Should you stay or should you go? Tracee Dunblazier gives her advice on dealing with some major red flags that could be reasons to leave your relationship.
One of the most difficult rites of passage in life is making the tumultuous decision to call it quits with a partner or lover; for some it is profound and heart wrenching, while for others it is mere sport. I hear a plethora of excuses in my line of work, and by excuse, I mean reason.
Mostly, I think people have a difficult time viewing themselves as they are and then of course accepting those things that they like or dislike. We spend our lives in constant cycles of self-realization and I am certain our relationships with others follow that pattern for quite some time. The pattern of attracting a mirror tends to release the more you can accept yourself as you are and communicate your needs without confusion or shame, this in turn leads to the acceptance of your partner; everything else is negotiated.
While love at first sight and soulmates exist, there is quite a bit of confusion on exactly what those things are. Simply put…karma.
Meeting a soulmate usually renders one of two immediate responses; instant love, or extreme resistance, disdain, or judgment. This dynamic is best explained if your philosophy includes soul groups or past life history. There are people that when we meet them, we feel we know them already. Souls tend to reincarnate in groups based on similar issues and ideals. However, that doesn’t mean that we are in fact the same, from personal experience I know that just because you have an automatic affinity towards someone doesn’t mean that they have the same values, experience’s, or intentions as you do. In fact, more often than not, the past life dynamic coming forward to be healed is often one of a difficult nature, hence the extreme attraction and familiarity between souls.
Having said that, embarking on the joyous slippery slope of intimacy and vulnerability with another person is most certainly in your future, so for that, I have a few basic understandings I’d like to contribute.
Every relationship that we enter in to has its own truth, as do the people who are coming together. The more deeply you know your truth the more quickly you will draw in and accept a partner to cultivate a relationship with a lasting truth.
Next, when you begin a relationship with a job or agenda for your partner you are reducing the long term possibility for the relationship, especially if you haven’t communicated that job up front; i.e., children, marriage, sex, or your happiness etc.
Finally, no matter how you slice it, relating to another person is work; fun, challenging, invigorating, loving work and every relationship is only a series of choices. It is important before entering into a relationship with someone (yes, even a “situation” is a relationship) that you are honest with yourself and them about the work you are willing to do, what you like and dislike, and most of all; the kind of relationship that you want to have. I suppose if we could all do that, all the time, we would all be in perfectly perfect harmonious couplings.
So, with that honest acceptance of the beautifully imperfect world that we live in, here are five excellent reasons to leave your relationship. (Feel free to change the pronoun)
Your Partner is in the Cycle of Addiction
Addiction is one of the most profound and debilitating life patterns to grapple with and based on where your addicted partner is on the cycle really does determine the possibility of longevity in a relationship. So, if you’re going to pick this one, you need to be three things already: self-sustaining, clear and firm with boundaries, and compassionately patient. Make no mistake about it, this one is a job and a half, and trust me, if you do it, you need to accept that no one made you.
Your Partner is Married
I really get it, it appears that there is a lot of upside to dating someone who is married; you don’t have to pick up after them, or be responsible for them, or deal with them all the time. Your time is really your own…right? Before you choose this one, there are three things that you need to know; being an interloper in a marriage will inevitably break your heart because often enough the person who will do it with you will do it to you.
Spiritually speaking, when you take on a person who is married, you take on the energy of the marriage, the spouse, and sometimes the family; it takes a lot of energy to carry all of that. Trust is a fundamental in any relationship and this one may never have it; while he’s married you have all the information, but then when he’s not…who knows what you have? Make no mistake about it, this one will always keep you a little off balance.
Your Partner’s a Cheating Narcissist
There is quite a bit of chatter about Anti-Social Personality Disorder and Narcissism and often for our entertainment these conditions are trivialized. So I’ll do my best to clarify: the person who is selfish, in-experienced, and immature is not a narcissist. A narcissist lacks empathy, no matter how they got that way, they are not wired to truly connect in a heartfelt way with another person and won’t ever “do the work” to make change because they are perfect just the way they are; you’re the one with the problem.
While they are often charming they are deceitful and most times are attracted to high risk behavior because it makes them feel something. A person with ASPD is always criminal in nature. If you’re going to choose this one; know this, when you’re strong enough to stand up to them, they will cast you out. It’s just their way. Please, if you think you are dating or married to a narcissist, get a professional opinion…this diagnosis is too easy to misunderstand, especially when you’re mad.
Your Partner is Damaged and Cruel
Both men and women can be abusers and most abusers have been abused. Nine out of ten people suffer some sort of abuse in their lifetime. Actually, I made that up, I hope you get my point; the numbers of people still suffering well into adulthood from some sort of trauma are ridiculously high and chances are you landed one of them.
Some folks with the proper encouragement, resources, and discipline can and will overcome their traumas and be loving, honest, and compassionate partners and lovers. However, some will never recover. If you picked one of those, the #1 thing you need to know is this: when you set a personal boundary, are they able to accept and adapt to your need? If they are able to reason that out, adjust, and are willing to receive help if necessary, well then you’re in pretty good shape. However, if your lover is cruel to you, themselves, or small animals…well you know the drill. Word of caution: if your partner fits in this category you may need professional assistance yourself so do not be timid about asking for it.
Your Partner Has No Work Ethic
There are many types of work within a relationship dynamic; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Know that every relationship has negotiated and un-negotiated work for each partner. Your partner may be a stay at home whatever, and maybe you are a high powered executive…do not underestimate the work it takes to hold a space for you and all you need, to be who you are in the world.
Having said that, every person as a part of their self-actualization needs to understand their worth in the world. If they don’t know who they are and what they are capable of then they will be wide open for imbalance. So, a partner who is unwilling to seek these things out and do their share, may just be a deal breaker. Also, keep in mind, if you don’t want to do the work for yourself in the relationship, you just may not want to be with your partner. Do yourself a favor and really think this one through; the whole going back and forth thing gets old pretty quick.
They say every relationship has a reason and a season; I like to think of it as a lock and key model. As long as you keep your lock in place and stay the way you are, you’re just going to get a new copy of the same old key.
[image: via Jason Eppink on Flickr]