Reason. Season. Lifetime?

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Not knowing this fact is how some of us get stuck in a toxic relationship that leaves us wondering how did I get myself in this situation?

When a person is in your life for a reason, they are there to meet some specific need you have. Maybe you just lost a loved one and need some companionship or a distraction to get you through the tough times.

Once the person has helped you through your grieving process it may be time for them to exit your life. Because the person was instrumental in meeting a need that you had it will undoubtedly hurt to lose this person. You probably won’t even understand why you are losing the person but just know the loss must occur.

When a person is in your life for a season, they are there to help you learn or grow in some way. Maybe you want to learn how to write a book and you coincidentally meet this awesome person who has published a few books. Your purpose for meeting them could be to help you achieve that goal.

Once that goal is accomplished it may be time for them to exit your life. It also hurts to lose a season person because they bring joy and happiness to your life as they show you new and exciting things. Unfortunately, this relationship was not meant to last either.

When a person is in your life for a lifetime, they are there to help you be a better person. They will stick with you through thick and thin. These are your unconditional love folks. They will teach you how to love and how to be loved. They will be by your side forever.

In romantic relationships, sometimes it is hard to tell right away if you are dealing with a reason, season or lifetime person because we walk into relationships with the best intentions. We want love. We crave it. We actually need it.

Unfortunately, not all relationships are meant to last and when you find one that does it is a blessing from the most high. When you find yourself in a relationship that is meant to end, trying to hold on can leave you hurting far worse than if you just let it go!

Why Am I Writing This Post?

I recently found myself in a toxic relationship. I was with my person for a little over a year. From the very beginning we both wanted the relationship to last a lifetime but I saw some red flags right away. I knew that I was not experiencing unconditional love probably a few weeks into the relationship. In fact, my person was very critical of me almost immediately.

My inner voice (who is much wiser than me and NEVER steers me wrong) kept gently whispering to me “this is not the right person for you” but I ignored her. In fact we even began talking about getting engaged and I started working on my next book 101 Money Questions For Couples because I wanted (but couldn’t find) a good tool to make sure we were financially compatible.

I ignored my inner voice for a couple of reasons: (1) I could tell that my person was a good person with good intentions and (2) I really wanted to prove to myself that I could have a successful relationship. Because of these reasons, even when my inner voice began to not so gently whisper “end it now” I remained in the relationship.

I kept telling myself “it’s not so bad” and “it could be worse” but when I asked myself, “what would you tell a friend who was in a similar situation” the answer was always, “GET OUT NOW”.

What I didn’t fully understand was my person was never a lifetime person. He was a reason person. He was one of the first people I met when I moved to a new place and he was a distraction from a little bit of loneliness and stress of starting a new job. Once he helped me get through those things I held on for way too long and the relationship became toxic.

The occasional criticism from him turned into chronic complaining and threats of ending the relationship if his demands weren’t met and it began to make me feel bad about myself (even though my inner voice kept telling me “someone will love and appreciate you just the way you are”…my inner voice is AWESOME!).

Ultimately I became less responsive to my person’s complaints and he chose to end the relationship in a very weird way (I will spare you the details…but it involved a text message).

We had broken up at least four times prior to this so I was left wondering “ok, how do I walk away from this nonsense for good”. I came up with 5 steps that worked like a charm for me. After following the 5 steps I was able to return back to my normal, happy, pre-toxic life!

What Does This Have To Do With Personal Finance?

Whenever we allow obstacles to consume and divert our attention from the present it can affect our finances. Being sad, depressed, lonely or hurt is draining! It drains us mentally, physically, emotionally and yes, even financially.

When you are focused on what to do with your bad relationship you can’t possibly focus on how to earn more money, or how to pay off your debt faster. The sooner we can cut the relationship nonsense, the faster we can get back to focusing on our financial health! Ultimately, we want a relationship that blesses us not burdens us.

The 5 Steps To Walk Away From A Toxic Relationship

 1. Know And Understand The Truth.

I take these truths from one of my all-time favorite books The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra.

