Posts Tagged ‘emptiness’

Leaving a Bad Relationship

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Nearly eight years ago I walked away from a bad relationship. I had been warming up to the idea of leaving for about a year. I kept thinking of reasons to stay. I’d see a ray of hope and latch on clinging to it for days until the ray dimmed and the down cycle began again. I waited through each bad cycle hoping again for another glimmer to emerge. These cycles were my lot inside this particular relationship and it took me a long time to realize that all my hoping was doing nothing more than keeping me stuck. I had to get through enough of the up and down cycles until I “got it.” Eventually I understood that the relationship was nothing more than a series of very short good cycles and much longer bad ones.

It’s hard to give up hope when you care for someone. It is painful to face the reality of what is clearly a losing proposition. We all need hope in our lives; it keeps us going and encourages us to move forward yet we’ve all got to face that staying in a bad relationship is a waste of precious time. The relationship I had was never going to bring me anything different than what I’d already experienced–why in the world would I want that?

I knew it would be better for me to stop the cycles cut my losses and walk away. Yet what prevented me from leaving was my dread of facing the end. I didn’t look forward to the misery I was sure would follow; I didn’t want to experience the emptiness I was certain would be mine to come. Looking back, it’s like I stepped on a bee got stung wished later I’d been wearing shoes but continued to walk around barefoot.

So even though my immediate thought was to keep things status quo in order to avoid pain I knew that long term suffering would have been the outcome of staying.

With the breakup came wisdom, courage, and hope. This hope wasn’t misplaced; it was hard-won. I learned that any relationship is not better than no relationship. I also learned that healthy relationships require paying attention in all aspects of life. It’s not hard to make good relationship choices but it does take knowing what you will and won’t accept and sticking with it.