Okay. You’re in a relationship or friendship with someone whom you know is not a positive influence on your emotional and/or physical well-being? What do you do? Well, I’ve had many women and men come to me to ask my advice in regard to how they can extricate themselves from people whom they are emotionally attached to—in fact, may even very much love—yet who are bringing them more pain than happiness. Because I cannot put myself in another person’s specific situation, I often hesitate to give advice that is overly emphatic. At the same time, I feel that it is of the utmost importance to look at your life and figure out whether the people whom you are closest to at the present time are helping you or hurting you. “But I love him/her so much,” are the words I continue to hear from those who want to end relationships, engagements, and. . .well, even marriages. Well, what you have to do is weigh the advantages and disadvantages of your relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend, fiance/fiancee, or spouse. Is this person making your life better on a daily basis? Are they fully committed to making your relationship last? Or are you finding yourself in a situation where you are giving, say, 75% or even 80-90% to the relationship and your significant other is only giving 10-15%. If this is the scenario you are entangled in, is this acceptable on a long-term basis? And, if not, has your beloved one agreed to work to alter the behavior that you find unacceptable? Does he/she think your needs are as important as his/hers??
One of the things I frequently hear from women is that their boyfriends, fiances, or husbands do not demonstrate adequate affection and love towards them on a consistent basis. Well, all I can say is, figure out what you need and share your needs with the person you love. If he/she refuses to meet those needs, move on. Of course, in a marriage, there is more of a reason to hold on and try to work things out no matter what. Who wants to divorce, right? At the same time, remember that you are the most important person in your life. And, even if you have children, those kids are not going to benefit from continuing to be raised in a household where the two parents are not getting along well, are fighting all the time, and/or in a home where abuse (verbal, emotional, psychological, physical, etc.) is taking place. In cases of spousal abuse and things of this nature, my advice is always get out now. Men or women who abuse their partners, whether verbally, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and/or sexually do not stand a very good chance of ever changing. For one thing, they rarely actually want to change, and as I continue to point out, those who change themselves and/or aspects of their behavior must make a conscious choice to change. No change will come about otherwise, although you may hear a lot of grandiose promises and a lot of convincing words. As we all know, however, actions are what really speak—words are just words. It may not be easy to treat the promises and pretty words of the person you love with indifference, but, in the long run, you will thank yourself for doing so. In addition, you will most likely thank your Success Diva for suggesting that you do so. Believe me, I understand how difficult it can be when you suddenly realize that loving someone deeply and eternally isn’t enough. It can be positively devastating. And I’m not going to be one of those “well-meaning” people who will tell you, while patting you on the shoulder or offering you a comforting hug, “Don’t worry, in time you’ll get over it.” There are relationships and people we have loved that many of us never will entirely “get over”. There may always be certain songs that will always remind us of him/her, certain books that we cannot reading without thinking of him or her, in addition to memories we shared with him/her that left an indelible impression upon us. But then, I never told you that you have to forget the person that you choose to let go of. For one thing, my telling you to forget him/her wouldn’t do you any good. For another, I cannot imagine ever forgetting anyone whom I thought was quite possibly the love of my life, much less someone whom I lived with and/or have created children with. Thus, I will refrain from sharing with you such insensitive advice. However, if you allow yourself to stop focusing on what is best for you, then you will never be able to create the life of your dreams.
Here are a few more words of advice on the same topic. If you are in a relationship now in which your boyfriend/girlfriend is already demonstrating signs that are indicative that he/she has personal issues that he/she has never worked through and/or are unwilling to work through, leave. After all, truly loving can be about letting go, too. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you can have a long-term relationship with that person nor does it mean that you’re destined to spend the rest of your life with him/her. He or she can be absolutely magnificent in many ways, but if there are negative character traits that are more predominant in his/her personality than those that made you fall in love with him or her, your future together is probably rather bleak. At the best, you will end up selling yourself short by letting his or her needs continue to come before your own and by making sacrifices that you shouldn’t have to make. Yes, every relationship is about compromise to a certain extent, but when you begin to comprimise who you are just to please him or her, watch out. I would say you are in what is or will very soon become what a call a toxic relationship. Here are two links that may prove to be both helpful and enlightening:
Dealing with Toxic People
How to Handle Toxic People
Sometimes, as the two sites I give links to above will inform you, there is an underlying cause for behavior that is hurtful or even abusive. It can stem from an undiagnosed and/or untreated mental condition, such as bi-polar or manic-depressive disorder, schizophrenia, or MPD (multiple personality disorder). I once knew someone who had to end his marriage to a woman he deeply loved because she was schizophrenic and refused to get adequate treatment. One thing that can be extremely difficult to do is to walk away from someone whom you suspect is mentally ill. On a certain level, you feel as if you are deserting him/her. However, look at it this way: unless you are a psychiatrist, you can only do so much to help him/her. You cannot accurately diagnose him/her, you cannot prescribe or give him/her the medication he or she needs, and, ultimately, you will probably end up witnessing both your beloved one’s destruction as well as your own. Again I repeat: truly loving can often be about letting go. If you find it nearly impossible to let go, ask yourself this: why am I holding onto him/her? His he/she fulfilling some need in my life that I am not fully acknowledging? For instance, could you have a desire to reach out to others and help them? Might some part of you like the idea of helping another person work through issues and becoming his or her “savoir”? Be brutally honest with yourself and answer the questions as candidly as you can. It never does us any good when we lie to ourselves. It only prevents us from being able to create the life of our dreams. . . .and that’s what you want, isn’t it?? I know it is because you’re still reading my blog.
Assuming that you are in a situation in which you know you must let go of someone you quite possibly love as much as you love yourself, I realize that you’re going to want to ask: How do I do this? Do I just walk away? What do I say? Well, if you are married to the person you need to have out of your life, I cannot offer you a simple answer. I would separate from him/her as soon as I could do so and begin divorce proceedings. If, for religious reasons, you do not believe in divorce, a permanent separation is what I would suggest. If you have children, this advice still applies. As for a relationship in which you are not bound to the person via wedding vows, leave as swiftly as you can, but in the way that will bring the least pain to both you and your beloved one. Do not expend energy on telling him/her what you really think of him/her and do not engage in any actions that might be evoked by a desire for revenge. I suspect that if you are at Success Diva’s blog, you don’t allow yourself and your conduct to be ruled by negative and destructive emotions, but when it comes to love, some of us are capable of getting overly passionate, and sometimes our passion can cause us to act in a way that ends up harming both ourselves and others. But, you ask, ” What if I never fall in love again?” Well, I am not obviously going to predict what the future might hold for you. Yet, even if you should spend the rest of your life alone, your life will still be yours. And there is no reason that you cannot create the life of your dreams, with or without a great love. How many people who have achieved remarkable things and/or have made a tremendous impact on the world have had to content themselves with success in their career endeavors at the expense of love, romance, and/or long-term companionship? I’m not suggesting that you do so or that you should have to do so. But I assume you wouldn’t be so interested in success if you wanted to devote most of your time, energy, and effort to a relationship that would never bring you ultimate fulfillment or happiness, and that might even be in the process of destroying you, or, at the least, will bring about your ultimate destruction. So, do yourself a favor and let go of any and all relationships and/or friendships (more on friendships in a future post from your Success Diva) that are having an unhealthy and/or destructive impact on you and your life. And don’t wait to do so. Do it now. Things that are already bad have a tendency to get worse instead of better.
Your Success Diva
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