All Articles Tagged "broken relationships"
If there was one thing I used to resent myself for, it was the way that I would fight tooth and nail to hold together a relationship that was clearly over. I mean, I would be so emotionally worn-out by the time I finally accepted that the relationship was coming to an end. Not even because of the nature of the break up, but because of how hard I would fight to hold everything together. I never slowed down long enough to even ask myself if there was anything left in the relationship worth saving. All I knew was that I was about to lose something, and I don’t like losing things. I would be like an insane person, sitting at a table with a pile of broken glass from a shattered mirror in front of me. With my fingers all cut up and bleeding, I’d attempt to glue the slivers of glass that once formed the mirror back together. Of course, in the end, I’d never achieve the goal of putting the mirror (relationship) back together fully, at least not permanently anyway, because in many cases, once it’s broken, it’s broken.
One day, it dawned on me that once a season (or relationship) is over, there’s not much you can do to bring it back and sometimes attempting to do anything and everything to piece it back together only makes things more painful and strained. As I reflect on past relationships, it amazes me how much emotional energy could have been saved and pain that could’ve been avoided if I just accepted the fact that the relationship had simply run its course and it was time to move on. I also eventually realized that we sometimes aren’t even actually fighting for the person themselves, but for what being with them represents and against what not being with them symbolizes. We commonly associate break-ups with failure because to some of us, it means admitting that we were wrong–wrong about a person we trusted. It means admitting that while we thought this person was the one, we somehow miscalculated something, somewhere along the way.
Cutting your losses and moving on doesn’t mean that you didn’t love or care about the person because you’re being realistic about the fact that it’s over. It just means you love yourself enough not to constantly subject yourself to the pain of forcing something that’s finished. Everywhere you turn, we’re being told that love is worth fighting for and while I do believe this is true, there are some instances when fighting against a break-up is only prolonging the inevitable, especially when the other party makes it clear that they have no interest in salvaging what’s left of the relationship.
Breaking up doesn’t always require crying, begging, pleading, struggling or even getting indignant. You don’t have to always do something to spite the person just because they hurt you. You don’t have to seek revenge. You don’t have to struggle to make that person stay with you, because the truth of the matter is that when a person desires to end a relationship, they’re gone long before they actually leave anyway. Sometimes breaking up means being mature enough to understand that the love is gone and and it’s best for your growth as a person and happiness if you move forward. Sometimes it means being lady enough to depart from where you’re no longer desired, but recognizing that somewhere down the road you’ll meet someone who will. Sometimes it means leaving with your dignity in tact. Sometimes breaking up simply means taking a deep breath and letting go.
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Have you ever outwardly forgiven a friend or family member for some horrible offense they’ve committed against you while you inwardly still held a grudge about it? I have and it isn’t a pretty sight. Claiming to have forgiven a person while you are inwardly harboring feelings of resentment is not something that is always done with malicious intents and motives. One of the more popular examples of this is currently the strange relationship that has been depicted between Jackie and Laura of “Basketball Wives: LA,” where Laura pretends to be okay with Jackie to her face although she doesn’t actually care for her. Many have accredited Laura’s actions to being insincere or phony; however, it seems that most of her actions are a result of “unforgiveness.” In some cases you may actually posses the will and desire to forgive a person, but your heart is still healing and you’re having trouble doing so. Unaddressed feelings of resentment and “unforgiveness” have a tendency to fester and materialize into thoughts of revenge, and we already know that our thoughts can quickly become our actions. Not sure you’ve fully forgiven that person who hurt you? That’s okay, feelings and emotions can be difficult to decode sometimes, but lucky for you we are here to help. Check out nine signs that you have not fully forgiven a person even though you think you may have.
Subtract the recreational drug use and manic, extreme decision-making and I know what it is to find love in a hopeless place. I met someone in the least attractive of ways, all signs said “NO!” Every angel guarding me tried to pull me away, but I allowed “lonely” to lead me to him. I filled my days and nights with him. Great conversation and intense physical attraction. Nothing but us. He adored everything about me, or so he said. How could something so wrong, feel so amazing? I was flying high, with a small storm cloud looming in the distance. But hey, it was in the distance so I willed myself not to worry about it right now.
He feigned interest in my faith and my concern for my health, but tried to feed me propaganda excluding the God I believe in and tried to push me into getting on birth control so he wouldn’t have to use a condom. Condoms “don’t be hittin’ right” as he so eloquently put it. He said he loved me just the way I was, but I noticed a pattern of the smallest, negative jabs he would throw whenever I refused to give in to his opinion on any given topic. “You’re stuck up,” “You probably wouldn’t support your husband,” “I misjudged how fragile your feelings are.” He found ways to belittle me whenever I stood up for myself and in my silly attempt to not seem so ‘fragile’ I just took it.
It was a constant tug-of-war. Was I going to make bad decision after bad decision, disfiguring my self-esteem and worth just to keep him in my life? Or was I going to lay my armor down and walk away? I had never had a man so blatantly play such mind games, disregarding my values and vulnerability in all my years of dating. I had walked away from him before so surely I could do it again and this time for good.
What many of us fail to realize in these sideways relationships is that it very rarely gets better. He told me once that just because he may have felt badly about the way he treated women in the past, it didn’t mean it changed his behavior for the better. That woke me up. A light bulb turned on and kept me awake. If he arrogantly acknowledged that he has been horrible to women in relationships but his behavior hasn’t/won’t changed, then what the HELL was I still doing there? Where did I lose my mind in thinking I needed this guy? I had enough. I told him exactly what I thought of him and where he could go. I took back what I never should have given away in the first place. The war was over. He could keep texting, telling me how wrong I was and how I had given up on us. He could keep trying to engage, but you can’t fight someone who steps out of the ring. He wasn’t worth it.
It’s easy to get caught up if you allow a moment of “lonely” to overwhelm you. You start fighting for something that never even proved its value to you. I used to judge women who kept sticking around the same manipulative, no good men. That is until I looked up and realized that I had become one of them.
We fail ourselves by confusing the fool’s gold shimmer of lust and a good time for something real. We find ourselves battling to keep our footing with a manipulator because they always come in an attractive package. And even though everything within us is screaming “DANGER!” we still step forward like moths to a flame, thinking that maybe this time will be different. What we must understand – man or woman – is that WE must hold ourselves in higher regard than to willingly become guinea pigs, testing to see if a cheater, liar, and manipulator has changed. If we can’t clearly see the change before we get involved, it has not happened and we are foolish to believe otherwise. Love doesn’t break down, it builds up. It restores. It heals.
He only went as far as I allowed him to go in my lapse of good sense. I can recognize, adjust and move forward now. I only fight when it’s worth it and the war is over.
Earlier this week in an after-school program I run for teenage girls, we discussed the topics of healthy breakups. We brainstormed things that make a break-up easier and things that make a break-up more difficult than it has to be. Out of shared household and finances and seeing your former mate move on, they all agreed that one thing definitely makes a break up more complicated: children.
I’ve witnessed my share of relationships in which partners thought it was better to stay together in an unhealthy living situation with the intention of preserving the idea of family for their children. After watching the latest edition of Madame on the Street: Should You Stay Together For the Kids? and reading many of your comments, it made me begin to question: Does it necessarily mean you can’t be good parents, even if you aren’t good partners?