Knowing when to Disengage from a Dying Relationship


Heartbroken2Being in a relationship has been compared to being on drugs, the highs being really high and the lows being the pits, both end with withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately when the relationship begins to go sour we tend to do what drug users do, we chase the Dragon.

We do any and everything in our powers to get our relationship back to the way it was when we first started it. We try so hard to reclaim those feelings and the excitement that went along with it that it makes it nearly impossible to let go of a relationship that in our hearts we know is not only dying but on life support. The only thing left to do and the most humane thing really, is to pull the plug.

We’ve all been here haven’t we? At one time or another in our lives. It’s a hard decision to make, sorta like, should I stay or should I go? You run all these scenarios through your mind and you convince yourself that with enough prayer, hope and wishes your relationship can survive. You feel as though if you pull the plug on it the guilt of giving up will eat you alive. Couple that with the feeling that you really believe in your heart that your partner will change back to his former self and you’ll wake up and discover it was all a very bad dream.

We all go through these feelings, both men and women. However, one noticeable difference is that women seem to hold on so much longer. They believe that the men they love will revert back to the person they fell in love with. They believe with all their hearts that somewhere within the man that they are clinging to is the guy who used to make them laugh, make them feel safe, make them feel cared for. They feel and hope that he’ll snap out of it before long and things will be the way they were.

I am sorry to tell you this ladies, but it rarely ever happens this way. When your partner changes in a relationship in a negative way towards you and the way he once treated you he’s gone he just hasn’t bothered to tell you yet.

Women have this way of glossing over the faults of the men they love. You tend to make excuses for his actions to your friends and loved ones. How many of you have told people close to you that his change is because he’s under stress at work or for some other reason? When secretly you feel helpless because you really know that stress has nothing to do with it, he simply changed.

Your only question should be, is the changed version the real him and he fooled you into thinking he was someone else? Or is the change because of someone else? Tough question to have to ask yourself, huh? Only he knows and I am sure he’s not about to tell you, yet!

So when things change to a point where you are not sure who he is, how long should you wait to see if he will change back to who he was? Until your relationship is dying and you don’t know what if anything you can do to repair it?

How many promises to change should you allow him to break before you pull the plug? One? Two? Three or more? Is there any acceptable amount for you?

Here’s something I did when I had girlfriends in the past and the relationship began to go south. We all have to admit that changes in the way someone feels about you are subtle at first, but if you pay attention after several changes you see that they become magnified.

When things that were important in your relationship are no longer important to him, that’s a change you’d better not ignore. Things such as talking to you daily on the phone, or seeing you at least twice or more a week. Think back to the beginning, he was adamant about these things, now they’re not as important, why not? What the hell changed?

When it’s not important for him to make sure you’re safely home from work, or he begins to arrive later and later to pick you up from work. That’s a change and you need to recognize it for what it is.

When he fails to show up without calling you, or begins to consistently break preplanned opportunities to spend time with you. That’s a change, especially when this was important to him in the beginning.

When he starts to give you a multitude of excuses for his absence or tardiness, that’s a change! Especially if this wasn’t happening when you first began the relationship.

Every girlfriend I ever had before I got married, I can tell you the exact moment I knew the relationship was going to end. Honestly! Why? Because I watched the changes begin and I addressed them with the person and after accepting the apologies and hearing the stories I allowed them three and only three more opportunities to make a mistake that I felt affected our relationship in a negative manner.

I always stuck to this formula because although I may have been in love with them, I loved me more. You have to love yourself more because if you don’t neither will
he or anyone else. By loving yourself more it makes it easier to disengage from the relationship therefore saving you the heartbreak that will surely come.

When I say disengage from the relationship I am saying it meaning that you should slowly begin to let go. Mentally and emotionally you should be preparing yourself to be without him. You should begin sooner than later and by the time you pull the plug it will be because you’ve come to the realisation that you can actually live without him. Why? Because you began preparing yourself when the cracks first began to form. By the time he has made and broke his 3rd promise to change you’re ready to move on.

The only alternative to this is to attempt to force him to change back and as I said before, in relationships this very seldom happens. When men change drastically in a relationship, generally it’s because they are ready to move on. Sorry. Holding on simply makes the pain that much greater. Preparing yourself is the best way to survive without suffering too much heartache, and if you disengage at the right time you’ll suffer little effects if any.

