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Dear Shan Tell’em,

I’ve been in a relationship on and off with this guy for about three years now. We have our share of issues, but the love is there. He’s cheated on me twice, and I did a revenge f*** to get back at him that he knows about. We do not have any children, but I did become pregnant about a year into our relationship. Lately we’ve been fussing and fighting about little things that really do not matter. We break up and get back together and see other people in between. My friends tell me to let him go but we’ve been together for so long.  But we always come back together. I don’t know what to do. 


Drunk in love

Dear Drunk in Love,

Sounds like you are in an unhealthy “love” cycle. I place love in quotations because often it is the main reason why many of us stay in damaged relationships, but true love isn’t what is represented. Answering the question of when to leave is tough because we are told to stick it out. But history cannot and should never be the main reason why you stick with someone.  We see couples who have been together for 50 plus years, and we know that they’ve been through some serious ish. But what is also present in happy couples who have been together for long periods of time is mutual respect and admiration for those who they choose to be with. In your instance, especially with the “revenge f***,” it seems like there are instances where you both have deliberately attempted to hurt each other. That is not love. In fact it creates an enemy-like dynamic that drives you further away from each other.

Whenever you purposely hurt your mate, the relationship should seriously be evaluated. You cannot love someone without hurting them as we are all flawed human beings. But the hurt caused by someone who truly loves you never comes from a malicious place. The one who has committed the offense is genuinely sorry and doesn’t apologize just to get things “back to normal.” As for knowing when to leave, if you truly feel that you’ve given everything that you got to make the relationship work, leave. If you feel like and have several examples of being the only person committed to the relationship with no signs of change, leave. When you feel that apologies are nothing more than part of the routine, leave. Most importantly, when your intuition tells you that it’s over, leave.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

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