When to Let Go


These last few months I’ve played the role of counsellor to both men and women in failing relationships. It is amazing to hear some of the stories told of relationships gone bad whether because of infidelity, a person changing after moving in together or getting married or a person’s change in life direction.

In each of the scenarios I’ve encountered the aggrieved partner was in pain, complete turmoil, despair and in some cases extreme depression because they just “don’t know what to do anymore”. Now, I know that seeing someone in a situation and being in the situation yourself will put 2 different spins on it. One of my rules about giving advice especially when it comes to relationships is to tell the person that I’m merely making suggestions about what I think is best. The decision is entirely up to them as to what they want to do. I don’t want to be held responsible for anything because these days you can’t be too sure about anyone. The dumpee may hear that the dumper had talked to you about it and next think you know, you’re dodging bullets on the street or trying to outrun cars chasing you (ok … that’s a bit extreme but I’m sure you get my point).

My question is, why is it so hard to let go of the things that are so toxic in our life that it literally makes us sick?

One of these persons in particular, a female, had more than enough reason to leave. Reasons for staying: have been together 18 years, have 2 children together, have investments together (just bought a house together, although all the reasons to leave were known to her prior to making the decision to buy a house together). She believes there is no relationship anymore, has proof of infidelity and abuse, yet continues to say she prays and asks God to show her what she must do …. HELLO??? Don’t you think even one of these is reason enough to get the hell out?? I told her as much and eventually had to tell her that I was not going to talk about the situation anymore. I’m very blunt like that and anyone who knows me well will tell you that. I say it as it is, I don’t beat around the bush and I can be harsh if I have to. This is one trait that my friends admire about me.

Another person, a male is completely unhappy in his marriage as the wife has “changed” and it appears she only got married to have children. She has done some awful things too and it has the potential to get very ugly but he just can’t seem to leave. He’s not dependent on her in any way, he says he doesn’t love her anymore, they don’t sleep in the same bed together anymore. I’ve suggested counselling for them both but that hasn’t materialized yet.

Why is so hard to let go? Is the complacency of the situation warrant a person’s unhappiness? I believe that nothing is more important than happiness, contentment and peace of mind. I hope that I will never be in a situation where I’m afraid to let go.


7 responses »

  1. It seems that it is always hard to let go when it comes to relationships. I guess emotions tend to override common sense.

  2. Relationships are tricky….some take on a life of their own. There are people that get so used to a particular routine that they’re afraid to leave the cocoon and spread there wings.

  3. This is such a complex question….I myself am in this predicament and at times the pain feels unbearable.
    I can accept the fact that I’ve wasted almost 15 years with an asshole. I know he’s not worth a damn.
    What baffles me is how I can know this, and yet feel so much hurt in letting it go and moving on. (SIGH).

  4. my motto is, “everyone has their own breaking point,” when it comes to these toxic relationships…and while you can be a supportive friend i also reach a point where i feel as if i’ve said all that i can say to the person and it gets hard to keep hearing about their misery over and over again…

  5. I think a lot of it has to do with being lonely….

    Letting go for some is hard, especially when the feeling are deep.

    I know trust me!! *smile*


  6. Decent topic CD.

    Your approach to giving advice and not telling someone what to do is good. However, as others have said, sometimes folks in relationships seem to get so blinded to the realities of life….even when they are suffering mentally and physically at the hands of their partner, that they may well need someone outside of the relationship to wake them up and say hey, it is time to leave and move on!

    Furthermore, there are some people who seem to prefer remaining in an unhappy relationship rather than being single….perhaps a fear of loneliness as suggested. (Though in many cases they may well be quite lonely even though they have a partner.)

    All said and done, the way I see it, relatinships/marriage should be a symbiosis, not a parasitic union as many seem to be.

  7. Sometimes it is the fear of starting over.Or you just keep hoping it will get better and in other cases you take responsibility for the thing not working out.One thing I have learnt is when you reach the breaking point then you will just get out.

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