The Friendly Divorce: Don't Hang On:
(Provided by: How to Divorce As Friends, by Bill Ferguson)
Relationships don't always work out the way we want. Sometimes relationships become so painful that somebody wants to leave. If this happens to you, and if you want the other person to stay, how you handle yourself now becomes very important. Usually we push the person further away. If you want someone to stay, you need to create an environment where the person will want to be with you. So far you haven't done this. If you had, the person wouldn't want to leave. Now maybe you can turn your relationship around and get back together. It's been done before. Maybe your time together is over and nothing can be done. Maybe it's just too late. One thing is for sure, you can't force someone to want you. All you can do is treat the person in a way that will have him or her enjoy being with you.

The key to having someone enjoy being with you is to make sure the person feels special. You do this in two ways:
  • Make sure the person feels loved, accepted and appreciated just the way he or she is.
  • Give the person his or her freedom. Be willing for the person to be gone tomorrow.
The more you are willing for someone to go, the more you create an environment where he or she can enjoy being with you. This in turn increases the chances of the person wanting to stay. When you hang on to someone, you do the opposite. You create an environment where the person feels controlled and suffocated. You force the person to fight for breathing room. You push the person away. Just look at how you feel when someone tries to control you. Hanging on doesn't make someone want to stay. Hanging on makes the person want to leave. Hanging on also destroys your aliveness and mental well-being. You become consumed by fear and upset. You get tunnel vision and you interact in a way that makes your situation worse. So, for the sake of your relationship and your sanity, let the person go. Stop hanging on.

To do this, you need to be willing for the person to leave. You don't have to like it or want it to happen. Just be willing. To the extent you become willing, you release the resistance that creates the fear and the upset. You set yourself free inside and you become far more effective in handling your situation. By letting go of your demands for how life should be, you can flow with the way life is. You can then see what needs to be done. Letting someone go is a state of mind and has nothing to do with your actions. It certainly doesn't mean kick the person out. Letting go is what releases the fear and upset so that you can see what action you need to take. In your heart, be willing for the person to go, but in your actions, do everything you can to create an environment where the other person feels so loved and appreciated that he or she would never want to leave.

To let go, give the person full permission to leave. You can practice this by saying the following words:
    "I give you permission to leave, to be gone from my life forever. I don't want you to go, but I want you to be happy. If you have to leave, I understand. You have my love and my blessings whatever you do. I let you go."
If you can say this and mean it, you have set yourself free. If you have any hesitation, keep saying this over and over. Say it aloud. imagine the person being in front of you, and give him or her permission to go. Allow yourself to feel the hurt. Cry if you can. Keep saying these words until you can do so without the hurt. Then get with the other person and say the words directly. This is especially important if you've been hanging on to someone. By giving the person freedom to leave, he or she will feel free of your grasp and will have less reason to avoid you. This makes it easier for the person to stay.

If letting someone go is difficult, look for what you are really avoiding. People don't leave wonderful, loving relationships. They leave lousy relationships. So why would you hang on to a lousy relationship, especially when hanging on produces so much suffering and is so counter-productive? We hang on to avoid something inside of ourselves. We don't want to feel the hurt, the loss, or the feelings of being alone or of being abandoned. We don't want to look at our having failed or of being not good enough. We don't want to be embarrassed or look bad. We don't want to confront our fears of not being able to make it on our own. We hang on to avoid all the feelings and emotion that would be present if the person were to leave.

What emotions do you get to avoid by hanging on? What feelings and emotion would you have to experience or confront if the person left you? Find what you are really avoiding and see if you are willing to face it. Notice that you are already feeling this hurt whether you are willing or not. You don't have a choice whether you are going to feel this hurt. You will. The only choice you have is this: Are you going to allow your hurt like a child and let it go, or are you going to fight the hurt and keep it inside? As you allow yourself to feel the hurt of losing someone, the hurt loses power, and so does the need to hang on. To the extent you let go, you become free inside. You restore your aliveness and your peace of mind. You see your situation clearly and you can see what needs to be done.
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