When is it time to double down in commitment, and when is it time to walk away?
The key, I believe to this dilemma is surprisingly simple, but may be difficult to discern because your soul is enmeshed. When you are emotionally enmeshed in a relationship, it’s very hard to see the forrest through the trees. What do I mean?
Well, it all kind of attaches itself to “being in love”. A notion that holds people together while being an erroneous, soul based phenomenon… “being in love”. It attaches itself to a “fairy tale” dreamy viewpoint that “we were meant to be.” If you buy into these lies you will stay in a destructive, toxic, dysfunctional relationship regardless of whether you are even in an abusive situation. “But… I love him/her!” I can’t just leave! Under these circumstances, you will likely not have the discernment to make a proper choice. Oh… and by the way… you have a choice! Now is the time to choose, if you are not married.
So does that give me license to just walk away from anything at any time? Well you can, but indeed there is a time when sticking it out and remaining committed is warranted. This is when, for example, both people are committed to doing the work to grow out of unhealthy, dysfunctional patterns. When the people deal with their unhealed past, forgive their parents and others who hurt them and whom they have hurt, and release judgements against others.
They are not perpetual victims and subsequent blamers. They have enough understood value within, to not stick with a broken relationship of abuse because they think that’s what they deserve.
They go for help and establish accountability and don’t simply go by their “feelings”. Matt Walsh puts it this way in his article, “My Marriage Wasn’t Meant to Be” – (If you want to read the article click HERE.)
“That’s what we do. We make our spouses into our soul mates by marrying them. We don’t simply think that they are soul mates and then just sort of symbolically consecrate that recognition through what would then be an effectively meaningless marriage sacrament. Instead, we find another unique, dynamic, wholly individualized human being, and we make the monumental, supernatural decision to bind ourselves to them for eternity.
It’s a bold and risky move, no matter how you look at it. It’s important to recognize this, not so that you can run away like a petrified little puppy and never tie the knot with anyone, but so that you can go into marriage knowing, at least to some extent, what you’re really doing. This person wasn’t made for you. It wasn’t “destined” to be. There will be some parts of your relationship that are incongruous and conflicting. It won’t all click together like a set of Legos, as you might expect if you think this coupling was fated in the stars.
It’s funny that people get divorced and often cite “irreconcilable differences.” Well, what did they think was going to happen? Did they think every difference would be reconcilable? Did they think every bit of contention between them could be perfectly and permanently solved? (Because they love each other?)
People go into marriage with the mentality of children, and I really think that pop culture has a lot to do with that. Marriage is a choice made against the odds. That’s what’s so exciting about it. Thankfully, I made this choice with my wife. She is now my soul mate, my other, my completion, but I could not say that about her until we said “I do” to each other.”
Matt writes this out of having the where-with-all and discernment to know when to continue in commitment, and when to walk away. Give yourself the permission to get help, grow in discernment, and do the work it takes to find out. Too many people have come to me for help in literally 3 months of marriage wondering why they got married. Others thought things would magically get better when they got married, but they just got worse. Don’t become a statistic… get the help you need and acquire the goods for each of you to know the truth.