When Rejection is an Act of Love

This post came as a result of my divorce a few years ago, and how my own mindset shifted in response. People expect others to react in certain ways after experiencing something like a breakup. But in reality, we need to respond according to how we really feel. Rejection doesn’t have to be the end of the world….and in fact, can actually be life changing in positive ways. It’s all about changing perspective and mindset!

Let’s face it….rejection sucks! And yet, at some point in our lives we’ve all faced it in some form or another. And although it feels pretty darn crappy to be rejected or to have to reject someone else, it is time to change our mindset about rejection. We need to start understanding that it can actually be an act of love. Now, this may seem counter-intuitive, but stay with me for a bit while I explain.

I see people every day who are in relationships that really aren’t working. In fact, I know many who have stayed in relationships for years, and even decades with someone that they don’t love…..but instead tolerate. Truth be said, that was true for my ex-husband and I too. And we spent nine years tolerating one another, knowing that we weren’t in love, and knowing that the relationship wasn’t right for either one of us.

Why do we stay in the wrong relationships with the wrong people for so long?

For some, it is the fear of hurting someone else’s feelings, the fear of being alone, financial reasons, the expectation of others, guilt, the comfort of the routine.  No matter what the reason, so many people stay stuck in these relationships.

But there is a price that we pay for staying in a relationship that doesn’t work, with someone that just isn’t right for us.  Often, one partner will try to change the other person using negative means, such as nagging, arguing, guilt shame, blame, anger and sadness. This is a big red flag in the relationship and a sign that you are not with the right person.  This can happen with one partner or both, and it happens because there are elements of the other person that create discomfort in the other.

So there is an overwhelming need to try to change the other person in order to relieve the discomfort. Unfortunately, if your spouse or partner is uncomfortable with elements of who you truly are, and is trying to change those, it will not work in the long run. It will only breed resentment and chip away at respect. That is what I faced in my marriage. For me, I tried to make the changes that he wanted me to make, but found that I was losing more and more of who I truly was. I could never been who he envisioned me to be, and that made both of us miserable.

The price of not being your true self

There is an increase in stress that comes with not being true to who we are…and staying in a relationship that doesn’t work is inauthentic to who we truly are as well.  Many of the people that I know who are in these types of relationships deal with significant increases in depression and anxiety that tend to grow the longer they stay in the relationship. For many, there is a feeling of being trapped. These relationships tend to bring out the worst in people, instead of facilitating change and growth in both partners.  I personally dealt with all of these things.

But my ex-husband was also struggling. He was also dealing with the anxiety and depression of being with someone who just wasn’t right for him. He felt trapped as well. But we both felt guilty about wanting to leave, and felt an obligation to stay. And we felt the expectation of others to make it work. But it was never going to work because the incompatibilities were just too great. And guilt, obligation and expectation are not love, and all were the wrong reason to stay in a relationship that was slowly tearing each one of us apart emotionally.

Stay…or walk away?

So, I have a question for you? Do you really want to stay in a relationship with someone who may care about you, but who doesn’t love you? To stay in a relationship that isn’t working?  Do you love yourself enough to face the fear and walk away? Do you care enough about your partner to set them free?

It’s easy to stay, but if you know that your spouse or partner isn’t right for you, then why would you keep them trapped in a relationship with someone who isn’t fully present and committed? Isn’t it fair to give them the opportunity to have the chance to find a relationship that does work, with someone who can love them fully? Don’t you deserve the same opportunity as well?

Walking away from a relationship that isn’t working can be a great act of love for your partner. You are loving them as a human being because you are being honest and giving them an opportunity to write a different story in their life by giving them the freedom to start again.

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