The good side of this method if you haven’t figured it out yet, is that it leaves him wondering if you ever loved him to begin with. Who has the broken heart now?

So if you’re in a relationship right now that has started going south, start disengaging from it now. Address the issues with him in a calm fashion, listen to his promises to change or any other stories he cares to tell you and remind yourself that you need to protect your own heart, no one else will! Show how much you love and respect yourself by simply letting go slowly. Don’t give him any more tears, he doesn’t deserve them and you deserve better anyway. After the initial conversations about the issues if there is no change it doesn’t matter because you already know what the end game is going to be anyway.

Nothing in this world is permanent, it’s all temporary. Life on this planet is temporary and so is some of the love that men will profess for you in the beginning of relationships. If he cannot hold up his end of the deal and love you forever, you really don’t need him. Especially when somewhere there is a man looking to do exactly that, Love you forever!

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9 comments on “Knowing when to Disengage from a Dying Relationship

  1. “When I say disengage from the relationship I am saying it meaning that you should slowly begin to let go. Mentally and emotionally you should be preparing yourself to be without him. You should begin sooner than later and by the time you pull the plug it will be because you’ve come to the realisation that you can actually live without him.”
    This is atrocious. I am woman (30) and someone did this to me.. we were simply not on a same page about it, and I did not realise that it is going to happen until I found him gone. Every relationship has a good period and a bad period (when one or both partners are busy, or not in the same city). For someone to “Disengage” themselves and “prepare themselves” quietly for a sudden break up .. IS SIMPLY CRUEL. Why are you advising such thingS!!

  2. Honestly I appreciate the post. I myself am a 33 year old woman who is trapped in a 7 year marriage that now seems like a chore. I think that it makes perfect sense. If I disengage myself now and become more independant then when this train wreck finnally happens then I will be left scarless. Self preservation is a big symptom of the human condition. Besides…if he was really trying then I wouldn’t have to do this crap anyways.

  3. The author of this article is pretty perceptive about relationships and how they work..

    As someone who’s been on both the receiving and giving end of such a strategy, I can only say that it works to protect yourself, but it is incredibly selfish. It means that you’ve sneakily closed off any opportunities to work on issues; and in the meantime, your partner may be scrambling to make a final sprint effort, putting in his/her best shot.
    Is that how we want to be remembered by our past loves? As the one who was a coward? Who couldn’t face the harshness of reality, and only wanted the magical high of the good times? At the end of our lives, do we want to see ourselves as people who put self-preservation before integrity?

    I hope I will never do this to anyone again.

  4. Excellent article. Very insightful. Exactly what I needed to read, exactly when I needed to read it. I have been slowly disengaging from my current 2.5-year relationship for the past couple of weeks and feeling guilty and somewhat of a failure about it, but I see now that these feelings are normal and NOT any reason to remain in a relationship with a man who will not love me like I do him. I have not been loving MYSELF enough in all of this and that is going to change now. Thank you for the moral support.

  5. You are so right. About guys who change how they treat you. I have experienced this with
    an ex-boyfriend, but usually when guys change like this they have found someone else.
    That was what my gut instinct was telling me. I was able take a step back and look at the situation, and I could tell. I broke it off and yet he came running back to me, calling like I was his pathetic cozy house slippers or something. People can really suck. Make your life your priority and men a hobby. Now I am off to practice what I preach 😀

  6. mine is not about my guy changing its me. i no longer have those nice/sweet feelings that comes with being in love. how can i let my guy see this and thus disengaging himself?

    • Hi Daisy,

      I think the best way would be to talk to him about how you’re feeling. If you simply want out of the relationship, then be honest and let him know. You never know, he may be thinking the exact same thing. Stranger things have happened, right? Seriously though, if you’re trying to get him to disengage from the relationship it may take a long time depending on how he feels about you. In the mean time it could become frustrating for you both. The honest approach is always the best approach. In the end he’ll respect you more for at least showing him that you cared enough to tell him the truth about how you feel.

  7. Thanks for the article. I am going thru the same phase. First, the excitement during courting. Now whatever that he did last time are no more there. no more endless chats, or those “miss u” and “love u”. Unless if i said first. He said that, if i dont say it that doesnt mean i dont feel it. Really? can any man tell me whether this is true.

    I have started having doubts abt my relationship. And yes at times i feel like disengaging myself fm it. But i am so in love with him. Dont know whether i can do it

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