Should You Stay or Let Go a Bad Relationship?

broken dreams, broken heart, broken relationship, broken keyIf you are unhappy, why not let go of a bad relationship?

You know are in the wrong relationship, deep in your truest gut feeling. However, you don’t tell that to anybody, not even to yourself…You get busy, muddle through and postpone any critical view of your situation for next day….which never comes. Why can it be? several reasons..

The first one:

You are not used to see your own life as a project, that you are responsible for…Life deals you with whatever comes and you take it, and make the best of it. I used to have this resigned view of life, because my own agency was never included in my self-image. In other words, I wasn’t responsible for my happiness, so I had to deal with a bad situation the best you can.

Moreover, I began to see myself as a victim of circumstances I could not control…His moods, his attitudes towards me were fixed and I could do nothing. It is extraordinary how much strong this “myself as victim ” image was….there was a lot of comfort positioning myself into being a helpless victim of a bad marriage…

The second one:

There is a strong social push to value married women, that by having a husband have proven that they are good enough as to be selected and kept by someone….and to isolate or mistrust single women.

Staying with him made me a worthy person, engaged into the basic female task of changing him, and keeping the marriage alive with my dedication and selfless work….It helped a lot to avoid looking at my own “abandoned” aspects that I needed to make grow and flourish.

Staying with the “wrong” person helped me avoid looking at myself. It was a massive distraction, applauded by my family and my social group. And it confirmed that, it was never a fact that  I could depend on myself to support and care for my needs, even when minimal…Later, having children, it made this point more difficult: how would my children have a good life without his support?

If you are tired of being in a bad relationship and want to take action steps to recover a happier life,

BE aware of the basic issue here: you need to heal your attachment wounds and achieve a secure attachment with someone who is able to provide what you need.

  • If it is abandonment issues, find a guy who can be there with whatever he has
  • If it is lack of appreciation, find someone who knows hot to appreciate you, and does it joyfully
  • If it is insecurity, watch out for a person who can live with insecurity, but knows how to bounce back and learn to be resilient…

HERE is more help, just in case you want to identify your attachment style: Attachment Style Test.

photo by: Andi Licious
About Nora Femenia

Nora Femenia, Ph.D, is the CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions and the author of the book: "The Art of Living with a Passive Aggressive Husband," a field guide for women that have to deal with passive aggression in their partners. Nora also posts regularly on her blog Creative Conflicts. Visit her blog and join the community to discuss issues related to Conflicts, Relationships and receive also Free her book “Breaking Free From The Silent Treatment.” You are warmly welcomed here, because we care for your happiness!

  • Janet

    So much truth here Nora! How we unconsciously end up with someone who reinforced our early childhood message for when we got married and in the end was our greatest “growth gift”….that married women don’t require needs…nor do they need to grow…. without realizing it we were stagnating in a pool of tepid water not fully realizing it……we gave to others as our early messages were that once married we no longer had needs or even perhaps the right to cry…so we projected the filling of those repressed needs and subsequent happiness onto our husband and our children…we took responsibility for others growth, rather than our own, by overhelping and overfixing in the hope we wouldn’t be abandoned but the reality is that we abandoned ourselves….somehow we came to believe that others were more capable of navigating life than we were……we are all entitled to be happy with balanced needs and wants and continued growth as a human being in this world. There’s not much point being here I have discovered if one isn’t going to live authentically….step out of the “false ego” and become what you came into this world to become! We are more than our marriages….we create our own “self worth” by healing our early attachment wounds. ..Becoming “enmeshed” with another human being is a sign that as women we had no boundaries which is….simple “self respect”.

