I had a very loved once several years ago that was in a very unhealthy relationship. We had several talks. And the loved one would see some of the truth of the situation. But would easily get swayed in to believing that things would be different.
It is hard to leave a situation when you see the potential in the other person, and when you truly care about the other person, and when you can see that some of their story has some factual basis. I understand the feelings of guilt and betrayal that come with setting healthy boundaries. It is hard when doing the right thing breaks your heart.
Well, my loved one was having trouble in this very unhealthy situation. I tried everything I could think of to get her to want to protect and love herself as much as she was trying to protect and care for this other individual. One of the conversations that seemed to finally get her to thinking was when I asked her what she would say to her best friend if her best friend was in the same situation. She told me that she would encourage her best friend to leave.
I’m not sure why it seems so much easier to be brave and strong for others. And it seems much harder to set healthy boundaries and value ourselves in relationships.
It doesn’t matter if you are strong enough. It doesn’t matter if you are patient enough. It doesn’t matter if you are committed enough. What does matter is that a relationship is between two adults. You should never need the other person. And the other person should never need you. You can care for each other, love each other, and be supportive of each other all day long. But if you need another person to survive. And if they need you to survive, that is unhealthy. And of course, I’m not talking about a caregiver type situation.
Tonight I am thankful that there is always hope that someone in an unhealthy relationship will realize that unhealthy relationships won’t magically get healthy. The book Boundaries is a terrific help with this.