Ending a Relationship: How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?
When deciding on ending a relationship, the first question we ask ourselves is: How do I know when enough is enough? Someone very special and beautiful asked me that question this week.
In our culture, we are faced with all kinds of messages about relationships: see the good in people, relationships take work, rise above, and don't have too many expectations. Then, don't put up with anyone's disrespect, take care of yourself, set limits, leave abuse. These messages convolute all our decisions on how to set boundaries in relationships or know when it is right for us to leave them. We don't know who to blame, us or them. Add to it worry and fear about being alone, or being abandoned, or about other people judging you, and it becomes a maze to wade through.
Unconditional Love and Ending a Relationship
Problems in significant relationships effect our anxiety and depression more than any other factor in our life because our relationships and their success define us. These are huge decisions. The heaviness of making the right one, can be immobilizing. One can either open to reconnecting, nor can they step away to relieve themselves. Above all, they lose all trust in themselves, staying in misery and passing it back and forth between them.
We think we are supposed to have unconditional love for our partners and mistake this for having an unconditional relationship. Relationships have conditions! All relationship arrangements are negotiable, and there is usually aspects that for one or both partners that are not negotiable.
It is not easy to chose to leave a relationship and I do not have a prescription answer. Sometimes, it is best and other times it is not, and these both can depend. One thing I do understand is that if you make a decision, you make that your decision. Whichever you decide, you live that decision with your best self. Look deep inside you, beyond all fear and all guilt and there you'll find the answer. Ask your higher self what is the best for everyone involved. Step back from the situation and see yourself and your partner from a distance. This intention and perspective can help you get clarity.
The Ending a Relationship Decision
There is no right decision. Decisions are like everything else, relative. It doesn't matter if it is "right" or not, you make a decision and then make it right for you.
You might decide to postpone your decision to end a relationship, but even that is a decision to be lived instead of lamented. Don't beat yourself up for "not deciding," postpone consciously. But before making a decision about whether to stay in or leave a relationship, think about this:
- Know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are perfect and awesome.
- There is nothing to be afraid of, you cannot chose wrong.
- Get people that love you around you.
- Find your worth and know who you are and your purpose.
Then, and only then, the preferable choice will be as clear as day.
How have you decided to stay in or leave a relationship? Let my friend know how you did it. Comment below!
LCSW-R, J. (2012, July 18). Ending a Relationship: How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/07/how-do-you-know-when-enough-is-enough
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
Please don't judge me..,but I've been in a relationship with my bf for 2years goin on 3years I live him so much n care for him so much he means everything to me we have 2beautiful kids together ..,well come to find out he has a very bad drug addiction and I tried helping him stay off the streets and to stay drug free but nothing seems to work I try so hard not to break down but Hus addiction really hurts me so bad I want to end my relationship with him because as all he does is lie to me all the time n leaves me and our kids all the time to go out into the streets he says he's goin to stop using drugs and stay clean/drug free and that he's gonna change but he doesn't nothing ever changes.. he's been telling me that for the past year now I just can't go on with him anymore but then again I live him so much and want him to change and I want to stay with him for our kids but I can't keep putting myself through all this pain... HELP ME WHAT DO I DO...?!!
Seeing a trinkle of ourselves in the here is one of the powerful things about the posts and the comment sections. You captured that perfectly! It does sound like your instinct about leaving your abusive relationship is right on. But it's not easy. There may be resources in your community that can help. Many police departments (you don't have to call 911; you just go to their headquarters/office) have lists of community resources as well as helpful tips. Libraries, too, often have bulletin boards where community service groups pin flyers about themselves to help people know where to go. Other readers here might have already made comments about finding help in communities (in a way that won't get you "caught"), and perhaps some will add ideas to your comment. Stay true to yourself, your children, and your knowledge that the right thing to do is leave. You are right. There is help during this very difficult process.
