William Mize explains how to safely and confidently leave an unfulfilling or damaging relationship.
We’ve all been there before.
We’re in a relationship that is just not right for us, and we’re either afraid or too lazy to break up with that person.
Some folks are afraid for very valid and dangerous reasons, in that they may fear for their safety or their life should they leave.
Some folks are very lazy, and take the path of least resistance, in that they don’t do anything. They’re unhappy, in emotional pain, but still won’t take that step and break up with their partner.
I’ve been in the latter, but never the former, so let’s talk about it.
When You Leave Someone, Leave Safely
In coaching calls where I feel that there is danger, I always tread very, very lightly.
These are serious matters. This isn’t about helping someone lose 10 pounds, this is about someone’s life and safety.
As they say in sports, the best defense is a good offense.
I always recommend that they take it slowly, plan it carefully and then execute swiftly.
Sometimes local or state officials are involved, sometimes law enforcement is involved, but I always make sure that they have a safe place to go and stay long term before breaking up with their partner.
There are resources available in every county in this nation to help women or men who are in an abusive relationship leave that partner and continue their life in a safe and sane manner.
I recommend The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Their number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Should you know someone, or if you are that person, reach out immediately, but be smart about it. Phones can be tapped. Internet usage can be monitored.
Listen to this report on NPR and be horrified and educated as to how your smartphone can be used to harass and stalk.
Man (or Woman) Up And Leave Them, Don’t Be Lazy
My own experience is somewhat less dramatic.
I was with someone that I absolutely knew, without a doubt, was wrong for me.
I had met her online. We met for coffee, and I was desperate to be loved, desperate to have someone, to be in a relationship. I was the ultimate doormat.
She belittled me, she insulted me, she used sex as a weapon, she did anything and everything to let me know that she didn’t want me as a boyfriend or a partner.
And yet, I didn’t break up with them?
Because I was scared.
I didn’t break up with her because my fear of being alone was greater than my unhappiness at being with her.
I imagine that a lot of men and women are in this situation as well.
We become numb to the relationship. We go through the motions.
We’re in a Groundhog Day environment where we do the same thing day in and day out, always hoping in the back of our minds that something or someone will change.
And they never do.
And she never did.
What she did do was break up with me.
She invited me over for the weekend, cooked me dinner, said “We have to talk” and the hammer fell right then and there.
And I was so fucking happy.
It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I could not wait to get out of her house.
I grabbed my bag, said goodbye, and walked to my car as fast as I could.
I was free.
But not through my own actions.
Steps To Leave Your Partner
I didn’t man up, to use a phrase, and break up with her.
But I did learn an important lesson: That I would never, ever, ever put myself into that situation again. I promised myself that I would learn from this experience.
I would never date someone who was wrong for me again.
I would pay attention to my intuition, my gut instincts, and look for those red flags that told me that this woman was not the one.
I want you to have the same knowledge that I have now.
I want you to learn from my mistake, and perhaps have a few guidelines in place before you start dating someone, as opposed to after you start dating, you find out that they are totally wrong for you.
Over at Mind Body Green they have a great article listing 5 Steps on how you can leave your partner.
I encourage you to check it out, and, if need be, put it into action.
Originally published at Williamize. Reprinted with permission.
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr