Sometimes you know things you wish you didn’t know – such as the fact that your relationship is over. And, sometimes you can’t say good-bye because it hurts too much.
Even though you know your relationship has to end, you may be scared or reluctant to let go because you think you’ll never learn how to stop crying when it’s over. Or maybe you’re worried about how your boyfriend, friends, children, or even your coworkers will react to the breakup.
Here’s what to do when you know it’s over but you can’t say good-bye. You won’t find it easy, but you will learn that you’re not alone. And, you may discover a source of strength, courage and freedom that you never knew you had — or that you forgot existed!
I was inspired to write this article because of a reader’s comment. She’s been having an affair with a married man for a long time, and she knows her relationship is over. She can’t say good-bye, but she knows deep down that it can’t continue the way it’s been going.
Here’s what she said:
“My married boyfriend and I attempted no physical contact for a few weeks,” says Arlene on 5 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Him. “I told him it’s a good idea and he should work on his marriage. He decided it’s unbearable and he loves me so much that he can’t be around me without wanting to touch me. Says his life will never be the same since he’s found love with me. Our connection is too intense and he will never feel that for his wife. However, he still feels such guilt that he doesn’t know what to do. He says he thinks he’s selfish and should just be satisfied with his friendship with his wife, but he can’t let me go. I’m not sure what I want anymore. I’m so confused.”
If you’re cheating in a relationship, you’re destroying your soul. You’re sinking into a black pit of despair that’ll be hard to climb out of. And, something is wrong when a man tells you that he loves you too much to be around you! This isn’t just a sign your relationship is over, it’s a red flag or warning signal that you’re wasting your time.
When You Know Your Relationship is Over…
It’s time to let go of what was, so you can accept what is.
Figure out what you’re holding on to
Why are you staying in this relationship when you know it’s over? I understand how hard it is to say good-bye to someone you love — or once loved. It hurts because we were created for unity and connection, not breakups and heartache. We were made to be together.
What are you holding on to? Take time to think about why this relationship is so hard to let go of. Make a list of 10 reasons you can’t let go. Are you holding on because of fear, insecurity, guilt, or desperation? Maybe you’re scared you’ll never be loved again. Maybe you don’t know how to say good-bye even when you know it’s been over for months or even years. Maybe you’ve never learned about relationship closure or letting go of someone you love.
Learn how to deal with your obstacles
When you figure out why you’re holding on to a dead relationship, you can learn how to get past the obstacles holding you back. For example, if you can’t say good-bye because you’re scared of an unknown future, you can start coping with the uncertainty. If you know it’s over because your boyfriend is abusive or an emotional volcano, you can get help coping with men who are angry or controlling.
Sign up for my free weekly "She Blossoms" newsletter
Pretend you’re a detective working on an unsolved love mystery. Who or what do you need to take care of in your life? Something is keeping you stuck — but you have access to the power you need to overcome whatever is holding you back. Your job is to figure out why you can’t say good-bye when you know it’s over. Nobody but you can do this.
Use your head, not your heart
Your heart is deceptive! Your heart will take you places you shouldn’t go, and keep you stuck in relationships that shouldn’t have started in the first place. Your heart can’t be trusted because it’s easily tempted and unable to think for itself. Your heart leads you astray, which is why you can’t rely on it. You can’t follow your heart, my friend, for it will lead you places you should never go. You must guard your heart, but never rely on it to help you make good decisions in your relationships.
You’re stuck in this relationship because you’ve been following your heart. When did you first know it’s over? A long time ago. Why can’t you say good-bye? Because your heart keeps leading you astray. It’s time to stop listening to your heart and leaning on your own understanding. If you had the strength and willpower to say good-bye when you first realized it’s over, you would’ve done it long ago. But you don’t, so you need to find a better source of wisdom, power, and strength.
Get back with God
You were created for a purpose! God loves you, and wants you to become who He created you to be. And deep down you know you’re not fulfilling your purpose in life. If you were doing what you were created to do, you wouldn’t be stuck in a relationship you know is over. If you were connected with God, you wouldn’t have such a hard time saying good-bye when you’re unhappy in a relationship.
Are you on speaking terms with God? Where does He fit into your life, your relationship, your plans for your future? If you’re not Blossoming in your life, it’s because you’ve left God out of the picture. If you’re not happy or settled, it’s because you’re trying to manage life on your own. You’re trusting your heart to lead you…and you’ll always be disappointed because your heart isn’t wise or trustworthy.
Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding. Take your relationship to God. Ask Him to help you say good-bye when you know it’s over, and to bring you through the outfall of a broken relationship.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you below! Your big and little comments are welcome below. Tell me why you can’t say good-bye when you know it’s over, and how Jesus fits into your life and relationships.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.