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When Its Time to Give Up on a Man and Move On

a couple having an argument

If you are reading this, you may be struggling with acceptance that your relationship is over or needs to be. You love him; perhaps he even loves you, but it’s not that simple. We are hard-wired for love and connection and as women will sometimes sacrifice anything to feel it and have it, even our self-respect. We often accept less than we truly desire and deserve instead of a fulfilling relationship with elements of trust, connection, dependability, consistency, positivity, authenticity, and transparency.

The following, are signs that it is time to let him go and move on, saving yourself from further pain:

Inconsistent behavior- You feel a push/pull or a “come here, go away” from him. One minute he seems as if he is all in and the next, he seems to withdraw from you.

There is no balance in the relationship- You are putting in all the effort to keep the relationship afloat. He says he is busy or doesn’t have time. You begin to rationalize his claims. Remember, if someone is invested in you and the relationship, he will make the time. We all make time for what is important to us. It is painful to realize that it is not you.

There is no transparency- His words and actions don’t match. His speech is often contradictory. You find yourself wondering what he is thinking or how he feels due to these contradictions. You begin to make excuses for him. Perhaps he is just scared or is afraid to commit, he was hurt in his past relationship, he has mother issues, and the like. This may be true, but remember he can only meet you as far as he has met himself. If he is not on a path of self-growth to heal, this behavior is unlikely to change.

You change yourself- You find yourself changing your own behavior to make him stay or to keep the relationship. Little by little you are losing pieces of your authentic self.

Your inner peace is disturbed- You have anxiety over whether you will be contacted, whether your calls or texts will be responded to or acknowledged. You wonder if you said the wrong thing that caused his withdrawal. You begin to question your own sanity and doubt your intuition. You begin to lose sleep.

He is married and it’s not to you- You didn’t plan on this happening. In fact, you told yourself you never would, but it happened and you fell in love. He loves you too, but it’s not that simple. There are many reasons a man stays in a marriage that doesn’t work for him; children, finances, guilt, obligations. Unless the marriage is over, there is no room for you.

He has broken your trust- There are many ways trust can be broken, from promises unfulfilled to lies. You find yourself doubting and checking his whereabouts.

Emotionally unavailable- He is unable to connect with you on an intimate level and avoids conversations of depth.

Wishing and hoping and dreaming- You find yourself wishing and hoping things could be different. “What if, if only, could have, should have, would have.” You wonder if it was something you said or did , if you could take it back and do it again, perhaps the outcome would be different.

He has already let go of you- It is clear that his avoidance and lack of responsiveness is an indicator that he has moved on, but just hasn’t said the words to end it.

You are in an abusive relationship- All bets are off here. It is time to go. It is not okay to be abused in any fashion, verbal, emotional or physical. Save yourself and leave immediately.

Your heart aches more than you are happy-

Self- exploration with a qualified therapist would be beneficial to heal the root cause of why you may have a high tolerance for inappropriate behavior or stay in a relationship where you are not cherished.

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be. Acceptance is not easy especially in matters of the heart, but with good self-care, support and professional guidance you can move through the pain and grief and begin again, this time with better boundaries and realistic expectations.

It is important to get clear on what experience you really want to have in your life and relationships. In this way you can be clear on what you are willing to accept from someone else. If his behavior or the experience is incongruent with your vision, then it’s time to make a change. When someone is consistently showing you that they are incapable of a loving, connected and transparent relationship, you must believe them. No amount of wishing, hoping or excuse making will change this. It is in this loving behavior with self, that you will attract a healthier experience in your life. When you let go, you are creating space for that healthy relationship with an available partner to enter.

Lisa Angelini, MAPC, LPC, ACHT- Holistic Psychotherapist and Life Coach


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