Unhealthy Relationships: What I Learned from Divorcing My Parents

Healthy relationships are hard enough to keep, unhealthy ones are impossible. I learned this valuable lesson when I took my love away from my parents.

We all have them in our lives: people who seemingly live to destroy us.

If someone is not building you up, then they are tearing you down and using your strength to protect their weakness. That someone may not even be aware that they are tearing you down and you may not be aware that you have been destroyed.

Who is destroying you?

Right now, go through the Rolodex of people in your life. Think of them, put their face in your mental image, think of spending time with them, think about speaking to them, do you get excited -even a little?


This person is building you up.


This person is tearing you down.


If you are not excited to be around certain people in your life, they should not be in it. We are only given so much life to live, so when we keep people in our lives that do not make us feel alive when we are around them, we are wasting the precious time we have. Most often we lose even more time when we are apart from them, worrying, angry or guilty of what just happened when we were with them or what will happen the next time we meet them.

Emotionally draining people do so much damage to our health, not only mentally but physically. The stress of keeping them around eats away at us and in some of us, kills us.

You always have the choice of who is in your life

I understand it is not easy to just get rid of some key people in our lives. We are sometimes bound by other relationships, other lives may hang in the balance of our unhealthy relationship. Maybe the thought of getting away from that relationship seems impossible or morally wrong.

I know what that feels like, I have been there. In my life, I’ve had to completely separate my life from my parents. With their refusal of allowing me space to heal from sexual abuse at the hands of my father, I had to make a choice to protect my son and my sanity. It took many years to come to grips that I had removed my love from the people that gave me life. I had to deal with the guilt of people criticizing me for my decision (including shameful words from my parents.) It’s not normal to “divorce” your parents, but it’s not acceptable for me to live life emotionally dead by keeping them in it.

It came down to a choice: Do I continue to live comfortably unhappy with my unhealthy relationship? or do I take the uncomfortable chance at having a shot at happiness without it?

I chose the latter.

Being happy requires you to be healthy

Take back your happiness. Your superpower is that you always have the choice of who you love. You always have the right to remove anyone from your life that is not lifting you up. While you may not be able to physically remove them from your life, you have every bit of power to emotionally remove them. Only you hold the key to what emotions play themselves out in your head and only healthy relationships with healthy people support that.

True freedom comes from living a life surrounded by those who unconditionally support you and you them. Life is a constant struggle of maintaining relationships, it is the sole purpose of why we were put here. We are here to make others better. So why struggle to help those who are unwilling to struggle to help you?

When we are better people, we are happy people, and when we are happy people, we want others to be happy and better. We get excited about that it.

Who excites you to be around? Who gets excited to be around you?

Go be with them.

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