We have all been in a crappy relationship; one where there’s a never-ending stream of arguments, envy, distrust, and in some extreme cases, emotional, verbal and/or physical abuse. But we stay. We try. We don’t know how to walk away. When we finally do, we often go back. The cycle of unhealthy relationships is a hard one to break.
I have had my fair share of crappy romances. My first was in college. He was hot and cold. He wasn’t my man; he dated multiple women at the same time. He criticized my weight, often stating that I was too skinny and without curves. He didn’t find me sexy. And he told me so. He also didn’t let me go. Whenever I’d try to cut him off, he’d constantly call. He’d tell me he couldn’t imagine his life without me. And so I’d give him chance after chance.
Many women can relate to my experience. So, why do we stay? Jenny from Boston believes it’s because women in crappy relationships often live in a bubble.
“It’s not till we step out of it that we really realize how bad of a situation we were in,” Jenny reasoned. “We always tell ourselves, ‘Oh, you’re ok with that. Oh, it’ll change.’ But walking away is the first step to finding clarity.”
Jenny is right. When we look back and the relationship is really over, that’s when we have our “aha” moments. Why did I stay? What was I thinking? How did I not see that I deserved better? As Cynthia from the Bronx stated, “Leaving is sometimes not the problem. It’s staying away.” One of the ways to do so is to know your worth.
After tiring of her fickle ex-boyfriend, Clyanna, from Troy, New York, realized she does deserve better. He loved threatening the relationship when they didn’t see eye to eye, often saying he’d leave her. “The typical, ‘Well, if you can’t do what I want you to, maybe we shouldn’t be together’ foolishness,” Clyanna recalled. “One day he dropped the line and something inside me just clicked. I replied, ‘You’re right, we shouldn’t waste our time on this. Get your stuff. I’m driving you home.'”
For Clyanna, enough was enough.
That seems to be the common thread for women — once we are tired and have had enough, we do walk away. It can take a lot of betrayal, heartache and headaches to get us to the point of no return. But when we do, we let go. In my case, when I lose hope and I have no more forgiveness to give, I let go. I let go of that first relationship after years of emotional abuse and inertia. When I did walk away, well, I turned cold. I didn’t want anything to do with him at all. He didn’t give up, even though he didn’t really want me. So I told him never to call again. He didn’t listen. So I changed my number. Because sometimes the only way to leave an unhealthy relationship is to cut the cord.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Claudio_ar.