Six Months of Sharp Pain are Better Than Years of a Dull Ache

The other day I answered a question from a woman who was struggling with a decision: listen to her gut or continue to live with a man whom she loves but has serious flaws. Forgiving a loved one’s flaws is one thing, forgetting your happiness is another.  This 40-something woman added to this conversation with her story on taking the difficult step of  listening to your own heart.

Dear 20-something:

Listen to your heart and head – if every fiber in your body is telling you to get out, you have probably reached the point where this is necessary. I went through a similar situation  – a wonderful man in so many ways but when it came time to address the big picture items — and health and vices certainly qualify as big ticket items – we had no communication.

Because he’s such a lovely guy it was really hard for me to accept that I was unhappy. Like you, our friends loved us and loved us together. As it turns out, open communication, acknowledgment of one’s need for self-betterment (which is a lifelong process) and sex ARE crucial elements in a relationship; without them neither of you can be completely fulfilled.

It sounds as though this relationship isn’t allowing you to fully be YOU – and that’s important. Leases can be altered – yes, perhaps he will be blindsided, but this probably means he is being voluntarily blind to some of your needs — such as addressing his health and sexuality issues. Staying in a situation that is not the right one is a disservice to both of you.

Believe me, I do know how hard it is to move forward at the expense of someone else’s happiness. But self-preservation is so important, and you have a whole life ahead of you – as does he – to find a partner who better suits your needs and desires and with whom you don’t feel stifled. As a friend advised me, “Six months of sharp pain are better than forty years of a dull ache”. It may take longer than that to move forward. It may take less time. You will be okay, as will he. You owe it to yourself to make this brave decision and to become the best you that you can be.

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