Love Him or Leave Him
"You don't get to tell people how to love you. You get to see how they are loving and then choose whether or not you want to participate."
I’ve been doing a lot of work in relationships with my clients lately. The issues they come to me with can be summed up with this:
“If he was different, I’d be happy.”
The problem with this mentality is that it gives all of your power away.
So why do we do it? Because it’s easier to blame our partner than it is to take responsibility for our own emotional well being.
Doing so would require us to ask some tough questions of ourselves and take steps either to repair the relationship or leave it altogether. Both are difficult decisions that give rise to anxiety, anger, fear, abandonment, guilt, loss, isolation, sadness, loneliness… and so on.
Complaining about him is the easier route and sometimes, actually feels good.
Your partner isn’t perfect and neither are you. Sure, he can be frustrating and it would be a lot easier if only he were more considerate or communicative or
But he is who he is.
And it’s not your responsibility to change him. It’s your responsibility to take care of you.
Let’s break down the choices:
You can choose to love him, flaws and all. It may be frustrating at times, but when you make a conscious choice to do this, you take back control of your emotional well being. You let him off the hook and allow him to simply be – and then love him anyway. If there are deep issues, you can seek professional help you navigate through them.
My ex drove me crazy with his stubbornness. He tried his best, but I still got frustrated sometimes. In those moments, I reminded myself that I made a deliberate decision to love him despite it. My rationale was that the benefits of our relationship outweighed the frustration I was feeling in the moment. And like an anchor, it rooted me in my love, no matter how stormy the sea.
Or you can choose to leave. Ending a relationship is one of the most emotionally gruelling experiences we go through, regardless of who is the one pulling the trigger. It stands to reason then, that many people choose to stay simply to avoid the emotional shit show that comes with a break up.
But if you choose to stay, remember that you are choosing comfort over change and that it’s not his fault that you’re choosing to stay and participate.
Choice = Power
Your power is in your ability to choose.
Many of us would rather stay in the comfortable known situation, even if it’s not good for us, simply because we’re afraid of the unknown.
“Better the devil you know” is a phrase I’ve heard numerous times around this topic.
Our brains are wired to desire what is familiar, even if it’s not good for us. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or broken, it just means you have to consciously and deliberately choose the pain of temporary discomfort for your greater, long-term good.
It certainly isn’t easy, but it may be worth it.
What To Do?
If you find yourself debating this question, ask yourself what life will be like in a year or five years if things don’t change. Let that fuel your actions in the present moment. In addition to having open and honest conversations with your partner directly, you can also seek counselling together and/or separately. Ultimately this will guide your decision on whether you choose to love him- flaws and all- or leave him.
Either way, passively complaining about the situation without taking action serves no one and robs you of your power.
These choices aren’t easy. It helps to have a strong sense of self-worth and a clear vision for your future that can guide you. If you need support and guidance, please reach out to a trusted loved one or myself.