Sometimes the Best Way to Love Someone is to Leave Them

Sometimes the Best Way to Love Someone is to Leave Them
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When a relationship ends it is not unusual to spend a lot of time going over the details in our minds, with our closest friends or even with the person we were just in the relationship with trying to get answers as to what went wrong, how we thought it was so right and why, for goodness sake if we loved each other, are we leaving each other? It can be so difficult to understand why if two people love each other that the relationship would have to end. When our hearts are broken it is in our nature to start to recall only the good times, the moments that made us happy. Our hearts are longing for this connection again and looking for any way to cling to hope and help us feel better if only for a moment. We dismiss the reality of how bad it truly was, we forget the fights, the arguments, how disrespected we were, we forgive the cheating, the abuse, the lies, the shortcomings because we know they didn’t mean to, we know they want to be better and do better, we know they love us but just have a hard time showing it sometimes. I have loved a variety of different men. I have loved men who honoured and adored me, and I have loved men who have abused and abandoned me. I make no judgements when it comes to whom we love and why. But I know for sure that we are drawn to certain people for certain reasons. How we feel about ourselves ultimately tells who and what we allow to continue in our lives.

We can know at someones core that they are good and honest people who have just had a rough upbringing and are acting as products of their environment. But that does not mean we have to sacrifice all that we are and all that we deserve to continue loving them in our lives. The idea that because we love someone we have to stay with them is what keeps so many people stuck in the same cycles of toxic and unfulfilling relationships. I used to believe that “love conquers all” meant that if I loved hard enough and long enough that the love I gave would magically transform the relationship into all I wanted it to be. The opposite is almost true. When you believe that staying simply for the purpose of love when so much else is absent then you are telling yourself, your partner and the universe that you believe this is all you deserve and therefore you cannot and will not amount to better. When people see that your forgiveness means staying, that your love means being a martyr then they are less likely to transform themselves into the being you see in them, because they don’t have to. They are comfortable with how things are. You can fight for and insist upon them changing and even threaten to leave but until you actually put into action and prove to them, yourself and the universe that you have in fact had enough of living small, getting less and dying for love then nothing will change. Many years ago I had a friend whom I loved dearly, and dangerously. It was dangerous to both of us because I loved him to the point of enabling. You see, he was addicted to drugs and I knew in his heart that he was capable of so much more but in his state he could not bring himself to be more than what the drugs allowed. He would show up at my house at any hour of the night and I would comfort him while he cried and sweat out his high. He took advantage of this relationship and my relentless offering of love and support. He never got better despite our conversations, his promises and my insistence. He would tell lies and do things that were not in alignment with who I was and what I wanted, but I continued to support him because I loved him and I believed that is what love is, it prevails, it endures all things. As I started to see more clearly the damage this friendship was doing to my life, my health, my self-esteem, my belief system, my truth, I had to make a decision. I chose to no longer subject myself to his behavior. I chose to love him enough, to leave him. Many years later when he was sober we reconciled our relationship and he thanked me for walking away as losing the immediate love and support he always had was a wake up call. While not all stories end up this way, I assure you that when you love someone almost to a fault, when you give up more of yourself to make them happy because you think that will equate to your happiness, you are doing not only you, but them too, a disservice. We can love people and not be with them. We can love people and not put up with their bullshit. We can love people and choose to be cliché AF and love ourselves more. If loving someone is breaking your heart more than it is serving it then it may be time to evaluate your true values, what you want and desire for yourself and choose to love them enough to walk away.

We use the word love like it is going to save the world and I believe that love in it’s truest form has the ability to do just that, but if we use love as the anchor that keeps us tied to sinking ships then it cannot save anyone. You have to believe in more than love if you want to live truly in love.

You have to believe in your self, your worth, your values, your truth, your connection. We can love things about people and we can love who they are but this does not always mean staying. If you have to give up more of yourself and change who you are and what you desire to continue to love someone else then it is likely that the best way to love them is to leave them.

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