When you end up having to end a relationship, do you look at it as time wasted or do you try to keep the positives?

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When you end up having to end a relationship, do you look at it as time wasted or do you try to keep the positives?

js250 js250
js250
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After 15 years, I am calling it quits. There are so many factors involved but basically right now I feel as if I have wasted 15 years of my life. A lot of that is hurt and pain, some of it is retrospect and the rest... I don't know. I have learned a few things, some not good, some fun and will carry with me in the future and others...I would rather never have had to learn.

For those in the process and those who have moved on..what did you get out of the relationship?
01/16/2012
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eeep eeep
I got both positives and negatives out of all of my relationships. I drove myself crazy at first about all the time, energy, emotion, etc. that was wasted in those years, but eventually I moved on from that. One in particular is the most poignant for me. I loved him completely, and opened myself up completely (which is something I have only done with maybe 2 or 3 other close friends in my life). Despite all the bullshit and pain that happened later on in the relationship, I experienced real love and acceptance (or thought I had on the latter - hard to tell now, but perception is key in looking back). For a while I was happy, blissfully so at times, and I was perfectly content with a major aspect of my life. No need to move forward, to change things, to work for better. It helped me learn and accept a lot of things about myself and life as a result.
Not everyone experiences this. Not everyone falls in love and has an equal relationship with someone. There is usually the questioning, and wondering where things will go in the end, how does he feel, etc.

That is what you should take away from it, how it changed you for the better, and the great parts of it that you got to experience. It's impossible to always focus on that. For me I was so destroyed by a lot of fucked up shit he pulled in the end of it, that it took a while before I got the clarity that the bad was worth it to have experienced the good parts. I have a child with that guy, so unfortunately he still finds ways to hurt me somehow - but I still feel it was worth it for the good experiences (not to mention my child, whom I love).
01/16/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
It's normal to feel that way - as if you wasted a good chunk of your life and the whole thing was pointless and that you 'should have known better'.

I believe that people are brought into our lives when we need them, and they help us grow (whether negatively or positively) until we reach a point of conscious choice: have they grown with me and will they continue to grow with me?

When I married my ex-husband, I was a very sheltered and scared person who knew NOTHING about being an adult in real life. All I wanted was an older man to take care of me and I'd give him whatever he wanted - including children.

What ended up happening: he was a grown child who could hardly hang onto a job and believed sex was nothing more than a genital sneeze (on top of having mother-son incest fantasies). He was passive-aggressive, emotionally abusive, and blamed everyone for his lot in life. I was the breadwinner, I was the one who worked my ass off to pay the bills and keep the wolves at bay and talked to everyone in authority, I was the responsible one the whole time.

The marriage proved to me that I wasn't scared of adulthood and everything it entailed. I was scared of being alone. This was a powerful revelation to me. And after the trauma of wanting to jump off a bridge wore off, I was angry that my loyalty and commitment to a man who did nothing for me made me want to take my own life to stop the pain of being married to him.

I was finally able to get past the two horrors that had kept me compliant - 'How would this affect him?' and 'How would he take this?' - and I told him it was over.

My marriage had been dying a long time, and it felt more like relief when I finally cut its 'life support' by telling him the marriage was done. I still mourned. I mourned the loss of my writing partner more than the loss of my husband. I mourned the lost years, which I later accepted as years I spent growing up and becoming my Own Woman - a far greater gift he could have given me than anything else in our marriage.

At best, I would say that we were great friends but lousy spouses. At worst, I would say that we married each other for the wrong reasons, and it was delusion to believe otherwise for the nine actual years of marriage.

Everyone's experiences and mileage are different, but do know that all the emotions are normal. *hugs*
01/16/2012
Ansley Ansley
It's only a waste of time if you feel like you didn't learn anything from the relationship.

