Ending a Relationship: How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?
When deciding on ending a relationship, the first question we ask ourselves is: How do I know when enough is enough? Someone very special and beautiful asked me that question this week.
In our culture, we are faced with all kinds of messages about relationships: see the good in people, relationships take work, rise above, and don't have too many expectations. Then, don't put up with anyone's disrespect, take care of yourself, set limits, leave abuse. These messages convolute all our decisions on how to set boundaries in relationships or know when it is right for us to leave them. We don't know who to blame, us or them. Add to it worry and fear about being alone, or being abandoned, or about other people judging you, and it becomes a maze to wade through.
Unconditional Love and Ending a Relationship
Problems in significant relationships effect our anxiety and depression more than any other factor in our life because our relationships and their success define us. These are huge decisions. The heaviness of making the right one, can be immobilizing. One can either open to reconnecting, nor can they step away to relieve themselves. Above all, they lose all trust in themselves, staying in misery and passing it back and forth between them.
We think we are supposed to have unconditional love for our partners and mistake this for having an unconditional relationship. Relationships have conditions! All relationship arrangements are negotiable, and there is usually aspects that for one or both partners that are not negotiable.
It is not easy to chose to leave a relationship and I do not have a prescription answer. Sometimes, it is best and other times it is not, and these both can depend. One thing I do understand is that if you make a decision, you make that your decision. Whichever you decide, you live that decision with your best self. Look deep inside you, beyond all fear and all guilt and there you'll find the answer. Ask your higher self what is the best for everyone involved. Step back from the situation and see yourself and your partner from a distance. This intention and perspective can help you get clarity.
The Ending a Relationship Decision
There is no right decision. Decisions are like everything else, relative. It doesn't matter if it is "right" or not, you make a decision and then make it right for you.
You might decide to postpone your decision to end a relationship, but even that is a decision to be lived instead of lamented. Don't beat yourself up for "not deciding," postpone consciously. But before making a decision about whether to stay in or leave a relationship, think about this:
- Know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are perfect and awesome.
- There is nothing to be afraid of, you cannot chose wrong.
- Get people that love you around you.
- Find your worth and know who you are and your purpose.
Then, and only then, the preferable choice will be as clear as day.
How have you decided to stay in or leave a relationship? Let my friend know how you did it. Comment below!
LCSW-R, J. (2012, July 18). Ending a Relationship: How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/07/how-do-you-know-when-enough-is-enough
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
All the reasons you gave that made me want to stay are true: fear of loneliness, fear of change, fear of people's judgement. I can also add fear of failure. The longer we stay, the harder it is to take the decision to leave. The hardest question I am asked is: why now? why all that wasn't a problem before? why did you wait that long? If you waited 20 years, then you can stay some more. Why now? because now enough is enough. You are right. I think we have a certain capacity of adaptation and patience, but it has limits, and it's limits don't depend only on us, but on others depending on us like children.
The hardest part is taking the decision. Once that is done, the rest will get easier as long as we believe we've done what is right. I totally agree with you that any decision we take is the right one as long as we stick to it.
What helps in taking the decision to leave when there is no more hope of making the relationship successful is to find love whether it is in friendship, in a new relationship, a new job we love, anything, any new purpose or passion. It is also when we have a certain responsibility towards others happiness and safety. Children depend on us to keep them safe.
Ready is relative. We decide to be ready. We think we wait until we are ready but we can decide this any time. Why now? You decided. This is such a positive message, I hope you read it over and over! Just a few days left!
I have had two divorces, both very different. In the first, I was physically and verbally abused. Fortunately, I had access to a therapist at work (for free!) and found the strength to leave. I shudder when I think about what might have happened. After that I remained single for ten years, with lots of therapy, and my relationships became progressively healthier.
With my second husband, it took a long time to get to that decision, and we were separated for a while before I decided to get a divorce. With each step, I waited until it felt exactly right. It was hard because we were good friends, but it was the right thing to do. Our divorce, when I felt ready, was done with love and respect for our 12 years together. People tried to rush me through the decision, but I feel as though we ended it in a beautiful way that left no hard feelings.
Oh, yes, very different. So funny, I have been reading you for about a year and don't know these things about you. Thanks so much for sharing and giving your two cents. I am glad you like that quote. This is very helpful for her to hear. It is important to know there is not just one prescription for how to handle these things.
I decided, (after breaking my leg in the August and spending all day everyday at home getting depressed) that I wasnt where I wanted to be in my life. I split with my girlfriend of two years which came as a big surprise to her and broke her heart. and despite being really upset myself and doubting my decision on numerous occasions I reasoned that overall to avoid me hurting her in the long run she should be shot of me. I stand by that decision. I did not wish to marry her and although that was the only difference (she still loves me and I her) it meant that I was being stuck in a relationship where I didnt feel comfortable. this would have led to me doing increasingly horrible things to distract myself so to be fair to her I ended it there and then.
