Cutting ties

Cultivating relationships with family members is never easy, but the key to those relationships is being able to love each other unconditionally and being able to agree to disagree, without wanting to control or change each other in the process.

How many of us have actually been evaluating our relationships for a while, but have never done anything about it? Cutting ties to any relationship, brings with it feelings of guilt, doubt and failure. It’s a difficult decision to call, but invariably we may take the easy route by doing nothing, then suffer in silence; bringing more stress back into our lives. Sound familiar?

A long line of history in a relationship is sometimes why we find it hard to cut ties, but having history behind us in effect can help us make more informed choices about those relationships. It is in these circumstances that it is made easier for us to cut ties, if we need to.

Pointers to consider:

  • The relationship causes too much stress and infringes on aspects of your own life, including work and home, or your every move is consumed in sour thoughts of the relationship;
  • The relationship seems to go one way; it’s too much effort to keep the relationship afloat at your end and there’s no effort coming in from the other side;
  • There is only negativity coming from the relationship. Your partner calls to bring you down with harsh words, actions or deeds, but there’s no letup;
  • You always give in to what the other person wants and in turn they manipulate and expose you when they don’t get their own way.

I personally don’t see that walking away from a relationship means either person have failed. Sometimes our lives have to fit and with each other. If we get to that stage, I see it as being a mature decision that will help both people grow as individuals.

It’s often not a decision taken lightly, but if walking away fundamentally brings peace and tranquility back into our lives, then that has to be a good thing.

To be cont/2


18 Aug, 2010

12 thoughts on “Cutting ties

  1. When I think about this and sometimes similar things that have anything to do with a fear of failure, I get really surprised by how often myself, and others, have a tendency to take the easy way out. With relationships in particular, I think I can see a couple of the thoughts that could potentially come up:

    If I sever this relationship, how am I going to replace it? (My thinking is that for some people certain relationships are viewed as irreplaceable.)

    Is there a chance that this relationship can still be saved? (I have a couple of friends at Daily Strength who have grappled with this one).

    The impression that I would get is that ending a relationship, any relationship, is difficult to do and perhaps that’s why people have a tendency to avoid doing that.

    1. David, people take what they see as the easy way out by staying in a relationship because starting over again seems even more daunting. Starting over again brings with it so many thoughts, fears and emotions that make people think they may be better off where they are. Each case is different obviously. They also fear going into unknown territory.

      I do agree with you on why people stay in relationships. It’s a difficult decision to go, especially where children are involved, but in the longer term I would see staying as even more difficult.

  2. Cutting the ties that bind us can be a very painful process as you state. I know that I’ve had to do it so many times in my life that I tend to hold on to relationships even if they’re toxic. I’ve had to really look at that lately and it turns out that I have to learn how to let go even when I don’t want to sometimes. Now is the time that I really have to focus as far as what I’m doing in my life and who I’m involved with, whether it be a positive or a negative! Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. I agree. Cutting ties can be very painful, but in the end it may be the right thing to do for all concerned. My first marriage was like this. I left 3 times but came back because I thought I could heal my spouse. (Nurses tend to do this I’ve been told), but I finally had to think about the future and my daughter’s future.

    I have a tiny bit of guilt because of how things turned out for him, but things got better for me and my daughter. If you’re constantly being hurt, somehow you need to cut off for your own good. The other person causes their own pain, if they have any. It’s their own fault for not thinking about how their actions would affect you. Lisa

  4. You are right Lisa, but it’s not always easy to make that direct link between pain and behaviour, or how to change ones behaviour.

  5. I have been going through the process of cutting ties with my daughters and it’s a painful but completely necessary move in order to have peace and wellness in my life. I totally agree that the harder routes in life are usually the most fulfilling, we just need to pick our battles wisely.

    1. Yes you are right Brian. In order to have the peace we crave we do have to make decisions we don’t want to make, but know we should. Although your daughters are not in your life now, I am sure you will agree that you’re not as stressed now as much as you were. I think there is an art to picking our battles which many of us get wrong!

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