Stop Fighting for this Love

cheryl-m-bisonAnything that’s worth having
Is sure enough, worth fighting for
Quitting’s out of the question
When it gets tough
Gotta fight some more
We’ve gotta fight, fight, fight, fight
Fight for this love
We’ve gotta fight, fight, fight, fight
Fight for this love
We’ve gotta fight, fight, fight, fight
Fight for this love
If it’s worth having
It’s worth fighting for

When I first heard this song, I, like Cheryl Cole, the song’s singer, was in a relationship that wasn’t working. All I could think of was how true these lyrics were and how much you need to fight for your love. But really, when it comes down to it, it’s all too easy to keep fighting for a love that is simply too broken to fix.

At the time this song was released, Cheryl was married to Ashley Cole, a footballer that had admitted to cheating on her a few years before. Cheryl stayed with him, believing that he deserved another chance. But before her second album was released, Ashley was caught cheating again, this time with multiple women. They divorced and Cheryl has only recently remarried. As Cheryl outlined in her autobiography, she was the only one fighting for their love. Ashley wouldn’t even talk about their relationship problems or his cheating.

As much as I believe that you shouldn’t give up as soon as the road gets rough or you run into the first sign of trouble, it seems that these lyrics could be so easily turned into a mantra for a woman in a bad relationship that is still determined to fight for something that’s only going to completely drain her energy and leave her worse off than if she had just walked away once the red flags were waving proudly.

Society loves to talk about how divorce should never happen and everyone should stay together forever and just work things out. But the truth is that not everyone who thought that they were a good couple always stay that way and no one should be forced to remain in an unhappy relationship just because they don’t want to deal with the stigma of a breakup. Everyone deserves to be happy and when your relationship is making you miserable, despite all of your best efforts, it’s time to leave.

There are two people in relationships. So its success can’t rest on one person. Both need to work towards meeting each others needs and fulfilling their partner. No matter how hard one person tries, they can’t do the work of two and they’re just going to wear themselves out with all of the wasted effort. Lots of people find themselves in relationships that aren’t going anywhere, that’s perfectly normal.

What isn’t normal is staying in said relationship and trying to make it work once it’s become clear that it’s never going to. There are differences that people can live with. But when everything is just differences and everything causes tension and the only way to avoid fights is to go along with whatever the other person wants, these differences are no longer manageable.

Sometimes you do have to fight for love. Sometimes you have to go through tough times and come out stronger on the other side. But times when you’re the only one fighting to keep things together, you’re never going to win. Relationships take two people, both equally committed to each other, in order to work. Don’t try to be strong enough for two. Because no one can make up for a lack of investment in a relationship.