Leave him if you find yourself in tears making cities out of the bathroom floor more often than you catch yourself smiling because of something he did or said. If you live more in disillusionment than you do in disbelief that a love so beautiful could exist, leave him.
Darling, the fact that all your broken pieces can love him more than your heart could as a whole isn’t poetic, it’s just tragic. He may provide excellent inspiration for your art, but there’s someone out there that will reteach you how to write about softer things, warmer things, someone who will inspire words that don’t make you ache.
Love isn’t supposed to make you feel like a disaster, like crashing, like choking, like drowning. Love shouldn’t tell you all you are without it’s car crash as it pushes you off a highway overpass. Love isn’t a house you can burn and rebuild only to reburn and rebuild again.
Love isn’t a place that hurts. Love is supposed to be a home.
Leave him if he makes you feel small by raising his voice at you, by calling you a bitch, by telling you to be quiet when you try to tell him how you feel. Leave him if he silences you. Leave him if he can’t appreciate your roar, if he makes your voice shake. Your thunder can bring down trees, and if that isn’t something he can admire, if it’s something he wants to take away, then leave him.
Leave him if he throws anything other than praises and affection your way. Love shouldn’t leave holes through walls. The only things love should break is mattresses. If your life feels more fragmented than whole with him in it, then leave him.
Leave him if he touches other women. If he doesn’t act like you’re the only woman roaming through this earth as the universe’s walking masterpiece, leave him.
Love isn’t a toast he makes after one of his mistakes; the wine in your glass is cheap and the words coming out of his mouth are even cheaper. Love isn’t the reincarnation of a promise he’s broken more times than you have fingers to count with.
If he doesn’t say I love you after every time you look him in the eyes and tell him, leave him. If you have to say those three words to him first to even hear them, leave him. Love reminds you how needed and irreplaceable you are every day. Love looks you in the eyes every day and doesn’t stop until you’ve gotten the message of how important you are.
If your chest feels heavy after realizing he doesn’t love you anymore, after realizing he never did, leave him. He never has, and never will.
If you look in the mirror most days and can’t recognize yourself, leave him. If you stand there wondering what happened to the girl you were before you met, wondering where the color in your cheeks went and why your eyes look so vacant, leave him. If you find yourself putting on more makeup than you need to in order to regain the glow that left, or to cover up something he put there, then leave him.
If you can’t even find yourself anymore, if you’re so distant from all the things that make you who you are, leave him. If any components of your essence are pointed out as flaws, leave him. Leave him if he doesn’t make you feel enough.
Leave him if he tells you how much better you’d look with a few less pounds, if he asks you if you’re going out looking the way you are. Leave him if he doesn’t tell you how gorgeous you are whether you’ve gotten pretty just for him or have just woken up. If doesn’t take you proudly by the hand and parades you on the street, leave him.
Love doesn’t make you sit there and pick your body apart until there is nothing left. Love doesn’t tear you apart until you let what’s left of you bleed out into the ground. Leave him if he isn’t falling down on his knees at the sight of your bare body and worshipping it. Leave him if he makes you feel anything less than holy.
If you find yourself trapped in more sleepless nights than you do out of breath and in gasps from making love, leave him. Leave him if he touches you and you can’t feel the caresses like fingertips beneath your skin anymore, leave him if you know there’s so much more you desire, so much more you need, so much more you crave.
There comes a point where all you feel is only masochism veiled as love.
Leave him if your story isn’t one you’d be proud of.