I know how lucky I am in my relationship. It didn’t come easy, with 10 years of ups and downs. But we have it right, I think. With some work, we’ll keep listening, and keep enjoying it. I know he loves mes. So yes, I know I’m lucky.
But I also know, without doubt, that if it started to be different, I would leave. No matter how much I loved someone…I wouldn’t stay in something that was unhealthy, or making either of us sad.
I don’t mean for a second that if we hit a rough patch, I’d just pack up and go. I expect that and we will work through it, together. I don’t mean that if he struggles with work, or if we have a drunken debate and go to bed mad I’ll be on the next train out of here.
I mean if the respect goes. If it starts to be harder work to be together than be apart. When I stop being excited by the thought of seeing him, and when every conversation ends with a slammed door. If he stops calling, or I stop answering. The day we sit through an entire meal in public and have absolutely nothing left to say to each other. That’s the day I’ll leave.
You see, I’ve been through bad relationships. Really bad. I’ve stayed too long, long after I knew it was over. I’ve been beaten, battered and bruised, cheated, lied to and still held on, long after there was nothing to cling to. All because I had no respect for myself, no self esteem…I didn’t know I deserved any better.
But I’m not that person anymore. I know who I am, what I want, and what’s right and what isn’t. I know that it’s better to be on your own than in a bad relationship – surrounded by anger and hate. Life is about valuing yourself, surrounding yourself with quality – love and light.
So why do so many people still stay so long?
I have good friends – beautiful, intelligent, successful women, who stay with men who cheat, and lie, and even steal from them. Yet still they won’t leave. Some tell me that they’re over 30 now, as if that makes a difference. They think their clock is ticking & don’t want to be on their own, they’d rather have the wrong someone to sleep with at night than sleep alone. Others are looking for something that was there once before, fighting to get back something that they used to have.
Even when they know it’s not the relationship they got into, or that they’re settling…they still can’t leave.
Every girl needs to wake up in the morning and remember who they are, and what they want. When you’re with someone you love, be flexible, compromise, but always keep an eye on your own personal goals, and values, and know your own worth. If you have dreams, follow them. If you have strong personal beliefs, never pretend that you don’t – at the end of the day you can never be truly happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself.
It’s lovely to snuggle up to someone at night. It’s great to have someone in your life to share things with, to take to that dinner party, or wedding reception. But it needs to be the right person. A person who supports you, respects you, will believe in you even when you start to doubt yourself.
There will be times you feel like you’re giving too much, and others when you realise you’ve been selfish. You need to have a good row sometimes – it’s healthy. That’s how relationships work. You need to be able to communicate, and understand. Its all about balance. But the good times should outweigh the bad. You should be making each other happy.
If you stop to think about your relationship and it makes you smile – you’re on to a winner. If you think about the one you’re with and you can’t remember the last time you laughed, or it makes you feel sad…something needs to be done.
I genuinely believe you need to love yourself enough to know when the love is gone.
Know when to say when.