I'm a 33yr old mother of 4 kids. I've been in a 11 year relationship with my youngest son's father. Been trying to leave him for the past 3yrs. It was a physical and verbally abusive relationship for 9yrs. He has stopped physically but he still does it verbally. Its got to the point that I'm feel like I am not able to do anything. I feel he is embarrassed of us. He doesn't take me or the kids no where. He compares to his friends wives. He be little's me in public. I want to get out so bad. I live in a city where I don't have no family. MY friends that I had were are no longer friends. He makes sure no one likes me. When the neighbors he calls me names. I feel this relationship turned me to a bitter miserable women. I cant even hold a job with out getting emotional. I know I'm not an ugly woman. But that how he makes me feel. The place that we stay at is under my name. basically everything is under my name. I want him out but when he does leave he only leaves for 3 hours come drunk banging on my windows and doors. I still let him because the neighbors are looking. I am embarrass for me and my kids. I want to call the cops but I don't have the courage. I'm not working right now I also say how I am I going to pay the bill. PLEASE can someone guide me or give me advice to better my self and get the courage to leave this person I feel like am stuck with. Thank for whom ever took there time to read my comment.
Never lose sight of all of the true things you said: this is not your fault, he is the one that has isolated you -- you are worthy of friendships and will have them again, you are not ugly (I know I can't see you, but of course you aren't ugly -- and it's so good that you know that even though he makes you feel that way, it's not true), and that what he says and does is verbal and emotional abuse. While it's hard, don't stop reminding yourself of these facts. Also trust your instinct. Calling the police is the important first step. It does take courage both to call the police and to go through the difficult work of getting out of a controlling, abusive relationship (and adding alcohol to the mix compounds the problem). Both you and your children deserve the results that will come from your courage. The police will also know resources in your city for help with domestic abuse. Another path is to find an organization in your community to go to for help before contacting the police (unless he becomes physically abusive again; then call the police immediately). They can provide support and know the best procedures for getting out of this relationship. Many times, public libraries have bulletin boards that contain flyers and lists of resources. Another resource to look into right away is the National Domestic Violence Hotline (and "violence" encompasses all types of abuse, not just physical): http://www.thehotline.org/ They have 24/7 telephone support as well as a live online chat options. There is also a blog where you can read others' stories and get ideas and information -- and courage. Extracting yourself from an abusive relationship can be a difficult process, but remaining in that relationship is even more difficult and damaging (as you of course know). Good luck to you. You were strong enough to already start looking for information and reaching out here! This was an important first step on a journey to the freedom you deserve.
Yes, it is normal to feel worse for a while after ending a relationship, especially one where outside factors play such a strong part. This breakup could actually be a very good thing. You might discover that you are happier and want to maintain a friendship with him but not a relationship. Relationships involve much more than just the person you are dating; they involve the sphere of people in his life, too. Conversely, the two of you might discover that you really do want to be together and this space will allow him to figure out what to do about his family's interference. There might just be some great insights in the other comments that have been made in this thread. You can even reply directly to the people who leave the comments, and others can reply to yours when they see it, too. Seeking input and using what feels right to you will help you sort things out.
Because they involve so many people other than just the couple, relationships are very complex and there are never easy and straightforward answers. It's frustrating! No one can tell you which direction to take because everyone is so different. One person might think it's best for you to stay but be done with the relationship, someone else might think it would be worth it to try to stay with him and repair the relationship with his family, and someone else might say that you should go abroad. Each decision would be right for the given individual. But no one can know what is best for you and who you are and what you truly want in life (the big, long-term picture). There are family/relationship counselors that are great at helping people sort out problems and create solutions. Would your boyfriend/friend be willing to see a couples counselor with you? It would be very helpful for your relationship given that he has a complex relationship with his family. If he can't or won't, you could see a counselor on your own to help you sort your own thoughts and situation. Many people find this kind of professional support to be very beneficial.
I broke up with him because I started to hate myself in that situation. I became so worried about everything he said and did, I felt awful and couldn't sleep most of the time. I didn't ever find the smoking gun but I was always looking for it. And I realized that it made me feel out of control, anxious and crazy.
