Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When to give up

When, if ever, should you give up on a relationship?

I asked that question after recently finding this Modern Love essay. It's from 2009, but the writer is releasing a book on the same topic next month.

The essay tells what happened when a woman's husband said he didn't love her anymore.

Did she scream at him, start crying or vandalize his property? No. Here's how she describes her reaction:

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

The rest of the essay tells how the woman refused to let her husband's personal crisis ruin their relationship. And, long story short, it didn't.

The thought commonly enters your mind after a breakup: "Maybe I should have tried harder."

But there's a fine line between trying harder and holding on to a relationship that's reached its expiration date.

In relationships, how do you know when to give up?