It’s bad enough that relationships end. It’s worse that we sometimes get caught up in a spiral and hang onto things we don’t even care about.
People come and go in our lives. They test our boundaries and how we feel about ourselves. I believe we are all open to new people. We want to find out what makes them tick and whether they might fit into our lives—as an intimate, a friend, a business associate, or just an acquaintance. We approach these relationships hopeful that they will work out.
Sometimes, though, we discover lies. We discover intentions that are not as pure as we initially thought. We get hurt, and then we face the challenge of taking care of ourselves and putting our own interests first.
Of course, it is hard—and risky—to generalize about matters of the heart. Often in relationships, one party is more flexible than the other, prepared to bend their personal rules to accommodate the important people in their lives. The bottom line is that actions speak louder than words.
Not long ago got caught in a dysfunctional relationship, where my boundaries were intentionally crossed. Walking away was a lot harder than I expected. You would think that it would be motivation enough, knowing that someone doesn’t have your interests at heart. Sad to say, it takes more than that. I got caught up in a power struggle about who would get the last word. Him or me? The funny part was that I’m not a last-word kind of person.
Here I am now, long out of that relationship and with a light heart. I followed the suggestion of a friend. While she said this in a business context, I realized that it applied to life in general: “When I do a real estate deal, usually the other person wants to have the last word. I let them. I prefer to make a good deal. It’s about priorities.”
That’s what life is about too: priorities. By growing up and letting my partner have the last word, I gained peace of mind. I would much rather be happy than right.