When I broke up with him I was sleep deprived and volatile, because again I suspected he was being shady- though I really didn't have proof, just a gut feeling.
I have spent sleepless nights feeling guilty over breaking up with him. I miss him. I love him. But I love myself more. I couldn't go on like that, it was embarrassing and horrible. I still don't know why I couldn't shake my suspicions, but it wasn't fair that I had them all the time, so I let him go. It hurts like hell. I hope I did the right thing.
This article helped me out a lot. I feel that I have relationship anxiety because I have continued with an unhealthy relationship for over 2 years off and on. I am a single female involved with a married man. This relationship is very toxic to me. In beginning, I wasn't thinking and just looking for fun. Honestly, didn't know what I was getting myself into. I have tried to end this several times and somehow I allow to be pulled back in by his shenanigans and lies. And my feelings of wanting to be with someone. Its totally not his fault, I know I am to blame as well. But I want to officially end it once and for all. But my anxiety makes me feel awful about it. My anxiety is starting to make me hate myself and him. How do I get over this feeling of anxiety and hopelessness for me? Are there any other measures I can put in place to move on and be peaceful with the decision and myself?
After living 4 years with folded arms so to speak waiting on the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and going through a whole lot of frustration, worry, confusion wondering what really was going on at times only to be relieved by her words, I made the decision tonight to end it. I didn't want to believe it but her friendship with her new best friend revealed to me today he took my place in her life. I know this will be very difficult, lonely, and incredibly painful for me, and I know she will come back trying to fix us (again) but I've made up my mind. Finally! Friends and family have seen this toxic relationship and tried to warn me but I was blinded. I'm madly in Love with this woman but that will change in time allowing me to move on. The hard part is living right now. Grieving something like this has to be one of the most painful experiences I know how to describe. This has jaded me, I will have a hard time ever trusting a woman again. My gender has the reputation for cheating, I'm here to tell you the good book in Proverbs says '' A good woman is hard to find ''. It is TRUE!! In spite of this truth and Pain, I will be whole and healed and I'm excited about the future... in between the valleys of this crazy roller coaster ride. I would say to all, Keep the Faith. This too shall Pass and don't date anyone who is dealing with relationship issues of any kind. That single someone is out there. WAIT!
Hooray for you! Seriously. It sounds like you are willing to know his true colors and that you believe in yourself and your abilities. Keep believing in yourself and in what you want for your life. You're very right. The idea of starting over can be scary and anxiety provoking. This fear doesn't last, though, whereas the substance of a bad relationship and all of the harmful effects do last as long as you are in that relationship. Allow yourself to be afraid of the unknown, and at the same time, let go of the "known" that isn't good for you.
Needless to so i now suffer from severe depression. Wonder why !!
Three years ago i begged him to come to counselling with me and strangely he agreed - great i thought , maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.
It turned out that he spent every session telling the counsellor that it was me that drank, was abusive and mental etc etc. . One day she called us both in and said - one of you is lying - my response was - how many witnesses do you want ? - he then refused to go anymore. I continued my counselling . During this time i was diagnosed with a heart condition that i had not known about that had obviously been misdiagnosed over the
years. This resulted in me having surgery. As i came back to the ward i asked my husband for a hug - nothing- that was the moment i decided that whatever it took i was going to divorce him. He was not going to control me anymore.
By this time we had been married 41 years . No one knew what he was like at home - to everyone else he was Mr Wonderful.
I had to set about working out how and when this would happen. Putting little bits of money away when i could as a backstop.
A friend that works for a local charity one day just said she thought she knew what was happening and passed me on to the charities lawyer.
The lawyer made me finally see that there was a way out. I came home and told him that i had seen a lawyer and wanted a divorce. He just turned over and went to sleep. No emotion . He has since been diagnosed as a narcissist - no treatment will help him because he believes he has done nothing wrong ever !
That was 4 months ago. He has tried all manner of things to make my life miserable but now I will not let him, he will not give me money. Has stopped paying bills, bad mouths me .
