A life lived in the past is a life robbed of the present!
I sat listening to him tell me how broken, fed-up, tired, and disgusted he was with the state of the relationship in his life, how he’s constantly taken for granted, give more and get less or nothing back, and he has nothing more to give. I heard a broken heart and spirit that comes from being told as a boy…”you’re stupid” that still echoes in his adult mind. I saw someone tired from the weariness of emotional and mental fatigue that comes from trying to win the love and approval of parents whose actions says “our hearts are closed and cold”. Not for a lack of effort made over the past 25 years to display his undying desire to do whatever he could to break down the external walls, to reach his parents to experience the love and acceptance missed as a child, and one every human being is created to experience and deserves.
As I listened I observed that despite the physical growth this individual continued to carry the pain experienced during childhood into adult life, and despite external changes the internal state was stuck in childhood.
• External change – age, job, location, marriage, kids
• Internal change – mentally and emotionally stunted
• Power shift – energy focused on what he had no control over
• Relationship Infected – towards self, marriage, kids and work
• Outcome – unhealthy in body, mind, emotions and unravelling
Listen, the truth is at some point in our lives we will think and utter these words to ourselves and others “seriously, is this relationship worth my/your time?” and eventually, out of genuine care we will get an answer. It is extremely difficult and painful to see self or someone give everything into a relationship that gives absolutely nothing back.
Some indications that a relationship isn’t worth our time:
• It consumes all our thoughts
• We live in the past of regret and constant self-blame and judgement
• Other relationships are being infected and lost
• Our health is declining (physical, mental, emotional, social, school/work performance)
• Passion and motivation is at an all-time low
• The other party has sent clear messages of disinterest
Is there a right or wrong time to ask the question “seriously, is this relationship worth your time?” Yes, definitely! What I discovered during this process is this; patience, empathy and timing are important factors to practice when you or someone you know is working through relationships issues.
Why Patience – to allow the person to tell their story…short or long version without the feeling of being rushed. This sends the message of “I genuinely care” which can help you during the process to withhold any judgement. It’s difficult to share about a painful past/ broken relationships that still shows up in your day to day life.
Why Empathy – because, without it we are unable to really hear and understand where the person is at, and coming from. However, with it, we can connect, see, value and relate to human pain on an intimate level, it becomes personalized and expanded. And, it helps us create a safe space for the person to be themselves.
Why Timing – there’s that unique moment when you sense “this is it” that internal sense of knowing. The individual is now not only open to hearing what you have to say, they’re responsive to what you have to say. Why? Because you’ve earned the right by investing sincere care time into their lives.
With the desire for things to be different, it unlocks the door to awareness, which leads to taking action for change. Tom* did not deserved what he was subjected to as a child, it was not his fault, and to move on with living a healthy life, he had to take active steps to let go of an unhealthy past. He has accepted that he has done everything he could to reconcile with his parents, and has with much relief released himself from them. The prison he kept himself in was torn down layer by layer, and the effort and energy has been well worth every step.
If you are been suffocated and infected by a relationship that’s stealing your time, energy and life, I invite you to ask yourself this question “do I deserve better?” and then I strongly encourage you act like you deserve better.
If you would like to share how you overcame/overcoming a relationship that is not worth it, send me an email at:
By Diane Dutchin
To your health and enjoyment!