It’s probably the toughest decision you’ll ever face and it’s one that most people agonise over for years.
After years of co-dependency and a toxic relationship that’s draining both of you, you’re faced with the decision of whether it’s better to stay and try to insulate your children from the resentment and anger you feel or to leave and turn their world upside down.
You’ve been making it work for the kids sake. “Work,” because that’s how it feels with your partner, and sometimes that sentiment spills over to the kids.
That’s hard to admit, that the negative energy on the dynamic with your partner sometimes affects the kids – but acknowledging the truth is the first step in deciding what’s best for them.
Staying and working at it you soon discover that “Work” becomes your new normal. You give up on your dream of being deeply connected and resign yourself to making a go of it for “their sake”.
But what is it your children are learning? Are you so good an actor that you can hide the truth and never break character? And if you hide the truth until they leave home, will they thank you or feel like your life and their ‘reality’ was all an illusion?
Our Children Will Seek Out What We Model
Being a responsible parent is not the same as being a loving parent. We can’t tell our children to choose one thing, but live another. It’s not possible to find love for our self inside a toxic or co-dependent relationship. Children do better having even one whole loving parent than two dysfunctional ones.
You can only be responsible for yourself. Nothing you do or say can change your partner and if two years (or five or fifteen) haven’t changed them another year hoping won’t either.
The Choice To Leave Is Not The Easy Way Out
If you decide to leave it will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You’re likely going to face behaviour and emotions from your ex that shock you. You may even have to deal with your children being angry or turned against you. Financially, emotionally and socially your world will be turned upside down.
You’ve lived for years in a way that has emptied your emotional bank account. You’re beyond being flat broke when it comes to love, you’re overdrawn – all the relationships with friends and family are like fully racked up credit cards where you’ve run them dry with your frustrations too.
But with love, there is no bankruptcy clause when you have kids. The only thing to do is change your life and get yourself into a place where you can work towards a positive balance again.
There’s no one who can bail you out, save you or fill you up with love. You have to replenish yourself and repair your credit with all those other relationships. In fact, you’re not ready for love if you still hold resentment towards an ex – that means at least one account is still overdrawn.
Sacrifice and Divine Forgiveness
Before considering a new relationship you have to fulfill the responsibility to your kids to make sure they’re better off, and that will likely take a few years. The choice to leave requires sacrifice, divine forgiveness and a whole new way of relating to yourself and the world.
But this doesn’t mean not allowing yourself to date or risk love. You’re human, the way you learn is by living. Refusing to live and learn now that you’re on your own is no more helpful than being frozen inside a relationship.
Live your life but don’t don’t risk more than you can handle or be in denial of the responsibilities you have as an adult to your body, your heart, your soul or your children. You have the freedom to choose, but that is accompanied by your responsibilities as a parent. (Pregnancy, STD’s and broken hearts are all things that drain massive energy from other parts of life).
Its a Different Kind of Freedom
You don’t become more free when you leave, you have the space and the freedom to breathe in the challenge of responsibility you have as an adult and parent.
In the relationship you were likely playing a role, now you’re on your own with the expectation to truly live and there’s no-one to share the blame or success of your choices with.
Leaving is not an escape, it’s the choice to take on all the responsibilities of being an adult and letting go of the security a relationship, albeit a dysfunctional one, provides.
The choice to leave isn’t one we make to find love, it’s one we make when we realise it’s our only way to become love – and that’s something every child deserves.
Visit Graham White’s Facebook page, What Evolved Women Want for more empowering information.