We’ve all heard this phrase, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” What a crock of shit! I mean that phrase alone sets you up to feel pained, grief, and sorrow when a relationship ends. I think a much better phrase is, “It’s better to have loved and gained and let it go than to never have loved at all.”
I mean here is how I look at it now after 7 months removed. I could have left. After another woman showed up in the middle of our relationship, not once but more than once. When trust was lost and doubts crept in causing me to feel insecure and jealous. I could have left when he put his hands on me in anger, something I swore I would never allow anyone to do. I could have left when the drinking was out of control and the awful, vile and biting words flew out of his mouth. I could have left the multiple times he checked out and didn’t contribute to our life together or when I didn’t feel appreciated or loved. I didn’t.
There are two reasons why I didn’t leave. The first was that I honestly felt that it was worth fighting through the valleys. I thought that if I held on tight to the good times, the bad would just fade away. I believed that this is what a true commitment was, taking the good and the bad. It was all worth it because I didn’t want to lose my friend, someone who I had beside me for so long.
The second reason is, I didn’t believe I was worth more. I didn’t believe that I deserved someone that adored me and showered me with affection. I felt that the drinking and anger and violence was all normal because I had seen it all before in so many relationships that I had. I thought I deserved it because I wasn’t living up to the person that he wanted me to be. Whether it be that the dinner I cooked wasn’t great or the laundry was piling up; even those small things felt like I was failing my duties and why would he love me and show me affection if I didn’t do “what I was supposed to”. **Let me say this quickly so that no one is confused, these are not demands he made of me, these were entirely imposed on me by myself. It’s the image and ideal that I thought I had to embody** That word, FAILURE, it was so heavy. Like a concrete corset, stifling my breathing. I didn’t want to have a relationship fail because, how would that make me look?!
The caveat here is that I have gained so much understanding now that it is over. At the end of the day, I DO deserve more! I am worth more than being treated poorly or talked to vilely. I have gained the knowledge of what I will accept from the next someone that I give my heart to, and there will be another someone! I have gained a deeper respect for myself, for what I accomplish and how much I give to others. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with self esteem and I have doubts in myself, but I am getting so much better day by day.
Before he left I truly thought I would die or disappear if we ever ended. Guess what?! I didn’t. As you have read in other posts, some days are hard. I did have almost 17 years as his friend and partner. There are so many things that trigger memories; songs, dates, places…the list goes on. But instead of looking at all these things and hurting, I am looking at them with new eyes. I see the happy moments of the life we shared and can move forward knowing that I am getting to a much better place now. I can say honestly, he made the biggest mistake of his life! I am a great catch, I was a great wife (not perfect but great), and I have so much love left to give. You see, I haven’t lost anything, I have GAINED!
If you are going through a break-up or loss, know that you are not alone! Know that there will be rough days but you can learn so much about yourself if you take the time to really reflect. So what have you GAINED in leaving behind a relationship? What have you GAINED in knowing someone and then letting them go?