Me - i am looking after me - i no longer have to worry what time he will be home, what mood he will be in, how much he has had to drink, what he will do.
I now walk around with my head held high and a smile on my face.
I know who my true friends are and those that are not afraid that i will steal their husbands - no chance
In a few weeks i shall be 60 - got a new hair do and i am looking forward for the first time in years.
If anyone else is or has been in a similar situation not knowing what to do, my first advice would be to tell a trusted friend what is happening in your life . They will then look at things differently and see the real truth . Above all protect yourself, surround yourself with trusted people that believe in YOU.
Lastly never give up hope xxxx. Good luck
I am only 18 and really shouldn't be feeling this way! I'd rather be with friends and enjoy my time. So I've been with my current boyfriends for 2 years now, but I've known him since I was 14 years old. We started of as friends and since we're in different countries we didn't meet that often, but we started speaking again and it's quite serious between us now. He proposed to me and I said yes, I have introduced him to my family and although they didn't like him they said yes because they saw how much in love I am with him. He has had a bad past with drinking problems and family problems which he didn't tell me about until 7 months into the relationship and even then he wouldn't admit until I showed him proof. He said he's sorry and that he has now moved on, he promised never to do it again. Only 5 months later he went back to drinking and clubbing, when I did ask him about it he got angry with me and started questioning how I could ever believe such a thing about him ( he lied to me as we were talking on the phone keeping in mind it's a long distance relationship) I don't trust him at all and every time he doesn't pick up I think he's up to something bad or that he's cheating. When I ask him about it he gets angry at me. And whenever thins are bad between us it's mostly me who try and put things into place. We are planning to get married this January, but I'm now questioning whether I want to spend the rest of my life with a guy whom I do not trust. I have trust issues, but I have never in my life felt so miserable or sad. There's so many mixed feelings in this and I just don't know what to do.
She works damn hard but her life is the kids and I often feel relegated to third place. We don't sleep in the same room anymore and as we recently bought a sofa bed it is unlikely that this will change anytime soon. I only laugh when I am with friends or family.
I rarely look forward to Friday.
I have no worries about the breakup conversation with my wife, but I see my little girls' faces in my mind when I tell them what is going on. The eldest has just written "my daddy is my hero" but I just don't feel like one. I feel like what I was has been lessened somehow. I feel selfish for thinking that, when my kids are here, smiling and laughing with me, every day. I just don't know what to do for the best.
Me: 34, wanting to find the right woman, get married and have kids. Ive been through the ringer in my lifetime, from an emotionally unsupportive childhood all the way through relationships that failed despite my sacrificing myself beyond the point of being confused at who I was anymore. I like to debate calmly (not argue or shout), I speak my mind about my emotions when I feel comfortable doing so, but I can be a very sensitive, defensive person when it comes to the words that are used between two people. Ive done more than my fair share of drugs, sleeping around, and other dangerous activities, but most of that is in my past. Ive been a cheater and been cheated on, so Im fully aware how someones actions or words can affect someone else's feelings. I dont trust many people, but the one's I do trust I really care for. I was born and raised catholic, but started doubting the methods and mumbo-jumbo bullshit by 3rd grade. Distanced myself from organized religion ever since.
Her: 27, smart when she puts her mind to something, beautiful, wants to get married and have kids as well. She had a broken childhood on a different level than I, growing up with an alcoholic father. She becomes frantically aggravated when debating or arguing, talks in circles whenever I try to explain that she is the one who causes unnecessary drama in the relationship, always spinning the truth to pin something on me or bring up my faults instead of acknowledging her own. She smokes weed on a regular basis, knows very well that I think her actions are childish and emotionally immature, and does nothing to curb them. She considers herself to be religious (christian) but really only relies on it selectively, when it fits her or she wants to avoid facing her own personal-growth challenges head-on. She expects me to read her mind half the time, and the other time she will say something but mean something else.