I'm sorry to hear that you've decided to pull the plug. I hope that you've given it every concerted effort to fix it before you file for divorce.
01/16/2012
Jul!a Jul!a
Thinking about a relationship as a waste of time for me, especially when they lasted for years at a time, really just makes me a lot more depressed about the situation. I try to view everything as a learning experience and remember the good times. I try to remember the bad times too because they're usually the reason that the relationship didn't work out, but by looking back on the good times as well and how I've changed as a person during that time frame, I can usually figure out what was a learning experience and not spend unnecessary time beating myself up for a relationship that wasn't my fault for failing.
01/16/2012
Gracie Gracie
It sounds trite, but it is true, nothing is wasted. Everything that has happened has contributed to who you are now and who you are becoming. I am sory to hear of your loss. I am sure it was not an easy decision to make. My advice is surround your self with poeple who love and support you.
01/16/2012
PeaceToTheMiddleEast PeaceToTheMiddleEast
Sorry to hear that hun. There are good and bad but no time was wasted. You were with them for some reason. It will get better.
01/16/2012
js250 js250
You all have given me things to think about. It is a hard decision to make, life altering, in fact. One thing I have come to a conclusion about is that if someone is an alcoholic, you cannot live in their bottle--and they will do everything in their power to make you do so. My husband is an alcoholic. He makes enough progress to keep the relationship going but not enough to make it work. He is a wonderful person sober, but a manipulative drunk.I need to put more thought into what all of you said, thank you for helping. I appreciate your understanding and advice. I will post more when I have a clearer mind.
01/16/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
You all have given me things to think about. It is a hard decision to make, life altering, in fact. One thing I have come to a conclusion about is that if someone is an alcoholic, you cannot live in their bottle--and they will do everything in their ...
This sounds awful! I am sorry that you are going through this, but if you feel like you are wasted time, then that doesn't sound good for the relationship. I think you need to do what is best for you! I hope you make the best decision for you. Good luck and !
01/16/2012
T&A1987 T&A1987
i have only ended one relationship, it only lasted a few weeks and by the end my main thoughts when we were together were "I hate her so much" and "Can't breath! need air"
01/16/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
You all have given me things to think about. It is a hard decision to make, life altering, in fact. One thing I have come to a conclusion about is that if someone is an alcoholic, you cannot live in their bottle--and they will do everything in their ...
The preservation of your soul and sanity are more important than a relationship. By one threatening the safety of the other's soul and sanity, they have broken the sacredness of that union.

No one has any right to pull others into their self-destruction. You getting out is self-preservation.
01/16/2012
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
The preservation of your soul and sanity are more important than a relationship. By one threatening the safety of the other's soul and sanity, they have broken the sacredness of that union.

No one has any right to pull others into their ...
I completely second this and just had to step away from a situation for the final time to save myself because if I didn't, I was going down with him. And as much as I feel bad (mental illness and being severely emotionally stunted were the issues) for him and I wish him well, staying there any longer would have been severely detrimental to MY mental health and MY emotional growth.

And Chili is usually right. She's continually saving my ass

Lastly, per Victoria Holt, "Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience."
01/16/2012
Boobs and Lubes Boobs and Lubes
Just because it doesn't work out in the end, it doesn't mean they wasn't a lot of enrichment of your life. You take the experiences with you, hopefully there are more good than bad.
01/16/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
You all have given me things to think about. It is a hard decision to make, life altering, in fact. One thing I have come to a conclusion about is that if someone is an alcoholic, you cannot live in their bottle--and they will do everything in their ...
I definitely can't tell you what to do, because it's too personal of a choice. But I would encourage you to search out some Al-Anon meetings in your area (or similar support group) if you haven't already. It's a support group for those who have family and loved ones of someone who has a problem with alcohol. I'm going to be trying out a meeting this coming Friday.

It's true, you can't cure or change someone's drinking problem, but you do still need to take care of you. If you ever want to chat, feel free to message me. Keep yourself (and any possible children involved) safe, there is no 1 answer or road to travel... but with time and a little help and support, you WILL find your way, and you WILL be ok.
01/16/2012
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Big hugs js!

Alcoholism is rough to deal with. It runs in my family like water. I'm glad you accepted that you've done all you can do and you're looking out for number one if the other person isn't.

As for moving on, I don't know either. I had about 4 years in the last one...
01/16/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
I've left an abusive relationship and felt like I wish I hadn't have been in it to learn the lessons I did. Years later, I'm somewhat glad I was because it made me a stronger person in the end. It took a lot of healing and time after ending the relationship. Despite the fact that the person I left was an alcoholic and constantly emotionally abusive and sometimes physically abusive, it still took me a long time to get over it.

I think no matter what the situation is, be it a relationship or just a bad situation in general, the best way to look at things is to take the lessons you can from them and become a better person. Spending a lot of time thinking about wasted time and what you could have been doing instead just leads to anger and frustration. If you allow yourself to fume in that, you'll never really heal and move on. You'll also never get to the place where you're a better person for it. You'll just be left as a bitter person from a relationship that didn't pan out. Instead you can become a stronger woman that knows the signs of an alcoholic quickly and knows that's not what she wants in the future. You can be a support system for those in similar situations. There's lots of ways to make it positive, but steaming in anger will leave you miserable.

Best of luck to you whatever you decide to do. I'm sorry things didn't work out. Ending relationships is never easy, but it's especially hard when a lot of time and work has been put into them.
01/16/2012
Highmaintenancegirl916 Highmaintenancegirl916
Best of luck to you.
01/16/2012
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
First of all - I'm sorry to hear this. But I think of the saying, "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger". While this may have been very hard - I am sure you are probably a stronger woman now because of it.

