Sometimes holding on to a relationship that does not serve you does more harm then good. You may think having hope invested your desire to make it work is an admirable quality, because it shows perseverance, but hope can be the most detrimental thing to have when the time to let go came a long time ago. Not only are you wasting precious time that you could have spent starting on the healing process, but you are keeping a door open that has such a strong draft it keeps sucking you back in.
How do you know if it’s time to let go?
1) You are not happy. You don’t feel good. You don’t feel like the best version of yourself. You don’t feel cherished, admired, respected or loved.
2) The act of having hope is just weighing on you, and NOT lifting you up.
3) Every attempt you make to move forward seems to lead you backwards.
4) You have no evidence that your endeavor is worth any more investment of time or hope. There has been no changes for the better. There have been no compromises that have worked.
5) If you have a few moments of happiness, they are inevitably trumped by waves of sadness that come later.
Hope is not the same thing as faith. Faith is KNOWING with the power to manifest. Hope is wishing, without faith.
When it comes to unhealthy relationships, the most common reason one holds on is HOPE that things will return to the way they used to be. The hardest part to accept is that they won’t. No amount of hope will create a time machine to take you back.
In fact, hope can be blinding. It can make the minuscule gestures look like mountains instead of molehills. If you find yourself getting excited just because he/she actually thought of you, or if you tell yourself still have love just because you can still have good sex, you’re the one with rose colored glasses keeping you from seeing the truth. Letting go is inevitable. It is because you are in hope mode that you make a bigger deal out of the things that would have been commonplace in the beginning when it was all rainbows and butterflies.
I get it. It’s hard to not only accept the end, but to close that door can take more effort then it does to keep it open, and keep on hoping.
All of that hope you are wasting should be projected into your future. You CAN and WILL fall in love again, if you have faith. Stop make excuses and exceptions about your present. Stop giving it “more time” as if that’s the magical ingredient to make things work out.
I have found myself in this position many times. Each time, HOPE has always been the greatest obstacle standing in my way to the freedom to move on and heal.
The other detrimental emotion is fear.
Fear holds you back from moving forward. It’s akin to chains that keep you bound to the present.
Ask yourself this.... what is worse… Living your life as it is, unhappy, with this continued hope that keeps you holding on to what you have that is NOT serving you, or taking a leap of faith into the unknown and finding out you ARE better off? Sometimes the healing process takes a while, and at first you won’t feel better. You’ll feel worse. You’ll find yourself reminiscing about the past. You’ll find yourself thinking about what a happily ever after future would have looked like. But I promise you that vision was not going to come true. It was a pipe dream. If it was meant to work out, it would have! You have greater things in store, and the universe is trying to urge you to move on. It’s giving you so many obvious signs, but you allow your hope to keep you continually overlooking them.
Just remember that all bad relationships started off good at one point. But in time, things change and evolve. Let yourself reflect in this time, and use it as a learning tool. Pick it apart honestly. Figure out what was good, bad and ugly about it. There are things that you did not know about yourself prior to this relationship and there are things you DID KNOW but you set aside for a chance at love.
For example, I had always been against dating someone with children. I made the mistake of dating a man who was fresh out of a divorce and in the middle of a heated custody battle. I couldn’t have put myself into a more difficult position. But, since it had been so long since I’d met someone who sparked any interest in me, I made an exception. While I did get a beautiful son out of the deal, I learned that I will never make an exception again. I ignored red flags I’d already been aware of.
I thought “he seems like such a good guy compared to men I’ve dated before.” In some ways he was, but in other ways… he was just as bad as the last guy. The heated custody battle was a red flag. His hatred for his ex was another. Then there was constant drama with his children, which later got to me after the birth of our son. And my worst fear about dating someone with children was that if we had a child it wouldn’t be as special, since he’d already had the experience before. I was right. He ended up making the birth of our son all about his daughters. He had to abandon me in the hospital for nearly four hours after giving birth, so he could drive his children back home. This was the start of the resentment. Why couldn’t he make sure they arranged a ride home? Why couldn’t he tell them to wait until the next day when I was rested? I was in so much pain, and all I wanted was something to eat, after not eating for 24 hours… but before he could bring me back food he had to get them back home. Also his obsession with getting full custody of his children ending up taking over our lives. His mood was always affected and he stopped treating me with love and respect. After having a child of my own, and realizing the chaos of his children was going to affect us in many ways, I no longer supported him getting full custody. I’d kept my lips sealed but the first time I had a complaint he turned on me. I realized that I cannot date someone with children, because I have opinions and feelings and men will defend their child’s behavior and demonize you for saying anything at all. I had the right to raise my son in a peaceful and happy home, but I realized it was not possible with his children. My complaint was an attempt to fix an issue that was bothering me. Instead of working things out, understanding, compromising, he walked out on me. This began a pattern wherein anytime we tried to talk about these small issues, it blew up and he walked out in anger and went to get wasted until the wee hours of the morning, and then our issues got swept under the rug until we found ourselves standing on a very unsteady ground.
In the future, when you see a red flag do not ignore it. If you find you have to make an exception… don’t! There is a perfect relationship out there for you. But I promise you that you will NOT find it if you keep allowing yourself to end up with the wrong person.