Love does not always last. Loving another does not necessarily mean that you will always be with the person you love.
Sometimes what is needed for your mutual happiness is for you to let go. Letting go might be the right thing to do even if you very much don’t want to do it, or can’t imagine living without that person.
I learned this lesson deeply when my marriage finally ended on Thanksgiving of 2009 after a six year battle to keep it intact. The beginning of the end occurred six years earlier, brought on by seemingly happy changes – the conception of our first child and the move to our first home. From there my marriage proceeded to fall apart despite my understanding of relationships and my great effort to find the help to save it.
I watched my marriage falling apart yet could not let it go. I could not let go of my husband. I could not let go of the image of the happy family that I had created in my mind. I could not imagine how life might work without the marriage and my husband.
And so I held on for six long years. Every year I held onto the relationship created more and more strife between us. Every year that I tried harder to make it work cost me in self-esteem and aliveness. Every year that I dragged him to yet another therapist cost me dearly in sanity, vitality and happiness. At the end of the six years I was emotionally worn out, bruised and bloody from throwing myself against the unscalable cliff of that broken relationship.
Finally in year six I decided to let go. I decided to let go of my husband and with him the life I had imagined. I decided that it did not matter that I had no idea how to actually be without him, how to parent without him, how to exist without him. It did not matter if that was the last relationship I would ever have or if letting the marriage go brought on financial collapse. What mattered was that I wanted to feel alive again, to feel ok again, and to have a chance to create the life I wanted again. None of that was going to be possible until I let go.
Looking back now, 4 years later, I can tell you that I wish I had left many years earlier. I had lost years of my life to nothing but holding on. Those years cost me dearly and gave me nothing. I avoided nothing that I had to go through by holding on longer. The road out of the marriage was just as hard in year six as it would have been in year two or three.
Letting go was hard. I had to deal with a variety of issues such as low self-esteem and the fear that there would never be love again. I had to relearn who I was and find out who I had become as a result of my experiences. I had to rebuild my business, my finances, and my body.
Yet, standing here 4 years later, I would change absolutely nothing about my path except the fact that I held on to the relationship for far too long. Once I let go, every step of the way, no matter how painful or hard, has been towards the life I want to create for myself.
The lesson of this experience for me was one of letting love – and life – have its way with me. Now when something or someone is trying to leave my life, even if I don’t want the leaving to happen, I let go. I do this because when a person or a thing is trying to leave, holding on only postpones the inevitable. Holding creates struggle and pain, but it does not help avoid heartache. Knowing this, I have become a person who would rather let go sooner, feel the heartache sooner, move on to the recovery phase sooner, no matter how hard that might be.
If you are hanging onto a relationship or a partner that is trying to leave, or that you know you should let go of, consider my lesson learned and release. Letting go will be tough, but it is inevitable. More importantly, nothing new is possible until you let go. Only once you do can you have the possibility to create what you truly want in your life and your relationships.
[stextbox id=”red_box”]If you are not certain if your current relationship can be saved or needs to be let go of, let’s work together in the Get Clarity Coaching Session to find out.
In this 30-minute session I will get to know you and your relationship and help you discern if there’s viable healthy steps to save it or if you need to let it go. Learn more about the Get Clarity telephone or in person Coaching Session and register here.[/stextbox]