“This moment is as it should be”.

Nothing in the universe happens by accident. If your inner voice is telling you that your relationship is toxic and it is time to end it then listen. If you do not end it then it will certainly come to an end by other means. Yes, you will experience pain but he pain is temporary and the pain is also what you need to experience in order to cement the lesson that you were meant to learn from the experience.

Remember, every moment is as is should be. Nothing is a mistake. Mediate on that truth to get you through the painful moments.

“Accept the present and intend the future”.

Part of the reason why I didn’t walk away from my toxic relationship is because I had walked away from so many others previously and I wanted to prove to myself that I could have a successful relationship (it’s actually one of my goals on my vision board). I thought if I gave up on the relationship that I would ruin any chance of ever meeting my goal. That thought was totally false.

My intention for the future is still to have a successful, happy and healthy relationship but I also accept the fact that my person was in my life for a reason and not a lifetime.

“Live in the wisdom of uncertainty”.

We never know why things end when they are ending. Remember all of those instances when you were hesitant to lose something but after time passed you realized it was the best thing that could have happened to you. You don’t have to understand why your relationship is ending or even like it but know that hindsight tends to be 20/20 and even if nothing makes sense now, it will eventually.

“Make a commitment to follow a path of no resistance”.

I heard some advice a very long time ago that goes “when God gives you something he adds no trouble to it”. That advice is always in the back of my mind and it kind of goes with the truth of following a path of no resistance. If you are constantly struggling in your relationship to make your partner understand your point of view then you are being met with resistance.

How much easier and happier would your life seem if you found yourself having a relationship with a person who naturally “gets” you and accepts you for the amazing person you are?

2. Distinguish Between Love and Addiction.

Studies show and love and addiction feel very similar. You may be addicted to your person (especially if you have been in your relationship for a long time) and confusing that feeling for love.  An article found on Psychology Today reads,

“when romantic partners who are intensely in love are exposed to photographs of their beloved, the brain regions that become activated are the same regions that are activated in cocaine addicts when they are craving cocaine. But even if love has some addiction-like qualities, healthy love is likely to involve other qualities as well, such as respect, trust, and commitment, qualities that keep a relationship strong even on those days when excitement and passion are not at the forefront. Addictive love, by contrast, tends to be more singularly focused on attaining those “highs,” whatever the cost. Determine if you are holding on to your person because you are really in love with them or if you are simply addicted to having them in your life.”

3. Devise A Plan.

If you want to end your toxic relationship for good then you will need a plan. Your plan must cover the following areas:

  1. What will you do if he/she calls, texts, emails?
  2. What will you do if you see her/him in public?
  3. What if he/she doesn’t want to break up?
  4. What will you do if you get lonely after the break up?
  5. What will you do if you start to regret breaking up?
  6. What are some things you can do to take your mind off of the breakup?
  7. Who are some people you can call to take your mind off of the breakup?

4. Affirm Yourself.

When your toxic relationship ends you might feel like a failure along with a host of other negative emotions. One of the ways to begin feeling good about yourself again is to constantly affirm yourself. An affirmation is just a short, positive reminder to yourself about who you really are for example, you might tell yourself “I am a beautiful, confident, whole person” ten times in a row.

I actually read Daily Affirmations For Women Who Love Too Much, by Robin Norwood and it was exactly what I needed!

5. Rest.

Nap. Sleep. Meditate. Do Yoga. Listen to upbeat songs. Rest. You must grieve and grieving is hard work. You need time to heal and renew. Carve out some time to work on getting yourself back to normal. Love yourself.

Where Can You Find More Information?

  1. If you are having an extremely difficult time ending a toxic relationship then you might consider consulting a mental health professional to help you understand the best approach for you.
  2. Psychology Today offers some good advice on the topic.
  3. MindBodyGreen.com also has some good advice.

Are you thinking about ending a toxic relationship? How are you taking care of you during this time?

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