Monday, June 26, 2006

Time to Throw in the Towel

When is it time to throw in the towel? When is it time to say enough is enough? Reading your gut is always a good idea, I mean your first instinct is usually the right choice, but still there comes a time when its shit or get off the pot. There is only so much apologizing, so much fighting and so much stubbornness one can take before you have to say to yourself its time to walk away.

The only way to continue and move on is to know that you put in a good effort, that you fought the battle but lost the war. Each side is correct in their own right – when it comes to feelings, each party’s view is valid, you can’t help the way you feel, but you can help the outcome. Unfortunately, one or the other will not concede defeat and make the decision that perhaps being allies is easier than butting heads. Seeing it as a fault and not as a mistake can carry it to a high level escalading into a larger grand scheme snowballing to utter disappointment when it all could have been alleviated rather quickly with the simple acceptance of an apology….if the apology was a sincere one.

A good friend of mine from high school, we’ll refer to as Pete, has been trying to reconcile with his girl for the last 9 months. I see her point as to why she would not want to be with him anymore, the break up was his decision and you should live with the decisions you make that sculpt your future, but realizing it was a blunder to let her go, he has tried relentlessly to rectify the situation. Nine months of patiently waiting for her because he loves her that much….however she is scared of being hurt again. I see her position and it’s a sound and valid point she has…..I side with her on that, no doubt. However, he’s shown her no good reason why they shouldn’t get back together. He’s tried to talk, he’s apologized he’s even altered his life style a bit to fit her needs and wants. He’s taken her out, tried to start from scratch again doing it slowly…one step forward….three steps back. They’ve been together on and off, but at some point I have to say to him, I think its time to walk away my friend, she’s not pushing to be with you – read the signs, its time to make a decision that is best for you.

Earlier in life I would have struggled with something like that. I would have begged and pleaded trying to relay the message that love conquers all and rooting for the home team to win. But does love conquer all? Didn’t Patty Smyth and Don Henley say, “Sometimes love just ain’t enough?”

In cases of intense love, the hurt runs deep and an apology isn’t enough….that’s when the damage has been done and its time to accept and move on. It’s the death of a relationship, tragic in its own right, what we learn from it helps with how we will cope. I don’t want Pete to give up, but I don’t want him to be a glutton for punishment either. He has every right to happiness and if that means being alone for a while longer, then so be it. Everything happens for a reason.

I received great advice from this wild source once….my mother. She told me that “love doesn’t’ hurt and it shouldn’t be hard.” I want to elaborate on that, yes it can be trying, but it shouldn’t be hard. The foundation should be easy and it takes constant work, but when you have instances, complicated occurrences such as this, simply go back to basics. Start with what you know of right and wrong. There is no dissecting, there shouldn’t be intricate notions and ideas – its all basics. When there is a sticky situation – and in this case you are the one making the decision – ask yourself – do I profoundly love them? Do I want to be with them? If the answer is yes, its simple – get off your high horse, take the plunge and eff it. Geronimo. Custards last stand man….go for it. At least then you know you’ve tried and you don’t spend the next few months….even years wondering “What if.” God I hate the “what if” factor. Kills me every time – however if you went back to basics, you put your best foot forward, walking away is easier. Pete, you tried and you get mad props for it. Most men would have walked away a long time ago, but you’re efforts at a reconciliation aren’t being met. You’re not a bad person if you walk away. Take pride in the fact that you’ve tried, but do yourself a favor and make the decision instead of waiting for the decision to be made for you.

I’ve been there, I’ve held on so tight my knuckles turned white, but in the end I was still left alone. Tom tried to make amends, but when I finally took that stand I felt better, empowered….I stopped being the victim. I guess when you make that final decision, you have to be fully aware and ready that they won’t come knocking on your door again….don’t let it hurt your ego, let it fuel your decision that it all honesty…..was not meant to be.

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