Posts Tagged ‘unhealthy love’

Letting Go of A Destructive Love

Friday, December 15th, 2006
 
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Dear Jane,
How do you let go of a love you know is not good for you?

Being in love with the “wrong” person is the seed of so many poems, novels, films, plays—not to mention the core of much of our pain and longing. While I don’t know your particular situation, I can say that willing yourself not to love someone is very difficult. I’ve never known anyone who was successful at it. Just as falling in love is a mysterious phenomenon so is falling out of love. Both often happen when we least expect it. What you can do is treat yourself with dignity, respect, and care in the meantime.

In my life coaching practice, I often work with people desperate to let go of “unhealthy love.” The most important question to answer is: Are you self-destructive in the relationship? If so, recognize that what you are calling love is not love; it is an addiction. Addictions feel good in moments but we pay the price, feeling a loss of self-esteem, powerlessness, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression to name a few symptoms. While you may not be able to “fall out of love,” just as an alcoholic may not be able to simply quit drinking, you can seek professional help to get you through the withdrawal period.

Like any addiction, you have to be ready to end your attachment to the relationship to really let go. If you’re not ready, be truthful with yourself. See what value there still is for you in the relationship. You can still gain insight and grow within a negative relationship (as long as you are not being emotionally or physically abused). Most importantly, stop judging your feelings. It’s a waste of time and only adds to self-destructive behavior. Take a look in my book, Enough Is Enough!, Chapter 3, “Remove Your Blinders.” It will help you begin to trust that you will learn something of value from this pain, something that you will not forget once you are released from the longing.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.