A relationships breaking point usually occurs over a series of unresolved fights many times before the real separation. The decision to leave can be significant and painful, leaving deep scars that can also become the source of wisdom and change. Relationships are tied to places, events, and histories. Often there is regret with the decision to end a relationship and for most it is not made lightly or easily. People pleasers (codependents) have an especially difficult time knowing when to leave. They are reluctant to explore their emotions and scared of the anger that drives their caretaking behavior. People pleasers in the extreme have an undeveloped identity based on a false self and built on rules defined by others.
Leaving a painful relationship requires acknowledging what we know about our partners character, our hurt feelings, that we are being mistreated, not living our dreams and are capable of thinking for ourselves. Accepting things as they are and doing nothing may seem easier and feel less threatening. Doing nothing means you are subject to control and putting up with whatever your partner wants to dish out. It can also be a dangerous game to play because it is impossible not to disturb an abusive person and their behaviors are more likely to get worse than better. Hoping a heartless partner will change and admit they have been terrible to you and will never hurt you again is not going to happen. If you have children they will probably learn to abuse or that they are of little value. Identifying what a good relationship is will help you to set the goal to go. Most important of all is developing a compassionate relationship with yourself; you must take care of “you” now and always.
Healthy partnerships are built slowly and based on mutual respect and a fair balance of power. Both people have the ability to give and receive affection, there is zero cruelty, lack of self-destruction, control problems, over-functioning, or denial of responsibility for ones actions. The couple attends to the needs and well-being of the bond through good deeds, looks, and words. Healthy relationships are manageable, satisfying, and fulfilling to the soul. There is no need to deny feelings or disguise thoughts and beliefs. A solid relationship begins, grows, and matures in reality. Satisfying relationships are based on mutual caring, not on need. Each partner enters the commitment content without holding another person or anything responsible for making them happy. The truth is no one can make anyone happy. If you are somebody who feels that happiness is the responsibility of your partner or anything else, chances are you will spend a lot of time being disappointed.
Leaving an abusive relationship depends on your self-respect and how you relate to your inner and outer world. How will I know when to leave? When you enter the final stage of anger, rage, and sadness, followed by release and relief; later comes owning your power. You will know when you stop explaining away behavior that is unacceptable. When you accept that your partner’s behavior is destroying any chance for joy you will find the power to leave. Repetitive endless arguments in your mind against leaving the painful relationship will end. Experiencing fear and resistance as you do this is normal. You may feel empty and lost for a time. Keep telling yourself that you want to stop denying reality. One day you will wake up and know you can walk away.
Thank you for reading this post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience. As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to create a healthy relationship. And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.