I still maintain it wwas the right decision. and as for the point about making the decision right for you afterwards? im still working on that. my depression spiralled and has gotten very much worse, with thanks to a very unhelpful relationship in the middle. I have my good days. I have a lot of days I dont even want to move. I havent missed a days work through this yet (despite sometimes not being here mentally even if I am physically) and I have begun to write poetry which is a totally new thing for me.
Thanks you for this question. I wouldnt normally comment on this kind of thing. indeed I dont even read the blog, I was linked here through a friend on google+
Thanks so much for stopping by. It sounds like you stand by your decision! On the other hand depression is there, maybe not related to that decision, but depression clouds our view of everything. I am glad to hear about your poetry. I am putting together a ebook about writing to heal and am interviewing folks. Here's the questions:
1. When did you start writing and why?
2. How did it help you? (Be as specific as possible.)
3. What kind of writing do you do?
4. Have you let people read it? Why or why not?
5. (Optional) Would you like to share a short excerpt? (<100 words)
If you are interested, send answers to email@example.com
Especially when relatively speaking staying in the relationship I would have been happier than the last 7 months where I have never felt such pain and misery.It would be nice to hear some happy or good endings from people who made the decision to leave a relationship they were unsure about?
I completly understand where your coming from. I was in a relationship for a little over a year and the beggining and up to 7 months was great and we were so in love with no issues, well i thought no issues. A little after that his friends and drinking became the new "cool" and also his roommate got divorced so it was always about his roommate. I started feeling like a burden, he never made time for "us" it was always with friends and I felt really lonely and kinda felt like he quit trying. He also became very lazy, disrespectful(to my family and me), drinker, gambler.... etc. I felt like he didn't want me and I started feeling not right about something. I also didn't want to realize he was abusive at times verbally and physically. I would just slide it under the rug like nothing had happened. Things basically went way downhill a little after a year and I just got fed up and me getting mad at him and expressing i didn't like something led to him breaking things off, and he said I was causing to much stress. Which by stress this was me telling him I don't like something he's doing and asking him to have us work on it together. He was very much all about him and so together wasn't in his frame of mind. He also relys on his friends to basically tell him what he should do and every single one of his friends are single and consider relatioships relationshits... so I was basially sunk and I knew it, but i never brought myself to end things. I now wish I would have acted on what I felt when I felt like things wernt right and this relationship wasnt going to make me happy. I even now after the breakup want the relationship back, but not because I want him back because I dont, but because its hard to feel alone and also miss all the qualities you do love very much about that person and don't want to loose. My suggestion would be if you don't feel right, do something now verses later.. I know its going to hurt, but its going to hurt a lot more if you keep making things okay and prolong whats already going to happen. I am really sorry to hear about that though, I know how hard it can be. I thought this last bf was the "one" and I was never going to have to date again. Its never easy.
I am very curious to know how long it took you to recover from said break up?
Jodi is no longer writing for HealthyPlace so is unable to respond to comments. It sounds like being a good father and maintaining an intact family for your daughter is very important to you. To be such a caring parent is a strength. While it can be good for kids to have their parents remain married and live together, it actually isn't always the case. Studies show that it's actually more harmful for kids when a family situation is toxic. Sometimes help from a professional can go a long way in either mending relationships and getting them back on the track you want them to be on or in helping people make smooth transitions to separation in a way that's healthy for the parents and child alike. Many communities have family therapists who specialize in just this sort of thing. Perhaps your partner would be willing to try family counseling in order for everyone to be able to sort things out.
I'm on the same situation exactly as yours. I've been holding into my marriage even if i know my husband doesn't love me and he is seeing other girls because I want my son to grow up with both parents. Right now he is seeing again another girl and probably would leave me again. This time I think enough is enough already. I hope you could also have the courage to let go and let God deal with your wife.
I know this is close to a year later but I felt compelled to comment. First off, is your situation still holding on in order for your son to have both parents? Things may have changed in a year. I have many years of counceling and physch college classes. The take away is functional vs. dysfunctional... and your happiness... Your happiness should ALWAYS come first. If you were to divorce your son will still have both parents and he will not melt. I'm taking your words "I’ve been holding into my marriage even if i know my husband doesn’t love me and he is seeing other girls because I want my son to grow up with both parents." This is all wrong for you and your son. The only one making out like a bandit is your good for nothing, cheating husband. Hold him accountable and move on with your life. You deserve respect, happiness, love and yes, even passion in this life. Your son will grow older in this toxic arrangement and suffer more for it than he will if your divorce. He will most likely struggle to know what a healthy loving relationship is in his future because you are not teaching him what that means. He may also resent the fact that you let this man treat you like a doormat, worse case is that he grows up to treat some lovely woman like a doormat, too. Food for thought. Put yourself first! You and your son will benefit. The current situation is so unhealthy and unfair to both of you. Love yourself.
