I remember a principle I hold closely;
A relationship can & will work, provided both side of the party wants to make it work.
Having this engrained in me, makes “leaving” not even an option. So I remember the struggle I had for years when I was with my ex-beau. Unraveling things that I found as red flags but my principle was so strong I fought through and make exceptions until it was beyond the limit. Even then, I still ask myself multiple times; do I really want to be the bad guy here, to end it all, all that we have built for almost 7 years?
I read. I read. I think. I think. And I asked myself;
What do I really want? What do I really need? With all that I know now, would I regret it if I did not act on it? Do I want to make the change now when I am presented with a foresight, or do I want to be forced to change by circumstances?
If I don’t take care of myself, who will?
That is when I manage to trust and follow my gut to push through. At the very beginning, swallowing the idea of leaving the relationship was just way beyond terrible.
I felt like I failed. I felt like I have broken up promises to stay together. I felt like I am going to crush this person’s feelings that I could imagine how hurtful that would have felt. I felt like the evilest person on earth. I felt like I am about to ruin a person’s life; knowing I am this person’s everything.
It was hard. I know now being on the receiving end is not as bad as being the one deciding to end this (because I have been on the receiving end). I know at that point when I decided that night, I will not be able to walk on this earth without carrying that guilt deep inside me. I can only hope that slowly, the weight will get lighter. I can only hope that slowly, this person will see the genuine caring reason why I chose to leave – it was for the better for the both of us. I can only pray that this person will recover, and the both of us will be able to live well, and not look back in hope that things were to work out.
It took a lot of me, this decision. It took a lot of me because I felt that I was going against my own principle. But I take a lot of time to myself. To understand the “why”. I realized how true it is when people say;
Things happened for a reason.
Things work out for the better.
You can only connect the dots looking backward.
It took me almost 2 years to truly breakfree from my guilt. I don’t know if it would be the same for you, but it did take me 2 years with a lot of thinking, self-convincing, reflecting and writing. Within that 2 years, I have had thoughts of returning. I have had nightmares of the person only going downhill after that. But if I have the opportunity to tell myself then what I know now, is to be okay with all that thoughts and emotions; to let myself be. It is a natural thing to be feeling that way. But what you do need to know, is to always (try) see it in a positive light;
You are doing this to take care of yourself. You know all this while you tried to fix things, but it didn’t work out. You cannot keep on devaluing yourself by making exceptions for things you clearly know is not supposed to be. Know your value, and hold on to it.
Again, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? And if you don’t take care of yourself, you are the only one to be blamed. You are responsible for your own happiness. No one else but you.
It helped me. It did. Having a short strong line to convince myself regularly helps me to pull through and remind myself why I made the decision at the first place. That was the key to the recovery. That was ultimately the catalyst to being whole and fine again.
To me, the principle is still true. I will try my very best to stick to it when the time comes for me to have another chance in relationship. But I know now, self-value is also something that should be of priority; to not make an exception for red flags. And that everything is a combination of different dimensions in play: the principle, the person, the circumstances. And that there is always a greater force at play, which is the Almighty, who knows and aligns destiny. Trust your gut, have faith, make the decision, let go and follow the flow.
I hope that with what I have experienced & shared, this will help you through it all.
Till next time, take care.