When you are deeply intertwined in a romantic relationship the lines between the couple you once were and the couple you dreamt of being, blur into the present, making it difficult to see the realities of your health as a couple.
I know this because I spent years in a relationship that had run it’s course, reminiscing about the loved-up beginning and fooling myself with visions of grandeur for our future, when the only thing I was really doing was wasting my time not being happy.
You may rationalize that you’ll get back to where you were; after all, you’ve invested so much time, energy, and love that it has to work.
The reality is, none of these investments matter. In the name of love, we trust, we leap, we sacrifice, we agonize, and sometimes, we hurt. We change our friends, our vocabulary, and our opinions. We become so invested in being a we that we lose sight of the fact that relationships are about one person and one person only; you.
You might be thinking, how can this be when there are two of us in this relationship? While it’s true there are two people in a relationship, it’s our time spent within these relationships that allows us to come into a greater understanding of ourselves. Throughout your life others will walk beside you, but at the end of the day, this is your journey. And while it’s certainly possible to thrive as a single, independent woman, I know it’s absolutely impossible to thrive in a relationship that is anything less than wonderful.
If you can’t hear your inner wisdom because of all the conflicting noise in your head, the following are clues to let you know that it’s time to let go.
1. You are constantly editing; the thoughts in your head do not match the words coming out of your mouth.
2. The majority of your life together involves one party, event or vacation contiguously planned right after the last as an avoidance of sincere connection.
3. You are consumed/obsessed with what your partner is doing.
4. Alcohol/drugs are the basis of your connection.
5. You believe that at some future date things will be better.
6. You believe you can change your partner.
I understand this may be the scariest thing you’ve ever had to do. After nearly six years of heavily investing in being a “we,” I had to dig deep and summon the last little bit of courage I could find and walk away. At first it felt like I was losing a lot. I lost my man, my beautiful home, my security, and most of my friends. I cried, drank, blamed, and after some sincere soul-searching, emerged from the ashes with an understanding of why I created that relationship. Most importantly, I discovered that the greatest relationship, the one that brings incredible joy, is the one I have with myself.
With a stronger sense of my authentic self, I started down a new path, and in time, I was able to create a much different partnership where I made a startling discovery: when your heart is free pain and worry, it puts your mind in a place to access inspiration to create, participate and have compassion for others. These are elements that contribute to a joyful life.
If any of the clues ring true for you, don’t waste your precious time. I hung around in my past relationship for a few years too long because I didn’t yet know what I’m sharing with you now. When you leap, a net really does appear.