Ending a Destructive Relationship

Ten years ago I accepted an invitation to dinner with a man I was dating at the time. It was a warm Spring evening and he came to pick me up on his motorcycle. Once he got to my house, it didn’t take me long to realize he’d been drinking as I could smell it on his breath. Never-the-less,  I decided to get on the back of the bike and also chose to leave without two items I almost always take with me–my purse and phone.

Once we got to the restaurant and sat down he ordered drinks. I got a familiar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach but chose to ignore it opting instead to go with the flow which was standard for me in this particular relationship.  After downing several beers he became obnoxiously loud and  rude with the waitperson who was serving us so was escorted out the door. I got up and walked out behind them. There were many thoughts spinning around in my head not the least of which was frustration with the fact that I was dealing with this situation at all.

Once outside the restaurant he went to get his bike and although I was used to going with the flow, I knew there was no way I would this time.

He pulled up to where I stood expecting me to hop on but I told him no. Agitated, he  said “get on the bike now!” And again I affirmed I wasn’t going to.  After a few more go-rounds of his insistence and my refusal he left. And there I stood no purse, no money, no phone and no ride home. I’m not sure why, but I elected not to go back in the restaurant to make a phone call maybe because I was too embarrassed or maybe because I just wanted to be alone. Whatever the reason, I started walking home–all twelve miles.

During that walk I did a lot of thinking about the wrong things that took place that night.  More than anything I was upset with myself for getting on the bike with him in the first place.  None of what happened had to happen but it did because I didn’t follow my instincts.

Yet despite my errors in judgment more good than bad came out of that evening. Looking back I realize that it actually became one of the most significant evenings of my life because I took a hard look at the choices I was making and the impact those choices had on me and my children. If I continued on as I had I would continue to live a life full of drama, disappointment, and despair. I didn’t want to live like that…

The relationship didn’t end immediately but the wheels were in motion and there was no going back. The way I viewed this man changed and with that change the fog began to lift and  some clarity about what I wanted began to emerge.  In order to create change I absolutely had to say yes to change rather than turn my back on it. If I didn’t I would continue to get what I’d been getting and in my mind, that was not acceptable.

I took small steps forward. All aspects of my life slowly got better as I opened up to and actually wanted change to take place. Most of the changes haven’t been easy–the road has been long and hard but every bit of the change has been necessary and I’m so grateful I finally paid attention to my instincts.

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One Response to “Ending a Destructive Relationship”

  1. Love says:

    “get on the bike now!”

    This phrase kept my attention. I saw the scene while reading it. Can you imagine how mentally dependent a woman has to be in order to go on “being in love” (not in Love though) with a man like that, who shout at his wife or girlfriend or lover in such a way?

    One has to be deeply lost to “be in love” with a man who is not respecting you. Who dares to raise his hand to hit you or who humiliate you in any way.

    One has to be really mentally dependent …

    And what is worst (while the woman is mentally dependent and in love with such a man); to believe or feel guilty when trying to stop that and reach out.

    Of course if a man like that has appeared some time in our past it was because we were needing an experience like that one to show us the place where we were inside … so miserable.

    The man is also a part of us; a part of what we were being at that particular point in our lives. The man was as miserable and lost as we were and by allowing him to go on beating us, shouting at us, humiliating us we were indeed not Helping him.

    We do not need to hate him either because in that way our energy is equally lost in the same kind of lie. But once we realize that we are no longer mentally dependent of a man like that, we do well by not entering into his game and go on participating.

    I don´t know how I could be in love with a man very similar to the one you describe here and how I could, after some time has passed, go on trying to “forget everything and try to make peace and go back to him”. Of course I was still mentally sick and dependent and also desperate trying to escape from another situation I was inmerse in.

    Thank you Penny for writting this,

    Love.