Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Did you ever just give up the fight?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) October 27th, 2009

Have you thrown in the towel on something? Maybe giving up trying to lose weight. Maybe giving up on the career you dreamed of?

What did you give up on? How did you feel about yourself afterwords? Did you have a lot of guilt, or could you let it go without damning yourself? How do you feel now? Did you make the right decision or would you rather have it back to do over?

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46 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

I did. I cried for days, months, years. I don’t know what I could’ve done differently that wouldn’t have caused more damage. You have to find a way to live with it.

Cartman's avatar

I’ve given up trying to fit in.

It was hard and cost me a lot of friends and is sometimes lonely, but ultimately one of the best thing I’ve done so far.

augustlan's avatar

My first marriage. Horrible guilt, mainly because we have children. I feel like we did everything we could to save our marriage, but in the end the only options left were to either stay together and be miserable for the rest of our lives or to get divorced and give each other a chance at future happiness. I feel confident that it was the best thing to do, but I still have loads of guilt about it. We just do the best we can, and move forward.

Darwin's avatar

I gave up a job and career that I loved in order to care for my husband. I still sometimes feel a twinge of remorse, but what I am doing now is valuable to my family and thus to me as well.

shockrocks's avatar

yeah… old relationships from high school that had become destructive and hurtful.

I struggled with it for about a year but once I finally did it, I felt so much better!

Sorry, high school! :p

nxknxk's avatar

I’ve given up trying to gain weight. I gave up on architecture when I realized I disliked geometry.

I’ve also given up on trusting people and on old or painful relationships, but that is all another story.

Cartman's avatar

I comstantly pursue new dreams. Sometimes I give up, but always after careful consideration. I feel like I make informed choices rather than failing. But that’s often just in my eyes.

For instance, I have shut down a number businesses of mine, simply because they where not good things to pursue, or I was not the right person to pursue them. They would beyond a shadow of a doubt have failed, so was I wrong in shutting them down? Some people in my surroundings complained that I was not good at “following through” and so forth. The same people, and a few more I would imagine, would have smacked their lips and shaken their heads if I had failed more spectacularly further down the road. In situations like this it is not possible to win. You always loose in the eyes of others. The only thing you have left is the ability to decide in what way you do it.

“Throwing in the towel” does not have to be a bad thing. It can be an informed choice of direction. Crazy people pursue things beyond reason, and when you get to a crossroads where you can either become labeled (in your own eyes or the eyes of others) a quitter or a crazy person, the choice is never easy. Procrastinating a sensible decision in order to take the route of least resistance may land you in the crazy category (with even more problems).

I always try reason and make informed and well thought through decisions irrespective of what my environment might think. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

I gave up on a relationship with my ex. We were extremely close as friends for several years, during which we entertained a romantic relationship several times. He had a slew of problems, including constant lying and shady behavior, as well a former heroin addiction. I stood by him as got off heroin, and tried to get him back on track. Over time, I realized there was little I could do for him- he wasn’t willing to change and didn’t really want to. I severed all ties with him for over a year, and now only speak to him occasionally. I don’t regret it- it was an emotional drain and I was giving more than I was getting in return. It certainly hurt- I cared a great deal about him, and a part of me always will, but I don’t feel guilty about it.

Facade's avatar

I gave up trying to be like most other people my age: traditional college, parties, clubs, clothes, music, attitudes, etc. Tried it; wasn’t happy.
I gave up pleasing my parents.
I gave up sugar-coating shit to make other people feel better.

Cartman's avatar

@Facade
“I gave up sugar-coating shit to make other people feel better.”
Way to go! I try the same, with varying success. Lurve for you!

jonsblond's avatar

I quit my job as a travel agent ten years ago. I worked for a small, family run agency and the women that I worked with were very petty and gossiped like middle school girls. I couldn’t trust any of them. They also had questionable business practices that I didn’t agree with.

I also found it difficult to sell packaged trips to places that I wouldn’t visit myself. I grew up in Vegas, been there, done that and I have no desire to travel to Cancun too touristy for me. I’ve worked corporate travel before and that was more to my liking (no sales involved at all), but there aren’t many jobs for corporate travel agents where I live.

I feel a lot of guilt for quitting because I’m $20,000 in debt with student loans, plus I was able to attend college for something that I was interested in while my husband never had the chance.

