Does this ring a bell? To not just leave a relationship all at once, but rather remain in no-decision mode for a while. To leave in stages. Not close the door completely, but keeping it open. That is like having a wound healed halfway and doing nothing to fix it. To leave at the first opportunity means having to make a decision. But, above all, it means not prolonging the suffering over a long period of time.
It means being courageous and accepting the consequences of making that decision. Sometimes we do not make that decision because we are not aware of the harm we have suffered in the relationship. Or, perhaps we don’t make that decision because we are not aware of the emotional dependence that is anchoring us to our partner. At all costs.
Emotional dependence carries our self-love away with its current. It conquers everything. It is like a tsunami with brute force and strength. It devastates absolutely everything in its path, including the foundation that holds up the homes… even our own “house.”
Emotional Dependence Chains Us to What Harms Us
Our own home should be constructed on a solid foundation. The foundation of self-respect, self-love and self-care. If we do not have this foundation, we will look for them elsewhere. We will sell ourselves to anyone who shows us a little love. Something like, “I love you more than I love myself.” A good phrase for a song, but devastating for any heart.
Emotional dependence and the lack of love for ourselves are the chains we carry that prevent us from moving freely. They blind us and turn us into puppets of the self-deception we have plunged ourselves into.
Loving someone else is a beautiful thing, but we should never lose the love we have for ourselves. Love for another person is never an excuse to step on ourselves over and over again. The limits that protect us from harm should never be exceeded. When we speak about self-love we are not talking about being narcissistic and seeing no one but ourselves. We are referring to healthy limits that make us flee from harmful things instead of pouncing on them.
Denial Is the Mechanism That Makes Us Stay in a Harmful Relationship
Many times, the defense mechanism behind this behavior of leaving in stages, of prolonging the break-up, or simply delaying verbalizing it, is denial. I’ll close my eyes and not see what is right in front of me. I’ll make a million and one excuses as long as I can’t see the reality and make a final decision.
You probably know people who feed their denial just so they don’t have to deal with the consequences of a break-up. Being alone, going through the grief caused by leaving someone you loved, admitting that love does not justify everything…These are inevitable consequences that we have to live through.
There are people who do not develop self-love and instead stay in complicated relationships that damage their peace of mind. They would rather deal with the pain than be alone and close the door on a relationship that is causing them so much harm. Again, the tsunami drags them along. We turn into puppets guided by dependence and denial.
Close the Door on Everything that Hurts You
That is why there are relationships that we must leave in one fell swoop. Close the door, don’t keep it half-open for weeks, months or even years. Keeping it half-open encourages the dependence and our blindness. Do not fear closing it. (And if you are afraid, share it with the people who care about you the most, or if you need to, see a therapist… Do It!)
You will learn so much once you make the decision to leave, and what you learn will help you immensely from then on every time you face difficult situations. In this way, the foundation of your life will be reinforced with the change you are about to make.
I give a lot of encouragement to all who find themselves in this position of having the door half closed, but deep down know that this is the best decision they could ever make. Just as Saint Augustin said, “Happiness consists of happily taking what life gives us and happily letting go of what life takes away.”