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Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
Speaking Information at (727) 467-0202 or e-mail info@fawngermer.com

Love hurts.

One of the most vibrant women I know is sitting in a remote airport on the other side of the country, waiting for her flight back to sanity. This is a turning point in a two-year relationship with a great guy who has a very, very dark side.

Her boyrfriend can be entertaining and warm and all good things a handsome boyfriend can be. I’ve had so much fun with him.

But there is that dark side. He wasn’t physically violent with her — but the violence was emotional. His need for control mandated he isolate her from others and extinguish her free spirit. It required that she be at his side every day, all day — even if he would not speak a single word to her for weeks at a time. He resented her desire to have time with her friends. He resented her going anywhere without him — even if it was only for a few minutes or hours.

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I have to be careful writing this because they may work things out. I just want her to be happy — and whole. Many of us have stayed in relationships for too long, clinging to what’s good instead of opening our eyes to the reality that what is bad is really bad, and it won’t change.

I want to write about this because I am constantly running across people who linger in destructive relationships because they don’t have the courage to do what my friend is doing. But, what could be worse than sacrificing your “self”?

I am so proud of her for having the courage to leave today, because he started showing remorse and today was supposed to be the day they left on a fabulous, expense-paid trip to Hawaii. She’s been on the road with him for several weeks, and much of that time has been lost to his silent-treatment. Even if Hawaii were honeymoon perfect, she would know what always simmers deep inside of him. Despite his urging to give it another shot, she still had a faint flicker of “self” burning within her and she knew that she had to come home now, before he extinguished everything inside of her.

I know her pain. So do her friends. She is so beloved that her “pod” includes six of the most incredible women I know –some of the best friends I have. The minute she put out the call that she was in pain, they rallied like I have never seen friends rally. Two will make the long drive to pick her up at the airport tonight — at 1 a.m. All of us will converge at her home this weekend for a party and bonfire where we will celebrate her spirit and fuly bring her back into the light of who she is. I am quite certain that the support and love she will get from her friends will outshine any trip to Hawaii.

We only want what is best for her. If that relationship is what will make her happy, so be it. But no one should be forced to sacrifice one bit of soul for another. If you relate to this at all, remember the lesson. If someone expects you to sacrifice your “self” for love, it ain’t love.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of five books and one of the nation’s most sought-after leadership speakers.

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