The one good thing out of all of this is the fact that I’ve been able to stay at home with our children the past ten years and we feel that it has helped them to become the wonderful children that they are.

DominicX's avatar

Well, I have certainly given up things, though I’m not sure I’ve given up something on as grand of a scale as what’s referred to here. I’ve given up arguments before because they were going nowhere. But in some cases, I have strengthened when I previously felt like giving up. I’ve felt like giving up the fight against homophobia, but now I have strengthened it and I will fight against it until the end.

Generally, no, I don’t like to quit. You’ll have to fight me. :)

PapaLeo's avatar

In 1999 my ex kidnapped our two youngest children from me and took them literally to the other side of the world. After literally chasing her all over the globe, 4 lawsuits on as many different continents, I realized the true victims of continuing the fight would be the children themselves. So, yes, you could say I threw in the towel. Even though I knew that the home environment that she would provide for the youngest would cause irreversible damage.

If there are any regrets it’s that the fight started in the first place. I don’t feel guilt: I quit to save the children. In the end I was right, but being right doesn’t ease the pain. Not at all. I just try to be the best father I can be for them. Regardless of the past.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

After 7yrs, I threw in the towel on a relationship I should have exited within the first 1½ yrs, my only regret is that I was so stubborn as to stick it out so long since it cost me quite a bit in all kinds of ways.

cyn's avatar

I gave up the courage to tell him I love him! Our relationship was doing great. But, I never tried anything to tell him how much I actually love him. Never in my life have I been lonely, sad, and feel that something is missing in my life. Sure I can get my mind off of him, but he still exists. Behind every word/thing/thought I have, there’s something that reminds me of him.

veronasgirl's avatar

I was a Dance Major in college. Dance was my passion and I loved doing it. When I became a dance major I slowly realized that I was behind all of the other students and I struggled through classes and felt humiliated on a daily basis. My last semester in the program I had a teacher who favored certain gifted students and public humiliation of certain “un-gifted” students. This teacher had a private conference with me and told me I had potential but she didn’t think that I tried. She told me that I should look at other things and that dance probably wasn’t right for me if I couldn’t handle constructive criticism. I was so tired of being depressed and humiliated that I gave up. I dropped the program and I haven’t danced much since then. It took me a little over a year before I didn’t resent the department or even dance as much. But I feel better now, I feel like I am worth something despite what that professor told me. At the time, I was so miserable not only because of low self esteem but I also felt that I was giving up without a fight. Now, I can look back on the experience and realize that I did make mistakes but that it was necessary for me to experience those things and to walk away from the program. So maybe I did quit, give up, throw in the towel; but I can honestly say that I am a lot better off for making that decision.

tinyfaery's avatar

I give up on everything. There is very little that is worth fighting for. But when I do fight, watch out. I will win.

Allie's avatar

I’m in the (slow) process of giving up on something now. I wish I didn’t feel like I had to, and I wish there was a way to prevent it. Alas, I don’t see that happening anytime soon and I’m tired of waiting and being miserable. So… I give up.

cookieman's avatar

@PapaLeo: That’s rough. I’m so sorry about that.

I gave up a Dean’s position at a college.

I was an academic chair running two programs. They planned to make me a dean which sounded good until their business practices turned (more) shady, they laid off a bunch of people (including my wife), and began treating the rest of us like indentured servants. I hung in there for another eight months but finally resigned, on stage, at graduation.

I don’t regret it because I would never want to be a part of what they were becoming (despite the jumbo salary ::sniff::)

trailsillustrated's avatar

@PapaLeo !!! that’s mine too-

MissAusten's avatar

I’ve given up trying to understand or help my mom. For a very long time I tried to get her to seek help, be honest, or at least make rational decisions. It was extremely frustrating. I’d spend hours on the phone with her and end up yelling and crying with frustration. Finally I just gave up. I still talk to her on a regular basis, but I don’t question anything she says even when it’s clear she’s flat-out lying. I stopped suggesting she see a doctor (it is clear to anyone who knows her as more than just a passing acquaintance that she is mentally ill, but she believes she is fine).