Im not trying to portray her in a negative light, she is a kind hearted person who I think is just emotionally immature just as much as I can be emotionally insecure at times. What Im trying to figure out is, why the hell do I keep going back to her? Ive broken up with her, she has broken up with me, both a few times in the past 2yrs, yet we inevitably end up in each other's arms days or weeks later, both acknowledging where we were at fault, and hoping it doesnt happen again. It feels like the most emotionally inconsistent, abusive relationship I have ever been in, yet I cant leave it alone. I keep believing that she will "grow up" emotionally, see how her words and actions hurt other people, and it just doesnt happen. Im to the point that I distance myself from her just to try and recover from her insensitive yelling for several hours, if not a day or two, which of course leads to her screaming at me and demanding times and answers to discuss how "I" was wrong for asking a question or not saying something she wanted to hear at the moment. She will literally stare at me and tell me I should say something nice about "us" to her, after she has unnecessarily yelled at me over some bullsh*t thing that couldve been discussed calmly. She will try her hardest to make me feel like less of a person for not comforting her after I lose my patience with her AFTER she berates me for something.
Im quickly losing my patience, with not feeling consistently secure for more than 4 days at a time. Maybe I should be more open amd talk about my feelings more with her, but can anyone blame me for being afraid to? Bringing up my feelings to her feels like throwing lit matches at dynamite...odds are sh*ts gonna blow up, and not in my favor.
My age (34) has me scared that I wont find another woman as young or pretty to marry and have 2-3 kids with. Im ok with examining my actions and seeing where I might have gone wrong with things here and there, its all part of personal growth and maturing, but this girl has me second-guessing who I even am at times. I really dont know what to do anymore. Our good times are good (but Im always wary of when the next sh*tstorm will hit) and our bad times are hell. I want the strength and motivation to move on, but Im just not finding it anywhere other than my anger towards how she treats me, which eventually subsides, and I find myself lonely, and back where I was before.
Does anyone have any sort of insight or words of motivation? I dont want to give up and be single for the rest of my life, and I dont want to settle for an emotionally abusive relationship because Im afraid thats all that is available to me at this point. Do I make further adjustments and sacrifices without reciprocation, or should I just run for the hills? Please feel free to email me email@example.com
He also said he hadn't decided on pursuing a serious relationship.
I thought we had feelings for each other--but the vacation situation made me very insecure. My intuition says he still has emotional attachments to the ex. What's more, I never got to meet his extended family or his daughters. I knew it was enough when the hurt feelings bothered me everyday. I decided it's time to step away & he can figure out his exact ties with his ex-wife--I told him as much.We both experienced sadness but his indecision was itself a decision for both of us.
I do love him but I do not know what to do anymore. Any advise guys? (I haven't even typed half the story here so if you need more information about my situation to give me some solid advice I'll be more than happy to post more. I am being as honest as possible because I really do need some sound advice at this point).
But what if there are kids involved? My marriage was over before it began but I stayed and now we have two young children. My husband takes no interest in them and only ever yells at my toddler. When he's home, he stays in our room or walks around with headphones on, distracted. He doesn't help around the house and always has an excuse for why he isn't. He's very selfish, irresponsible, spends money on material things before worrying about bills and necessities. He goes out with friends all the time for hours on end and never lets me know what's going on, even though I've asked. I never go out and if I do, he has to be there. If his behavior upsets me and I bring it up he always knows how to spin it to make me feel bad. He won't seek counseling with me, which was one of the agreements we made when he came back from a few months separation. I feel guilty saying that I was happier apart from him. But I want to do what's best for my girls and felt bad that they didn't see him as much so I took him back. My husband is happy settling in this marriage, and why wouldn't he be when he does whatever he damn well pleases. That and he can't live without a relationship.
I just don't want to compromise the happiness of my children. But in the process, I'm miserable.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Children certainly do add another wrinkle to an already complicated situation. In general children are very perceptive and if the parents are miserable, they tend to be miserable. Nothing in life is easy but it is something to consider. Divorced parents that are HAPPY may be better than married parents that are UNHAPPY.