Should I stay or should I go? You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run. Sound familiar? Almost too cliché? When it comes to sticking it out or leaving a relationship, we wish it was as easy as the songs make it seem. Or is it?
If you are at the tipping point of your time together, you swear that the next thing he or she does is the last straw! I’m walking. Adios amigo! Peace out! “But then, just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!” Maybe it was flowers, maybe it was your favorite dinner or maybe it was amazing sex. You say to yourself, “Self, this isn’t so bad after all. Maybe they are turning a corner.” Maybe, just maybe you are delusional.
Being with someone comes with highs and lows, ebbs and flows. Sometimes you know immediately if you can weather any storm because what you two will always be able to right the ship. Other times, at the first sign of fight or flight, they are looking for the first flight out of town or fighting with you instead of fighting for you. But here is the rub, the wrong way…If cheating, verbal or physical abuse, lying, extreme lack of affection and attention or not being present emotionally are repeat offenders, that is grounds for dismissal. Cue the closing credits and get the Sha Na Na out of there because ‘Goodnight sweetheart, well it’s time to go’.
However, there are things that can be improved upon and 99 out of 100 times it all boils down to how much you are willing to communicate and/or be receptive to change. We have two ears so we can listen twice as much but our one mouth actually can do twice the damage. If you don’t tell your girlfriend or husband what you are feeling or needing, shame on you. They are not The Amazing Kreskin and you certainly can’t pick and choose the times you want them to be mind readers. On the flip side, if the message is not delivered with tact, you might as well shoot the messenger because it won’t be received the way you had hoped or not at all because they tuned you out. We like to think things are obvious like putting the toilet seat down, calling someone to see if they are having a good day, initiating sex or saying thank you if someone buys you flowers. You are experiencing assumptions and a communication breakdown. Internal struggle begins to rear its ugly head. One too many of those “obvious” things and you are ready to leave.
Do you see the contradiction? Awful, terrible things are debatable because you think these things can be fixed but having a conversation about everyday life is too difficult so you would rather leave. Only you know what your threshold is for pain, stupidity or lack of emotion or passion. If you see something, say something. That is the best way to protect yourself, your pride, your dignity and your resolve. Elvis Costello sang it best when he asked, “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?” When you figure it out, you just MAY BE more inclined to stay and less inclined to leave when the dealin’s done.
I would venture to say that no one enters into a relationship with the thought of leaving. I for one can vouch for that. I’ve been in many a relationship and not one of them did I start with the thought I’d ever leave. I think when we are younger we get into a relationship thinking it’s going to last forever. As we get older, we get tainted and begin to see that there is a way out if things get rough. If things get too hard or they aren’t going our way or the way in which we think they should, we have an out. In my later years, being now, I believe that there are very few reasons to leave a relationship. Abuse of course, adultery and a few others, but other than that, why would anyone want to leave? If you’ve fallen out of love with someone, that makes sense, but what if times are just hard? If life is just not going the way you hoped, what if you’ve been arguing for a few weeks or you are feeling down in the dumps, are those real reasons to throw away all you have? I mean who the hell wants to start all over again with someone new when you can make something heautiful out of what you already have??
I have had a habit to stay longer than I should. I, as I’ve been told recently am “A person that has more hope in people than anyone I’ve ever met.” Maybe that’s the difference in people. Maybe some people lose hope faster? Maybe they don’t believe in love. Maybe they don’t believe in themselves. Maybe they don’t believe they deserve love. Whatever the case may be, we all come to our own conclusions about when is the right time to leave a relationship. One of the parties is always surprised. There is always someone who is hurt. Leaving is never easy, even if it’s the right thing to do. How can two people be in love and one person decides it’s time for them to leave? How do you leave someone you actually still love? Is that even possible? Don’t you carry that person with you all the time? Don’t you second guess yourself? Don’t you regret leaving someone you still love?
If the cards are stacked against you and you see no hope in the relationship ever getting to a point that will be fulfilling for you, then it’s time to fold. Turn in your hand, lay down your cards and fold. But, what would happen if we all stayed? Like that of generations past “We grew up in a time where if something was broke we fixed it.” A saying I think about often. As I have left many people and been left many times, as I get older I don’t want to throw away the time and the effort and the love I’ve put into someone unless it’s absolutely the last resort. That I know I’ve tried everything in my power to make it work. And when I feel I’ve tried everything, I try some more stuff, then I wait patiently for the storm to pass and keep going, keep loving, keep working towards the relationship I want. Leaving is easy. It’s staying and working and fighting for what you have that’s hard. So if your relationship is hopeless, unmanageable, worthless and you no longer love that person, then leave, for your own well being. But if you love something, someone, yourself and you’ve put in the time and the effort, but it’s just a rough patch? Stay….like Taylor Swift says….All You Have To Do Is Stay.