I don’t regret it at all. She still drives me crazy, but instead of fighting with her and getting myself all worked up, I just vent to my husband. I try to be very nice to her when I do go home for visits and humor her as much as possible. She isn’t allowed to be alone with our children, but she doesn’t know that so her feelings are spared. Since I stopped letting her push my buttons, I am much happier. I do feel guilty, like I should be able to fix things because she’s my mom, but I realize now that it isn’t going to happen. Sometimes, you do all you can do and have to throw in the towel just for your own sanity and/or health. Although I do sometimes daydream about being a fly on the wall during a psychological evaluation where the doctor is somehow able to immediately tell when she is lying. How fun that would be!

YARNLADY's avatar

I gave up on “the rat race”, always trying to keep up, get ahead. I quit believing that if you don’t move forward, you will fall behind. There’s nothing there, there is no “behind”. I just stand on the sidelines and watch everyone else, now.

AstroChuck's avatar

Oh, hell yes! I’ve been married twice. Both times to a woman.

cookieman's avatar

@MissAusten: I may have said this before, but I swear we have the same mother.

Facade's avatar

I forgot to mention I gave up on gymnastics at 12 because of many of the reasons @veronasgirl mentioned. It wasn’t fun anymore. I was tired of being criticized for not being thin that’s never gonna happen enough and for having breasts totally not kidding. C cups and gymnastics did not mesh. I also disliked my coaches. I had been doing it since I was 3 and should have been much farther ahead than I was, but the coaches had their favorites. I kinda wish I could get back into it. But I’m somewhat satisfied that I can, 8 years later, still perform basic tumbling moves. Anyone up for handspring sprints? Loser buys me cake :)

MissAusten's avatar

@cprevite It wouldn’t even surprise me. But if that’s the case, it’s your turn to invite her for Christmas.

augustlan's avatar

You all reminded me that I gave up on having a relationship with my mother at all. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made in my life, and I felt horribly guilty about it for quite some time. I still miss her sometimes, but I know it was the right decision. My mental health has improved enormously since then.

Facade's avatar

@augustlan That’s very interesting…

augustlan's avatar

@Facade PM me if you want the story. :)

PapaLeo's avatar

@trailsillustrated Are you serious? I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy. It was horrible. Ten years ago and it seems like yesterday.

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Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

friendships from the old days (re: my twenties) that no longer served any good purpose.

getting my family to understand my ‘atheism’, my ‘Evelynism’ and my ‘flair for craziness.’

Darwin's avatar

What’s not to understand about ‘Evelynism’? My refrigerator is a shrine to Evelyn, thanks to my wonderful bumper sticker.

tinyfaery's avatar

My Evelyn sticker is on my fridge, too.

hug_of_war's avatar

I’ve given up on trying to make my father be reasonable during our conversations on the way to school, I shut my mouth as much as possible and I don’t get all worked up about the things he says because it was just causing me too much stress and anxiety and it wasn’t worth it anymore.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@PapaLeo yes mine was in 2003— and yes it feels like yesterday, I couldn’t go to parks where there were children, I took detours to not pass the house we lived in….it was the worst thing of my life. but my daughter is coming back to me.

PapaLeo's avatar

@trailsillustrated I’m so sorry for you. I know how it is. But I’m glad to hear your daughter is coming back to you. My children also came back to me, which I knew eventually they would. It’s classic example of sacrificing the battle to win the war (even though referring to any relationship as “war” is the wrong attitude, especially for the mother of one’s children, I’m sure you of all people will understand when I say I hope my ex burns in hell).

trailsillustrated's avatar

@PapaLeo thank you. my ex is having his own problems which is why she is coming and I don’t wish him any ill, he is already ‘burning in hell’ as I always knew he would lol

mattbrowne's avatar

No, only with people I don’t respect much. Then it’s not worth fighting.

YARNLADY's avatar

@hug_of_war Oh I understand that story. My Father-In-Law is the worst person on earth to argue with. I am so glad my husband takes after his saint of a mother.

laureth's avatar

@MissAusten and @cprevite and I seem to all be siblings.

But yeah. Given up on relationships (one of which involved a 1100 mile drive nonstop alone back home. Given up on jobs, on poisonous “friends”, my mom, lots.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@Facade can I just buy you the cake and watch you do the handspring sprints? =)

YCLYHO's avatar

only if and when i think its not worth wasting my precious energy :)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am not one to give up easily on things.I would most likely just try a new approach.When it comes to people,it’s not worth the effort to try and control them.Duct tape will only hold for so long….;)

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I prefer to call it seceding… LOL and yes, I have for MY own sanity. Sometimes, even when you’re right, you’re still wrong. That’s life…

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