    It’s taken me 4 1/2 years to finally uncover myself….firstly, with 3 years of cognitive therapy, reading and spiritual growth….clearing out the emotional clutter… now there is a clearing of the physical clutter as I am going through the house …unearthing my younger self amongst clothing and files…saying to myself “oh there you are, you’ve been on “hiatus” for a very long time it appears”….it’s like a renovation of the soul……replacing my husband’s clothing with my new clothing in what had been his space..essentially instilling new energy into what were once “his” spaces… I couldn’t have imagined my prior self being able to do this or wanting all of this…but now I am contemplating taking it one step further…to bring in someone to paint the master bedroom after sleeping in the basement where I have felt more at peace over the past few years…to create a master bedroom that speaks just to “me”….get a new bed that is just “me”…surround myself with things that speak just to “me”…. these thoughts have been percolating lately…we are responsible for our own happiness…it begins by taking initiative….living one’s life with autonomy and integrity….as the song says “for everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season turn, turn turn……as Wayne Dyer says “don’t die with your music still in you”.
    Pursuing a “bucket” list of life has allowed me to become reacquainted with my former self as well as my new self for the first time…I am taking full responsibility for myself….I began my bucket list back in the spring buying myself things that spoke to me, test driving a convertible red mustang in September(a dream car from my teen years)….taking ballroom dance lessons…learning the salsa, merangue, rumba and jive….taking in dome shows at my local science centre, star gazing, finding a church that spoke to me(essentially was “real”), taking a private golf lesson after 20+ years of golfing, taking a free guided tour through the oldest cemetery in our city, taking an Italian cooking class and buying clothing that speaks to the woman I am “now”(and after losing 45 pounds)….in the new year I will be returning to ballet lessons after 45 years of not dancing..taking a photography and art workshop in the spring….rowing and kayaking next summer, finally culminating in flute lessons next fall. For me the key was just allowing this woman to make the journey….courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than the fear…..it’s allowing oneself to be vulnerable…this is where true joy, faith etc. are found…living “whole heartedly”……allow yourselves to appear when you are ready to appear…no one else’s timeframe…surrounding yourself with friends who support your growth and letting go of those who are not at this stage of the journey….including God in my journey became pivotal as well…I even connected with a woman who offers “holy yoga” classes(lol)….now I feel ready to get more physically healthy…..dusting off the treadmill and the weights to allow for my continued physical health as a woman who no longer has herself on the “back burner” of life…..allowing as my therapist said years ago(but which I didn’t resonate to then) for the “little” person inside me to “play”! That began with dressing up for Halloween in a 50′s poodle skirt along with saddle shoes this year!

    A few years ago my therapist said to me “you” listen to yourself and don’t ever abandon yourself again”….. I fully resonate to that message now….I will listen to myself now as I have my own thoughts now…it’s learning to “ask for what you want in this life”….no longer lingering in the child mindset that your spouse or friends can intuit your needs…ask for what you want knowing you are deserving……as women we are not here to be sacrificial lambs but whole and complete the way God intended us to be…an emotionally healthy man will appreciate that. Turn the spotlight back on yourselves….don’t ever hide your light under a bushel as my therapist said a few years ago. As you embrace yourself your inner light will shine forth drawing in people to your life you never imagined….there was a great quote from the movie “Jack” that I always remembered…words that Robin William’s character Jack spoke….
    **************************************
    “if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular”.
    **************************************
    So ladies, if not now, then when….we don’t want to find ourselves living with regrets as we sit in nursing homes one day…my daughter is so proud of the woman I have become and all my accomplishments over the past few years. I worried about the consequences of the divorce and the impact on her but as a young woman now I have to believe I have provided her with a roadmap on how to handle adversity should it enter her life one day…and that she realizes that I deserve to be loved by a man who can truly appreciate me. We are all “capable” women of becoming our own “shooting star”….we just need to believe! Spend time with yourself….you are your greatest fan…the great cheerleader….even as I have dabbled in online dating sites I now realize I am protective of this new road…that in fact I don’t have time for a man in my life….”if you don’t like yourself then you are in pretty poor company”….a great quote I heard decades ago….the prize at the end of this journey is becoming “whole” within yourself….should I meet a man down the road he would have to “add” to my life….not want to take me over or vice-versa…two emotionally healthy people who are there to support each other’s continued growth in this world…not control it. For myself my prayer is that all of this hindsight will culminate in a book!

  • http://www.creativeconflicts.com Nora Femenia

    WOW! you left me speechless! this is a wonderful “female manifesto” or our place in life…..living one’s life with autonomy and integrity!!!
    I can’t answer to all what you say here, but everything is connecting with the right point and resonating…Love the curricula you put yourself through, and the many facets of your search, all enriching and strengthening the person you are.
    Many thanks for this burst of light! Hope that other people here can enjoy what you wrote and get inspired…I myself am inspired by your words!

  • Janet

    Thanks Nora! My daughter is in town on business so the timing is perfect! I see what an amazingly strong young woman she has blossomed into…she too has her own “inner” burst of life..thankfully without any childhood issues following her…the cleaner one’s life plate is the better!

  • MENDY

    Dr Lawrence you are truly a blessing:I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful consultation I just had with you Doctor.you are a life (marriage) saver!! you helped me to see that there is definitely hope for my marriage and that my husband is clearly in a midlife crisis. I was getting totally frustrated, but you helped me to see all the positive steps my husband has been taking toward me.I feel so positive now! Thanks Drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com

  • Girl Power

    Wow, so inspiring. So much courage and conviction. Thank you for sharing your story. It made me realise that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we must reach for that light! Thank you and God bless you!

  • Connie Wetzler

    You said it Janet! I totally resonate with the “growth gift”. That is what I am taking away from 20 years of living with my PA. I know my self-worth now. Now I am here to help my teenage daughter to do the same. Unfortunately she is a “casualty” in all of this. But I also realize it is part of her path, too. It’s just her and I now and all the wonderful possibilities and abundance life has to offer two Lightworkers!
    Boundaries and self-respect is what I am all about now ;)
    Thank you for sharing!

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