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Walking away isn't running away

Jefferson Galt

A close friend is in trouble. She won't answer the phone and Starfish and I are worried about her. We wrote this letter to her and have decided that we will publish it in case it helps others in a similar situation.

There's a big difference between walking away from an intractable situation and running away from problems.

Running away means not facing up to the difficulty, not considering the options.

But walking away means looking at the whole issue in the round, deciding that there are options: do I stay or do I go.

If you think about it carefully and decide that leaving is the right course of action, that is facing up to your problems, not running away.

If you run away, there will always be, in the back of your mind, a "what if" question. But if you have made up your mind because you know that to continue is the wrong thing, then you will be able to draw a line under it, to leave and not have regrets.

It's difficult to know when you've thought enough, when you are making a rational decision instead of a knee-jerk reaction to the latest of a series of adverse events.

But that, of itself, is a guide: if you are repeatedly questioning whether you should still be in a relationship, and always on the verge of leaving, then almost by definition it's not a good relationship.

It's a balancing act, to know that you are leaving because you know the relationship will never work as against a short-term unhappiness.

But where the short term unhappinesses just keep on coming, then it becomes long term unhappiness.

And leaving that is not running away. It's walking, head held high, into a better future.

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