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I recently had a conversation with someone close to me about cutting the ties that bind us. It can be very hard to cut ties with someone that we have become involved with, someone we have grown to love. The more connections we have to a person (ie. time invested, relationship status or marriage, finances, housing, and/or children, etc..) equate to the more strings we have attached to that person. The more strings we have interwoven into the fabric of our relationships, the harder it is to let go. Some relationships are worth saving, but some relationships are toxic. It is hard to recognize trauma bonding, mirroring relationships, co/counter-dependency, or other unhealthy behaviors when it is personal.

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Don’t get me wrong, all people are worth forgiving and second chances, but when you find yourself in a toxic relationship and they are not willing to change, get help, or try to change negative behaviors that are becoming harmful to your sense of self worth and peace, it may be best to cut ties for your own personal health and survival.

I was in a relationship where I made so many excuses for my partner’s behaviors that I started believing my own excuses. I had been lied to, cheated on, dismissed, called several derogatory names, and emotionally cut off. As long as I lived within his level of comfort things were great. Well, for him at least. For me, I suffered dearly. I lost my sense of self, my self-worth, my dignity, my pride, my happiness and joy, and my sense of reality. My reality was jaded and clouded. It merged into the reality that he wanted me to have.

I am naturally an introvert, but I became incredibly reclusive. I tried my hardest to figure out what it was that I was doing wrong. What could I change about myself to make him more happy. How could I get this man to love me the way I felt I deserved. That turned into becoming Mrs. Fix it. The problem may not be me, maybe it’s him. So, I would probe him and try to get him to talk. I would try to get him to open up and spill the beans on what the real issue was. I found out quickly that was a lost cause. I realized we had no communication when it came to real issues, especially if it had anything to do with our relationship.

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That was when I realized that if we couldn’t communicate, we could not have a viable relationship. You would think that would be enough for me to end things. Nope! It wasn’t until I had someone very close to me die that I realized that, not only did we not have communication, we only had a one-sided emotional relationship. My partner was not there for me emotionally during the time I needed support the most. That was when I realized that I loved someone that wasn’t capable of intimately loving me back.

Strings... I loved him. I was attached to having his presence. I was familiar and use to his coldness, but niceness. We lived together. I was financially dependent on him. He helped raise my kids. My daughter considers him her father. I was an aunt to his nieces and nephews. We adopted a dog together. We had so many strings and ties to one another, yet they were just constricting our lives and not enhancing the lives of each other.

We built a life, but we built it on sand. We bonding out of opposing insecurities and physical attractions. I was able to cut the string of living together, but all of the other strings have not been as easy to cut. Each day, I try my best to cut another string and attachment. Somedays, I seem to detach easier than others. I back slide and get pulled back in. Sometimes, it is because I need help with our dog, or my daughter, or I am feeling sad and need someone to talk to. This is when I miss him the most. At one point in our lives, we were best friends.

Some people have to be in your life even after you move past the intimacy of the relationship. This can make it hard to let go of that last string. I cannot say that as of today all of my strings have been severed, but what I can say is that each day that I become more aware of my feelings and emotions, I try to heal the inner wounds I have. The more I heal each inner wound, the easier it is for me to set boundaries and move on.

I want to end this journal by saying that in no way am I perfect. I created a lot of drama and contributed to the building and destruction of this relationship. This is just as much my fault. Neither of us were aware of our inner-selves or our inner wounds. We used one another for comfort, to fill voids, and mask pains. It just so happened that I was the one to become self-aware of my behaviors and all of my unattended wounds first. I was in no way a victim in this relationship. I will always love and care for this person and I will accept him for who he is, but I will keep healthy boundaries and who knows, maybe, one day, he will start his own path to self discovery and self awareness. He may already have…

~Kathleen Marie

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2 thoughts on “Cutting the Strings

  1. Bravo…
    It is often times that the true Self, can only be found amongst the wreckage, but too like the Phoenix, One rises as a wiser and more Self-informed Being…
    One’s Absolute Value can only be recognized through Knowing Thy Self…if I may offer without offense


    1. No offense taken. We are always growing and usually it is from our mistakes or failures that teach us how to do things differently and how to reflect. I am still learning on how to reflect while it is happening. I believe that is mastery.


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