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How Do You Know When Itís Time To Leave The One You Love?

When Is It Time To Cut Your Losses?

Iím certainly guilty of attaching to relationships because of the history we share, the memories of better times, or the certainty that the relationship is right on the verge of getting†way better.

But what if your relationship will never be what it once was or what you imagine it could be? What if your dream of a†perfect relationship is just that – a dream?

Surely, forgiveness is always a good thing.†We all make mistakes and those we love deserve second, third, even fifteenth chance.

But at what point do you cut your losses and accept that the relationship brings you more pain than joy? When do you draw the line in the sand, even if youíre still in love, because youíre worth being treated better? When do you release someone you donít love anymore, because to cling to a loveless relationship isnít fair to either of you? When do you decide to cut your loved one loose? And how do you keep your heart open in the process?

Oh to know the answers to these questionsÖ

How Do You FEEL?

As someone with two divorces under my belt, take what I say with a grain of salt. Although Iíve now been with my current husband for almost 10 years, Iím certainly no relationship expert. All I know is that knowing what to do begins with being honest with yourself about how you really feel. Loving someone and having that love reciprocated is supposed to feel good – at least more often than it feels icky. How do you feel when youíre with the person in question, and what percentage of the time are those feelings joyful?

Your Inner Pilot Light

Once youíre honest with yourself about how you feel, check in with your†Inner Pilot Light. Tap into why youíre still in the relationship. Is it guilt? Pressure from other people? Fear of failure? Financial concerns? Hope that things will change for the better someday soon? Religious beliefs? Worry about what will become of the person if you leave? Unwillingness to endure the pain of a break up? Lack of courage to initiate what you know you must?† Dread of the aftermath?

Been there. Done that. I feel you, my love.

Iím not endorsing breakups. I can certainly tell you divorce sucks and I hope I never have to experience it again. Breaking up with family members or friends is no easier.† But Iím also not a fan of staying put when itís time to cut your losses. Itís not worth staying in relationships that suck the life force out of you, take advantage of you, injure you, keep you from thriving, drain you of your joie de vivre, leave you feeling disempowered or disrespected, or keep you from being who you really are. Lifeís too short to stay in a relationship just because some people might think you ďshould.Ē

The Day I Left

The day I left my husband, he threw himself at my feet and grabbed my ankles. I remember walking down the hallway with my luggage in one hand, trying to shake him loose. It was our anniversary. He begged me to stay just one more day.

But the day before, something had happened that was the last straw. I couldnít stay one more day.

How do you know when itís time to cut your losses? When the pain of staying put exceeds the fear of the unknown.

I walked out that door, into an uncertain future.

If your Inner Pilot Light knows what you must do, you can do the same. I wonít lie to you. It ainít gonna be pretty. Itíll get darker before you see the light. But itís not worth trading in happiness and freedom for security and pain avoidance. When you fail to make a choice, youíre still making a choice.

Choose to get the most out of this one wild and precious life. Itís yours. Grab it. And donít forget to dance while your heart heals.

Holding your hand,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013),†TEDx speaker, and health care revolutionary.†Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on†Twitter and†Facebook.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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1:47AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Quote from article: "He wrote that I interrupt people too much. I judge them and impose my rules on everyone else.... I started sobbing and interrupted him. I got defensive, and he cut me off, reminding me I had promised to let him read the whole letter."

Seems like the husband was right on that point (of her liking to interrupt people)! And despite making a PROMISE not to interrupt, she broke it. The wife clearly can't see herself, can she?

12:02AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

You know, I've been in those shoes, sort of... My ex was a needy person, and used that to take control. If anything went wrong, he appealed to the compassion, and always got people to feel sorry for him, yet afterwards, would get mad that people gave him charity...

After years of him guilting me into helping him do his job, while pregnant and also caring for a young child, plus working my own job, and eventually home schooling our son, I'd had enough of his yelling and trying to put a tight fist on the house. I started yelling back, because intimacy had left years ago. After chasing him around the house while he was bullying our son, he threw a hot cup of coffee at me.

That was my wake up call, and knew I HAD to file for divorce. He was mad and angry, but promised to give me the "d@^^%ed divorce". The day after it was finalized, he put up some sappy status message, even though he'd been telling my family for years that he's going to leave me and take my son with because I'm so that terrible to be with. Go figure.

11:55PM PDT on May 27, 2012


9:48PM PDT on May 27, 2012

“Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry" Gabriel Garcia Marquez

11:00AM PDT on May 26, 2012

Interesting post indeed!!

7:49AM PDT on May 25, 2012

I completely agree Suzanne L. I think sometimes the problem can be people do not really know what love is.

10:36PM PDT on May 24, 2012


8:38PM PDT on May 24, 2012

You ordered a $25.00 hamburger??!

2:20PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Thanks. This is a really wonderful, painful article.

1:24PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Only love will break your heart-What if your world should fall apart?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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