Once upon a time, many years ago, I was in a relationship that was on its last limb.
On the outside, everything was fine, but on the inside, it felt as if the wind had been taken from my sails. Day by day, my fight and will for us to survive slowly began to die, and in its place was grief.
Grief for the life we had started to build, grief for the person that was a shadow of the person I had fallen in love with, but most of all, grief that I wasn’t being true to myself.
Here are the signs that helped me realize it was time to let go of my partner and walk away.
Expressing your desires and emotions feels pointless.
It doesn’t matter if your partner listens to you now and then. If they are constantly zoning out or putting your needs on the back burner, a time will come when you won’t even tell them how you feel anymore.
It became very apparent to my ex that he liked the idea of me and was hoping to mold me into a housewife. My desires to travel and grow professionally were constantly ignored, and expressing frustration just sent him on a tangent.
Perhaps he believed that if he ignored my desires and emotions, they would disappear; instead, they grew stronger and stronger until they couldn’t be ignored.
You grow while your partner stays stagnant.
If you are driven and motivated to constantly challenge the boundaries, and strive towards something more significant than where you are now, then you will want a partner with a similar outlook on life.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Does my partner challenge me to be better? Over the time we have spent together, have I witnessed growth? Am I the only one in this relationship growing or having mindsets shift?
Being with someone who doesn’t want to grow or change and is completely satisfied with mediocrity isn’t going to work for someone who is driven and motivated.
Your feelings are continuously invalidated.
As my relationship drew close, my partner told me I was being ridiculous.
When we were together, it felt like I was slowly suffocated. At first, I hadn’t noticed at first because I had enough air to breathe. But over time, the little digs and jabs caused me to question whether or not I was valid in my feelings or if I was dramatic and ridiculous.
If your partner invalidates you, they are causing you to question your worth and whether or not your feelings matter when in reality, they do.
Your partner refuses to acknowledge toxic/unhealthy habits.
On our first date, my ex and I had, he grabbed a six-pack of beer and drank it all as if it were water in a very short period.
We were young, and everyone was partying, so I didn’t pay much attention, but as time went on, I began to notice how he had a temper whenever he drank.
Eventually, when we moved in together, it became clear he had a problem. I casually mentioned that we should do a couple of weeks without drinking, and he scoffed and asked why he would ever deprive himself.
Supporting a partner as they work through their issues is part of a healthy relationship. Letting them continue a detrimental habit forever that impacts your emotional health and life together is not.
Being away from your partner feels like freedom.
In the last few months of my dying relationship, I spent almost every weekend driving two hours south of where I lived to see several of my close friends.
Those weekends were a breath of fresh air. It was a respite from walking on eggshells, the yelling, and the unpredictability of the apartment that felt like a prison instead of a home.
The difference in how my body, mind, and heartfelt being away from my partner vs. being with him indicated that it was time to go. After all, in a healthy relationship, you will feel as if you are free, not as if you are a prisoner living in a cage.
The future that you imagine no longer includes them in it.
Over several years, I built a life with my ex-boyfriend. We shared holidays, met each other’s friends, went on outdoor adventures, and got an apartment.
Although something deep within knew something was wrong, I could turn away from that voice for some time until I began to dream of a different life and felt as if I was going through the motions and not present in my own body.
Eventually, a plan began to form in my head. I would move out and move down to where my friends were, to a bigger city with more opportunities…and I would be going alone.
Deep down, you know you have given everything, and it’s time to walk away.
Although it felt as if years had passed, the truth is that it only took a few months for me to realize that if I didn’t leave, I would never be able to attain the life that I wanted.
Had I not walked away, I never would have been able to build my beautiful life now with my supportive and amazing husband. I wouldn’t have been free to pursue my dreams and desires, nor would I have had the support.
You can read a million articles to figure out if you should stay or leave a relationship, but here is the simple truth. The ONLY person who knows without a shadow of a doubt that it’s time to cut ties is… you.