I believe that AAA has some sort of meetings for those who live with alcoholics and while you might be ending the relationship, it might be good to try and get help that way from others who have been in your shoes. It might help you to let go of some of the pain or to see that your actions/reactions were what others did also. Perhaps they can help you and your whole family through this time as you make life changes.

I'm so sorry to hear this because I don't think it's ever really easy to end any relationship.
01/16/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
First of all - I'm sorry to hear this. But I think of the saying, "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger". While this may have been very hard - I am sure you are probably a stronger woman now because of it.

I believe ...
AA is for the alcoholic, Al-Anon is the group for relatives, friends and loved ones of alcoholics. And to be perfectly honest, unless you have a decent belief in God, that might not be the best way to go because they are a faith-based system. However! There are a ton of other options, especially on the internet, these days. Calling the local Health and Human Services Department in the area can usually point you in the right direction for local, real time meetings.
01/16/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
AA is for the alcoholic, Al-Anon is the group for relatives, friends and loved ones of alcoholics. And to be perfectly honest, unless you have a decent belief in God, that might not be the best way to go because they are a faith-based system. ...
Really? Al-Anon is the same way? Aw nuts. I was afraid of that. Well, as you say there are tons of other options, thank goodness!
01/16/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
Really? Al-Anon is the same way? Aw nuts. I was afraid of that. Well, as you say there are tons of other options, thank goodness!
Unfortunately, my experiences with the group proved to be that way. You might be able to find a meeting that isn't, but it might not be worth the effort when you can click with a group that doesn't rely on higher powers.
01/16/2012
js250 js250
UPDATE!!
He went with me to an Al-Anon meeting tonight. Yes, they are faith based, which is good with me. He is signing up for anger management counseling and seems to be serious. We will see. Not a normal thing for him, but I am giving it a month then am still going to go on a mini vacation. Then see if it is serious on his part or just a last ditch effort. I hope it is serious, he did quit for 3 amazing years, but doubt is prevalent. There is a lot fo behind the scenes issues we still have to deal with.

THANK YOU to all the support and friendship you have provided!! I am very awed at your advice, kindness and caring. I could not have made it through today with my sanity without your help. YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!! I am very fortunate.
01/17/2012
indiglo indiglo
All in all it sounds like a good day - very nice! Hang in there! It sounds like you have a good plan in place, and sometimes just having a plan can take a real load off. As you know it can get better, since it has before. I'll be hoping that this current relapse will be brief. One day at a time, and on the bad days... one minute at a time! ((( hugs )))
01/17/2012
Collogue Collogue
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
After 15 years, I am calling it quits. There are so many factors involved but basically right now I feel as if I have wasted 15 years of my life. A lot of that is hurt and pain, some of it is retrospect and the rest... I don't know. I have ...
Often I feel like I can't remember the positives of my past relationship (and maybe that's a good thing, for moving on with my life). Dan Savage said something along the lines of not to think of the end, but rather the relationship itself, which might help you in validating the time, emotions, and energy you put into the relationship. Because if you think about it, what's the marker of a perfect relationship? that you stay together until you die? shrug. I think it's enough to have something nice, even for a bit.
01/17/2012
Brandonn Brandonn
Always try and focus on the positives.
01/17/2012
EnChAnTiNg EnChAnTiNg
You can look at the negatives about the relationships, but then try to figure out how to turn them into positives. Take everything that went wrong, and learn from it. Look back and try to figure out why things went wrong, and use it to your advantage to better your next relationship. I think every relationship that we are in, that ends, leads us to the person we are meant to be with.
01/17/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
UPDATE!!
He went with me to an Al-Anon meeting tonight. Yes, they are faith based, which is good with me. He is signing up for anger management counseling and seems to be serious. We will see. Not a normal thing for him, but I am giving it a month ...
YAY!!!! Stay strong hon!
01/17/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
UPDATE!!
He went with me to an Al-Anon meeting tonight. Yes, they are faith based, which is good with me. He is signing up for anger management counseling and seems to be serious. We will see. Not a normal thing for him, but I am giving it a month ...
I hope everything works out for you. Sounds like he is trying at least for now. I hope it stays that way and keep your head up. I am here if you need me too.
01/17/2012
Lizzy Lizzy
I'm sorry you feel you wasted 15 years.
01/18/2012
Tangerine Tangerine
I had an 11 year relationship that ended about 2 years ago. At 1st and towards the last half I felt that I was "wasting" my time and hers. I felt that way for quite some time. Then I realized that yes I lost ALOT of precious time and my young years. I dont really feel that way now. I realize that there is SO SO SO much I have learned because of that relationship. Knowledge that I could have never gained over that time if I was in more relationships for less time. I feel like everything happens for a reason. I'm happy for all that I have been through and learned.
01/19/2012
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