who she has serious history with. They started dating in middle/high school. They went their separate ways, got married to different people, got divorced and reconnected after that. Sound like the beginning of a love story right? Well things have not been going well at all. They fight, they break up, he gets with other people shortly after the break-up, family doesn't like him, and apparently things got physical ended with her and some marks on her face. Long story short, she's trying to decide whether to hold on or let go and she's asking my friend how she did it.

It's hard to tell another person when it's time to let go. Because if you do so prematurely you'll inevitably end up dealing with that person again in some form or fashion. Or you'll never truly get past that relationship and be able to move on in a healthy manner. Everyone's breaking point is different. So how do you really decide when to call it quits?

I think when you are in a relationship that goes bad it's easy to decide when it's over. You've been cheated on one too many times. You're tired of getting abused. You fight all the time. So it's easier to see that things are just not working, you're not happy, it's time to get out. But when things don't necessarily go "wrong" it's harder to decide it's over. When there's nothing you did wrong, nothing he did wrong but you still feel like this isn't working or something isn't right, you start to think this is just a rut. When it gets like that, many make the mistake of thinking marriage is the logical solution, when in fact they probably should have just walked away.

So how do you decide? I think you should ask yourself some key questions that can help make that decision.

1. Am I getting anything out of being with this person?
No matter how mad you are with someone, you should always be able to answer yes to this question. You should be able to say that this person gives you happiness in some kind of way. You like the way your conversations stimulate your mind. You enjoy his company. You like making him happy because that makes you happy and he does the same in turn. Etc. Etc. It doesn't mean financial and it doesn't mean physical. You should feel like you are not simply passing the time away when you are with this person.

If you managed to answer no to question 1, then your next question needs to be...

2. Can I change or can he change?
Is there something he's not providing that you need to answer yes to question 1? Is there something within yourself that needs to be fixed? If anything you feel that you are not getting out of the relationship can be made with a few modifications in how you deal with one another then there is still some hope. So long as both parties are willing to work towards making each other happy. If the change involves "changing" the person, to the point where they are no longer happy or they are no longer the same person, then you need to walk away. You should never stay in a relationship hoping to change a person into what you want.

If you answered no to question 2, then it's over. That means that no matter what that person does, no matter what they change, you still will not be happy. And that can happen. Things change, people change, Sometimes whether a person changes or not still will not make you happy. That doesn't mean that he's bad or that you are bad, you're just not meant for each other.

If that still isn't enough then you should be asking..

3. What is really the problem?
Take a step back and look at why you are questioning your relationship. Why are you even debating on whether or not you should be with this person. You should be able to search and find an answer. If there is no answer, and there is no real problem, then why are you even questioning your relationship?

Notice I didn't include love in there. That's because love is what makes reasonable people stay with abusers. Love is what convinces you, you can change him to be what you want. Love is great but love can cloud your decisions. And when making a decision such as to stay and to leave you don't have to consider love. Why? Because you probably already love them, that's why you are having difficulty making your decision. You can love some one and not be meant to be with them. So when you are deciding, love will be a factor, but don't make that be a decider.

By all means I don't think I have the all the answers. But I can say I have walked away when the decision wasn't easy. In the end I am a lot happier for it. Never regretted the decision not once. Bottom line is, you and only you will know what is right for your relationship. And when it's time to let go, it's time to let go. Don't be afraid.