I'm sure I will be judged for this, I have carried tremendous amount of guilt.I have been in a 30 plus year marriage with now grown children. I have never been settled nor fulfilled. I married very young and don't think that at the age I married I had developed my personality or who I am today.my husband is basically a good man..minus some alcohol episodes and a few physically abusive times but has a good heart.I raised my children like I promised myself and once they were gone, I felt a larger void.I decided to leave, very ashamed of .this but I had multiple affairs and have a live in boyfriend. My husband wants me back and has now given me a deadline or he is filing for divorce. I really don't blame him but I feel very torn.a part of me doesn't want the divorce and a part of me doesn't want to go back either.I feel very selfish too because I'm also with my boyfriend that I need to decide.I love my boyfriends personality but he has a temper and we argue alot but he makes me feel like a woman.i am not as sexually attracted to my husband but I do love him too.
my husband has given me a deadline that is soon approaching..I don't know how to ask for more time because He won't hear of it.how do I decide.please help me.I am very worried. I dont know what to do.
What did you decide ?I am in the same situation but I am not married I divorced him a year ago. An now live with my boy friend my son is with him and I miss my son of course I see him everyday I just don't see him when he wakes up. My ex husband won't let him come to my house cause of my boyfriend. My boyfriend is sweet and kind to me and my son but my ex just don't like him. So, in order to be with my son I have to move back there.
And why can't you wake up with your son anyway? You are his mother... This is abusive of your ex.
I been looking for answers for a while now about should I go or stay in this second marraige of mines!
I divorces my first husband after 12 years together and I knew it was the best choice I could have ever made for myself! We got married because we were deep in the church and felt guilty living in sin!
Six months after my divorce was final, I married a man 11 years younger than me. Turns out this marraige was worse than the first. I been marrie almost three years now but we been together a total of 5 years. We have had some good days but I feel like I am in a war with my husband on almost a daily basis. We argue about everything! He is very hot tempered, judgemental and a know it all! He is constantly disrespecting me over and over by calling me out of my name and cursing at me when he doesnt get his way.
I swear its like having an adult child in the house! He apologizes, just to do it over again and again. I been going through this with him since before we got married! I thought if we got married quickly that all our issues would go away! As a matter of fact they got worse! He got worse!
We dont have sexual intimacy any more; NOT my choice! There is no fire in yhe relationship! He ignores me if he isnt putting me down or critisizing something thatbI am doing! I am so fed up!
My worth is more than this! He doesnt care how what he does to me is draining me.emotionally, mentally and spiritually!
I cry often and am depressed because of this!!!
I decided after his last time of disrespecting me that im not going to deal with it anymore! I am filing for divorce!
He doesnt care to try to change and I have done everything to cater to his needs, wants and desires and still I get nothing positive in return!!!
On too of this, I have two younger teenage daughters who see this and they hate how im hurting but I tell them im okay even though they know im not okay!
What kind of message am I sending to my children, that its okay to be a doormat for someone else!!!
Im lying on my bed thinking about what the future holds.
Ive been with a Brazilian girl for 6 months now and shes pregnant with my son.
Things haven't been right for awhile and i dont know what to do...
Weve had so many problems and shes said today its enough shes done. She wants to decide what to do...i told her to fuck off then if shes not happy...i mean my language is not called for i know i should contain it but her understanding of our situation drives me nuts.
I was asleep in the bed i bought for us...then she comes in and wakes me and says "get up amd go to your own bed"...in the spare room...i was like for fucks sake...feeling unwanted i get up and go as not to piss her off...then shes like im joking...
Who the fuck jokes about that shit?
Im really sensitive when it comes to this stuff..
She suggests giving her till feb to decide what shes going to do. Then i said i would break the lease and move out into a share house again.
Then shes like great gimme the lease to the apartment.
But then still wants my support at the birth.
She doesnt want to be with me...but still wants me to be around?
Am i selfish to not want to help her as she doesn't want to be with me?
I said what ever shes is owed with child support she will get...but if were not together i told her to get f@#$ed.
Am i wrong?
I want to try and make it work? She doesnt but still wants it her way?
I mean she wants to leave so ...what can i do?
Am i wrong?
At the beginning it was great...sex was great she had her own life...i never knew much about ocd...but im sure im not that filthy.
I consider i maintain a healthy if not manly hygiene...
Im mean im not perfect but im not that disgusting...
Our problems have arisen through things like not washing my hands during food prep to her not trusting me to wash her clothes or washing the dishes.
"this to will pass" - prince ea
Im in constant search of forgiveness and spiritual guidance.
I dont know what to do.