Divorce, Fractured Into Wholeness, My Life with God

Before You Walk Away

I know some people walk away from a marriage, job, family, education, or something else after struggling through it with honest conversations, support, and accountability. But today’s post isn’t about those who reached out and processed a decision with honesty and vulnerability, because many people simply walk away. Perhaps it’s easier for them.

photo-1453989799106-bbad8d7b5191I’ve shared in Fractured Into Wholeness and in several of my blog posts how my ex announced he wanted out of our marriage with no warning. Yes, I know that sounds odd if you haven’t experienced something similar, but since family, close friends, coworkers, etc., didn’t see any signs of it coming, I don’t think it was my ignorance. It was his deception – not just with others but with himself. And since sharing my story, I’ve heard from so many others who experienced something similar. Different details but a common thread of people refusing to talk about things, rejecting relationships and commitments without processing and helping others through the transition, rationalizing how it’s the only option even when so many other options are left unexplored.

We often don’t want to explore what, deep down, we know might work. It would be too hard. We’re not willing to sacrifice that much. We  have too much pride to say, “I might be wrong. There is hope. We can change. I’m willing to share and listen and grow.”

When someone says he or she has tried everything to work something out but wasn’t willing to talk and be honest about it, it’s a little like feeling sick. Imagine feeling sick then searching online answers in private, continually thinking about being sick, trying a few of your own solutions but not going to the doctor, talking to a trusted friend, or opening yourself up to any personal interaction and accountability. There’s no truth check, just yourself in your own world, building one possibility and explanation onto another.

When taking one step at a time, getting way off track doesn’t feel like being lost. That doesn’t mean you know where you are. The farther you go on your own, the more deeply you rationalize how right your destination is, because it’s yours. It makes sense to you, but you haven’t invited any other perspective (except perhaps people you choose to share only the pieces that are palatable and logical enough to make sense to them and gain their support).

It’s a process of pride. And even though the isolation might feel good to you for a while, the disconnection and disrespect for other people, yourself, and truth will eventually wear on you.

The cost of pride is too high.

If that’s where you are today – even if you can detect even the slightest bend toward pride and the way it leads you to rationalize what you believe you deserve or need and isolates you from people who know you well – pause. Share with someone even if it is just one glimpse of what’s going on within you. Be honest with someone and with yourself.

You’re going to be taking one step at a time anyway. Why not take the best step you possibly can?

 

2 thoughts on “Before You Walk Away”

  1. I think sometimes walking away is better. When you have exhausted all resources, and given it your all – sometimes there is still nothing left. You cant keep watering a dead flower – it wont grow back no matter how many times you want it to. I have let go of friendships simply because I have exhausted them. You get tired of always trying and getting nothing in return. Any relationship is always a two way street. You cant make it work when just one person is willing to and the other person just isn’t interested. That’s when you know it’s time to let it go. There is this saying I saw years ago that hit home at the time — “Sometimes you have to give up on someone. Not because you don’t care, but because they don’t” And that’s true. Sometimes the people who started with you, will not be the people who finish with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, yes. Sometimes it’s best to walk away. The challenge is to be honest about our motivations for walking away or staying, as well as considering others’ motivations (if we’re able to communicate and listen to them in the situation, which isn’t always an option, but I think we often assume what the other is thinking or how they are prioritizing without knowing the details of what’s going on in his or her life). One of the points of this specific blog is to encourage people to be honest about their motivations and be careful not to claim they’ve given everything they’ve got when they’re actually walking away for other reasons. Or, if they decide to stay, that they are being honest about their motivations for that as well. For example, some people stay in a relationship because it’s comfortable (even though it’s also dysfunctional) but will state the reason is that they have no other options, the other person needs them, etc.
    Also, sometimes exhaustion is the very point we need to reach. Not all the time, but consider parenting: there are seasons, even as they get older, when we pour into them with no feedback or reciprocity, and we get emotionally exhausted. But we stay invested because of the relationship and our ability to consider the long term.
    The bottom line is that there are many different kinds of relationships and many motivations for how we approach them. The more honest we’re able to be with ourselves and each other, the healthier the relationships will be, whether we stay in them or transition out of them.

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