Excuses: Holding On When You Know You Should Let Go
Even when trouble is obvious, it can be tough to let go. People have being
giving lots of excuses who are unable or unwilling to leave a
"We've been together a long time." Jennifer: "My
boyfriend's cheating, and now he says he doesn't want to be with me as much as
before, but I don't want to break up. We've been together for five years."
It's natural to get attached to people in our lives, but consider
"reframing" the way you view the situation. Instead of regretting all
of those "lost years" if you gave the relationship up, think of how
many more years you'd be investing in being miserable if you stayed, consider
that you've learned valuable lessons, and need to move on for a better future.
"He was my first." As Pam told me, "It's not working out
with this guy I'm seeing, but I'm having a hard time letting go because he was
my first." You'll probably always feel a special attachment to your
"first," but you can't sacrifice happiness for sentimentality.
"But I still love him." Keisha explained, "I know I
should stop going out with him -- he cheats and treats me bad -- but I still
love him." Love yourself more, and treat yourself to someone who treats you
well. You can always love the person, but that doesn't mean you have to be
"I gave her everything." I recently talked to a guy who told
me: "I really liked this girl and bought her lots of things. In fact, I
just bought her a $50 sweater, and the next day she broke up with me! What can I
do to get her back?" Save your money and your self-esteem and let an
ungrateful and unwilling mate go. If someone clearly doesn't want you,
regardless of your gifts, you're trying to buy love, a sign that you may be low
on self-esteem. The result is disappointing anyway, as the other person usually
ends up loving you less.
Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get out of a really bad
Laura : My boyfriend drinks too much and has been unfaithful. When
I tell him I want to leave him, he says he'll never let me go. He tells me that
the problem is that I'm unhappy with my life, and I'm blaming him. Is it my
What is your problem, is that you are putting up with this man's
psychological abuse and manipulation. His drinking, cheating, blaming, and
threatening are sure signs that he is the one who is desperate, disturbed, and
in need of help. Don't allow his threats to intimidate and paralyze you. Life is
too precious to waste, so don't spend another minute being miserable and treated
poorly. Be firm about your complaints, expectations, and intentions. Take action
-- get legal counsel or an order of protection if you think you need it. insist
that he get counseling, and get support for yourself (from friends, a therapist,
or a 12-step program for people in relationships with alcoholics) to shore up
your self-esteem. Then bless the guy and send him on his way.