The following article hits especially close to home for me because many years now (decades actually); I have tried to have a loving relationship with my sister. It has been mostly a tiresome and extremely hurtful journey for me so recently I made the decision to let her go. I read something once that spoke to dysfunctional family relationships and it explained that just because people are your family, it does not give them the right (or allowance) to mistreat you & cross boundaries time and time again. This made perfect sense to me due to the fact I feel very strongly that family should care for you, love you unconditionally. Shouldn’t family members be a source of support, security and comfort and offer a safe place for you to fall when times get tough? I think so, and I have lived my life treating my sister as a precious gem only to be rejected by her time and time again. There have been times I have questioned what’s so wrong with me that my sister chooses to treat me so disrespectfully? Well, I now know that although I’ve not been perfect, I have given our relationship my all and then some. I am given out. I now have made the decision to sit back and what will be, will be. If she chooses to reconnect with me, I will always be there with open arms to welcome her back into my life; but the relationship we’ve carried on in the past is not an acceptable one. Boundaries will be set and therefore reinforced. I do pray our estrangement comes to an end with much hope, sooner rather than later.
“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.”
At the end of my first long-term relationship in college, when it was clear there was nothing left to salvage, I told a mutual friend that I “had to make it work.”
The idea of moving on seemed incomprehensible. I’d invested three years. We’d loved each other, laughed together; hurt each other, grown together. I was young and I made him my everything. How could I possibly let go of us when my own identity was inextricably wrapped in our pairing?
The friend told me I talked as if we were married with kids. I didn’t have to make it work. There was no good reason to stay other than my resistance to the pain of leaving.
How do you ever know when it’s time to walk away from anyone? It always feels so much safer to stay—in a friendship, a romance, and especially a relationship with a family member.
It’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that love often means letting go. We can still have feelings for someone and recognize that the relationship is irreparable. Sometimes moving on is the best way to love ourselves.
It’s a choice to set two people free instead of continually reliving the same arguments, denying the same incompatibility, and opening the same wounds knowing full well they’ll only heal with time and space.
But the truth is there are no simple step-by-step instructions for knowing when it’s time to move on. Surely there are signs. But the most important is that small knowing voice within that says something isn’t right, and it can’t be fixed.
It may never be easy to admit this. Endings always lead to uncertainty, and that can be terrifying.
But they also beget new beginnings, and new opportunities for relationships that don’t leave us feeling depleted and defeated.
How do we know when it’s time to move on? It’s when we find the courage to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that staying will do more harm than good.
We’re the only ones who can admit this to ourselves. And we’re the only ones who can change our lives for the better by finding the strength to walk away.