#364 - Have you ever struggled to let a relationship go?

letting go

Have you ever had a relationship come to an end yet you struggled to let it go emotionally? It can be absolute mental torture! No matter what you do, the memories continue to prey on your mind. If I did this or they changed that, could we have made it work?

Right now, I’m struggling with some of these very thoughts.

I’ve had four relationships like this in my life. The first was when I was around 20. The second in my early 50’s, the third in my late 50’s, and the last in my mid-60’s.

As I look back on each of these relationships I can see that each one was toxic for me and each one in a different way. Three of the four had one thing in common. They were all strong women.

Up until writing this I had never put these commonalities into perspective. I loved the mental strength and stamina they had. They were overcomers. They took on all challenges that were thrown at them and survived. Why? Because they had to. They had no other choice.

In their bid to survive their personal struggles, they became independent. There’s a big difference between being strong and being independent. A strong woman knows she can do everything that needs to be done but appreciates the help and support of a good man.

An independent woman knows she can do everything that needs to be done and doesn’t need or particularly want anyone’s help. This may actually be a trust issue because of the ways she’s been hurt in the past. Her trust has been broken from likely a very early age.

This type of woman may even refuse help because she doesn’t want to feel indebted to anyone, much less a man.

Three of the four had a troubled childhood mostly from emotional abuse or neglect. To this day I don’t think any of them has figured out the connection between their youth and their relationship issues today.

Why were each of these women so hard to let go of? For me, it had to do with my relationship (or lack of) with my mother. My mother was one of the nicest, sweetest people I know. She would give you her last nickel if she knew it would make you happy.

But, she was emotionally weak and dealing with depression much of her life. I’m confident that because of my lack of a good connection to my mother, I have struggled with finding a woman that could fill the roll of a strong supportive figure in my life.

This has been very uncomfortable to share these things with you yet it’s something I feel compelled to do. I think some of you may relate to my story and others, not so much. Either way, it’s okay.

We all have our own struggles that we have to deal with. Hopefully this will help some of you to dig a little deeper to discover what they are. Look at some of your past relationships, even the ones with your parents. They may give you clues to why it’s so hard to let go.

This isn’t a fun part of being an adult and dealing with some issues may make you very uncomfortable. This is only one part of the equation when it comes to having problems letting go of certain people. Studies also show that hormones have a big role in this process.

It would be easier to say it’s all hormones and leave it at that. That’s not the case…at least for me.

At the end of the day, if only a couple of you start to figure out what causes some of your relationship issues, that will be a big win in my book.

That's my food for thought this week.

Happy Dating!