By Lindy Earl
What are you hanging on to? I know that I have been in a relationship where I hung on when I should have let go. In some cases people hang on for the sake of the children. I have since learned, that’s a lousy reason to hang on. Children are better off in a happier, less stressful environment. In some cases people hang on for financial reasons. Again, it’s a horrible reason. I think in addition to being in a bad relationship, you are now eroding your self-worth – you’ve sold yourself into believing you have to take whatever crumbs are offered, because someone else controls the purse strings. Wrong!
In my case I was holding onto false teachings, that Christian women did not divorce. Um, yes we do. It took me years to convince myself, but I finally woke up, looked around, and saw plenty of good, strong, yet divorced, Christians, male and female.
Since we are talking about life after divorce, my question is, what are you holding on to now, that may be impeding your moving on with life? Are you holding onto memories? That’s a big one, and every time my children want to look at childhood pictures, it’s harder to deal with. We were a big, happy family – once. I will never have memories of raising children with anyone else. I finally realized, I have great memories, and I can let them go, because that’s what they are, memories, not reality.
I always dreamed of living in a small town, with a white picket fence, and children walking to school and coming home to home baked cookies. Amazingly, I lived that dream for about a decade. It was sweet. During elementary years a bus picked up my children, literally in our driveway, but that gave me a place to meet other moms on the street every afternoon when we met our children at the bus stop. Then the children reached the age where they walked to school, a quarter of a mile from our home. It was picturesque. It was lovely. It was all a lie.
While we lived in the cutest Cape Cod house with the wooden swing set in the back yard, there wasn’t happiness within. In fact, there were lies and deceit. Why do I want to hang on to that? Because it was a childhood dream? I promise, when I dreamed about the house and fence, there was happiness within. As I realized that this was not my dream true, I could let it go.
In current relationships, the relationships that you know, you KNOW, are not going anywhere, what are you holding onto? In some cases, comfort. I think that’s why we call people we once dated. It’s just so comfortable already being in that place where communication is easy and boundaries are understood. Sometimes it’s loneliness, but we all know, there’s no loneliness as painful as when you’re lonely while with others.
These could actually be friendships as well as romantic relationships. Are there friends who are really more work and stress than fun? Are you always the listener and comforter? Why are you holding onto that? You can let go.
I have had friends and relationships that weren’t that healthy for me. I realize now that the relationships began and flourished because I enjoyed being needed. I was there for them! They came to me and I felt helpful and important. But, in time, the relationships became heavy, and negative, and strangling. Some were able to be saved, through good communication. Others were relegated to back burners, where they experienced a slow death. I miss some of the people, but I don’t miss the unhealthy relationships. It is freeing to be away from those situations.
Of course we like our memories and dreams. But are they real or just imaginings? Are you in an uneven relationship and just settling? Why? I’m sure you can see that you’re better off alone than in a bad relationship. If you can’t see it for yourself, try looking at friends in bad relationships. Wouldn’t you advise them to walk away, not to hurt them, but because they deserve more? You deserve more!
Take time to evaluate yourself. If you find that you are in a bad situation, let go . . .
That’s Life After Divorce
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find her on Face Book.