“If we are abused by those who matter to us, it’s difficult to give up hope that eventually they will treat us well.” ~From Blues ain’t nothing but a good soul feeling bad by Sheldon Kopp

Abuse is difficult to define. It can be subtle messages that you are not enough. It can be a long-term lack of respect that is demeaning yet difficult to describe. It can be a continual lack of commitment to promises made. It is long-term, conscious physical, mental, or emotional harm. And it’s hard to accept from someone we love. It’s hard to face the reality that the abuse is happening. We try to excuse it. We try to ignore it. We try to do better. We think ‘they are just going through a difficult time.’

Sheldon Kopp in his book of daily steps to personal growth goes on to say, “… some of us remain in the victim position for a lifetime.” It takes courage to face the fact that we need to leave a relationship. After doing absolutely everything we can to make things work, we may still have to endure the pain that comes with realizing that things are not changing and making the difficult choice. But better to do that (as hard as it is) than stay in a relationship that does not improve in spite of our best efforts. We can either endure the temporary agony of making that hard decision and moving on to a better life … or we can “go on complaining (and suffering) without changing anything” for the better.

Ending a long relationship causes extreme pain and heart-wrenching disappointment. But if the relationship has become abusive and harmful to who God wants you to be, what is the alternative? You can stay in a miserable, demeaning life or make the hard choice to move on to the new life God has planned. Ask for God’s wisdom. Get help. Try with all your heart. But do not be afraid to make the hard choice.

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust from your feet as you leave that home or town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”   Matthew 10:14;16