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Why Do Women Delay Quitting Relationships That Don’t Work Anymore?

It doesn't have to be abuse. Two completely happy and compatible individuals can over time become incompatible and total strangers. It's common. It's natural. And it happens. But we hesitate to take that step.

It doesn’t have to be abuse. Two completely happy and compatible individuals can over time become incompatible and total strangers. It’s common. It’s natural. And it happens. But we hesitate to take that step.

A match is made in heaven.

This could be true for a lot of matches. And I am sure people who experience a life with a partner who balances you, and your life in all aspects, brings to you joy, and completes you, must feel like heaven.

But you know what else feels like heaven?

Peace of mind. A life full of dignity. Independence and self dependence. A sense of fulfilment. Discovering yourself. Having boundaries. Evolving and respecting how you’re changing with time and experience.

Not all those who post happy selfies and honeymoon photos have it all easy on their platter.

What if something is just wrong?

It takes a lot to make relationships work. And it also takes a lot to leave relationships that do not work.

We talk about what works. We also need to talk more and more about what doesn’t work and when is the right time to quit.

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I am sure we all know that abuse has to be the boundaries, and that once these get crossed, it becomes imperative to cut ties.

What about when nothing went wrong? What about times when all was okay, personally and professionally? But something deep down felt wrong?

I know it would be wise if I talk about it from an unbiased lens, because it can happen to any human being, but I want to talk keeping women in my perspective, because we expect a lot from our women.

Us women, we grow up with a lot of pressure, burdens.

Do this, not that, behave this way, sit and talk this way. Be graceful, poised, look elegant. Be smart, read books, learn to cook, smile and spread positivity, participate in activities, learn to sing or dance. Be all embracing and warm.

It all comes at a human cost

Even if you have had supportive parents and families and friends, any bit of disappointment, any bit of loss on the ‘performance’ front can dim your inner light, no matter how bright is the smile you plaster on your face.

But hey, you can not crack under that pressure!

The worst part is, before we women are pushed to compete with men, we women compete with each other. And for most of us, like most prizes and achievements, relationships are also milestones.

Which is why so many of us wait, and don’t act soon enough

There are tests and trials, and then we choose the best of the lot. Love doesn’t come naturally to most of us, unlike for the Bollywood movie characters.

Imagine a very successful woman. And then imagine her finally find an equally successful, humble, amazing man. Someone who matches her energy, is liked by all her friends, balances her in likes and dislikes. A rare combination, no?

Truly a power couple. And what a lucky couple?! How many of us get into such relationships easily?

Which is one of the prominent reasons why leaving such relationships is even more tough. When you have common friends, share common life experiences and hobbies and even a common life goal.

Realising the change. And the differences

But what if gradually you change, and you notice these changes? The same parties and the same talks don’t interest you anymore. Now you like to be quiet, and find solace in books and houseplants, and not Netflix and chill with your partner?

A lot of couples realized they had these differences, especially during the lockdown.

This pandemic gave a lot of people a chance to truly explore their relationship, and and their own place in that relationship. Some stood strong and tall, some held hands even when they knew they were growing apart, others found themselves drowning.

Yet, we find it difficult to take the step. Why?

But why is it that every time a woman tries to leave a relationship, people around her do not understand her? Why can a woman not take her decision as an individual, if she thinks she is not the one who can make it work and make herself or her partner happy?

Do abuse (physical, emotional, mental) or career goals alone make good enough reasons to quit a relationship?

The answer is actually psychological.

Most of us do not see ourselves as complete entities. We are not taught that as we grow up. We are taught to depend on our parents, siblings, extended family, friends and society. And their opinions shape and matter to us.

For us relationships is an essential part of life. We know of stories where we force fix to complete our puzzle. But why force fix this puzzle piece after you know he doesn’t complete it, and it’s not even his place to complete it? You’re not beautifully incomplete, but beautifully complete.

Women suffer this burden more

Why does it raise eyebrows when a woman wants to just leave everything, explore, and alone? Is it because we associate sanctity to relationships? While that is not wrong if that definition works for some, defining relationships as sacred or sacrosanct for everyone could have harrowing effects on them and their mental health.

Two completely happy and compatible individuals can over time become incompatible and total strangers. It’s common. It’s natural. And it happens. Because we are a sum of our experiences and we all experience things differently.

Again, the misplaced burden of this imbalance is put on the womenfolk.

Just because things have been working a certain way, they don’t have to anymore. Women should not be answerable to anyone just because they are women. But yes, they are answerable to everyone whose life depends on them. And they need to talk and work things out. Which is why, relationships have to be flexible.

Sometimes you love the person. All the more if you’re great friends and have made plans together. But life changes us all, each day, every day.

The more we see relationships as part of life, and not the ultimate goal of life, we’d understand how it’s not that hard to build a fort, and quit it when the time calls for it. And that will only come with transparency and mutual trust.

Nothing in life that you do to maintain your sanity should be associated with guilt and shame.

Image source: shutterstock

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About the Author

Chaitanya Srishti

A Feminist interested in Politics, Economy, Law, National Security, International Relations, Environment, Films, Nutrition. Sometimes, Literature. read more...

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