Where I sit, it is obvious that some relationships will not, cannot, work. It just is. They have tried everything they can think of trying and perhaps held on too long. They love one another and realize that while it is necessary, it is not sufficient for them.
Letting go is also part of life. The vast majority of people struggle for a long time before making such a decision. It was not taken lightly and many factors were considered before making the split. Some take the easy way out and come up with lame excuses.
Last week, I shared what people tell themselves about staying together and how they get through the tough times. This week, let me share what people say to themselves when leaving. These are taken from the healthier part of the continuum of reasons for leaving. Let me just say that for the sake of space, I am again omitting the full context of their words.
“This simply will not work. She does not want to be with me. Her every action demonstrates it. I refuse to beg for her company or to spend time with me. We have tried both individual and couples counseling. She wants a very different level of connection than I want. I am terribly lonely. She has said she is not willing to do what it takes to change for me.”
“Maybe I am selfish and want what I want. I do not see it that way. I just want to be alone and not in a relationship with anyone right now. I do not want to have to answer to anyone anymore. I felt incredibly controlled in this relationship and it is going to take awhile to heal and trust again.”
“She was overly critical. It is like she wanted to change who I was. Why did you marry me, then? I am who I am. You knew all those things when you married me. If you didn’t like me or respect me, or you thought you were better than me, you should not have agreed to get married. I am a good man, not perfect, but I had to change everything about me to be acceptable to her. Why not just find a man who fits her criteria than try to change me into what she wants?”
“I do not feel valued or appreciated. I feel taken for granted and blown off a good deal of time. The last straw was that I perceive her as not caring, not wanting to even be around me, let alone feel connected. That hurt more than words can describe. I was not even of value to her.”
“We were simply a bad fit. He was a good man, didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, no affairs, worked hard, good provider. We simply did not see eye to eye on a majority of things. We didn’t argue, but we also did not connect. There was nothing left except the children. I want to live life and it seems like this relationship died a natural death. Can we just acknowledge it and move on?”
“Our values do not match on some fundamental aspects. I do not trust his word. I think he is driven by money and prestige and I am not. He is more of a homebody and I like to be out of the house. I am active and he is pretty passive. I am religious and he is more of a skeptic. We do not want the same things out of life, let alone marriage. Many of our important needs, we need to get met outside of the relationship or they go unmet. That is not a marriage.”
Note: Not everyone sees the following as red flags. For those who do, they simply say they cannot come back from the event/issue surrounding the red flag- Workaholism, porn, gambling, overwhelming debt/spending, no intimacy or drive for intimacy, drugs/alcohol, affair, domestic violence, caught with escort/prostitute, no intimacy, prison term, major mental health issues.
I am sure I left things out. Anyone have ideas?