It can be very obvious when you realize that your relationship is no longer working for you. Some people ignore these feelings and ‘power through’ it. I have never really understood what they are ‘powering through’ because your relationship is supposed to be your sanctuary, if it isn’t, then why are you holding on to it so tightly?
Most people stay because they do not trust their feelings and question if they should follow through with a gut feeling.
There are simple ways to know if you are reacting emotionally or have realistically come to realize that your current relationship has reached the end of its road.
- Exhaust every effort. Make sure you have given your relationship your all before you go, so that when/if you walk away, you walk away with no regrets.
- Try couple’s therapy. If you have not tried therapy yet, it is imperative to do so before calling it quits on a long term relationship. Even in today’s society, people still seem to associate a lot of stigma with counselling or mental health therapy. Therapists are specialists and you do not need to tell anyone if you go, nor should you be embarrassed to seek out their expertise. Quit not utilizing a tool, which could potentially save your relationship, for fear of what others will think.
- Teach your partner how they can treat you. If your partner is disrespecting you, in any capacity, you need to address the situation, explain how it makes you feel, and advise your partner on what you expect from now on, in future repeatable situations. If they are unable to do this, then go back and further explore recommendation #2.
- Take a break. Maybe one of you goes home and spends time with family for awhile and gives the other space. Taking a break can be very healthy, but it must be taken with the understanding that it is to clear the air and come back together, so that the situation can be discussed respectfully, to find a positive resolution.
- Research. We research everything else and ‘Google’ stuff all day. Research how to have an effective, healthy and positive relationship; read The Five Love Languages with your partner. Already heard of it? Quit hearing about it and read it.
- Take a look in the mirror, before you run around pointing your finger at everyone else. Look at how your actions may be negatively impacting your relationship. It takes two hands to clap, so how are you contributing to the chaos? Acknowledge and fix it, a professional therapist can be very useful in this situation as well.
- Determine if it is the person or a situation. If you feel there is an environmental issue, which is causing you to feel this way, determine and focus on improving that, rather than kicking the person to the curb.
If all of these actions have been completed, truthfully and honestly, to your best efforts, maybe this relationship is not your life long relationship and it is time to start preparations to end it.
Do not put your age, marital status or future into the equation when determining whether or not to leave an unhealthy relationship. Do not talk yourself out of making the right decision for fear of being alone or of not finding anyone better. Make the decision solely based on the negative and positive aspects of the current situation and deal with the aftermath after.
Do not stay for the sake of society. No one cares if you have a shitty relationship because they usually do not know the full extent of the problems and they also do not have to live with it, day in and day out.
You have to live for yourself, so put yourself first and everyone and everything else will fall into place.
The fear of walking away is what keeps a lot of people in substandard situations; we become accustomed to the pain we do know and the pain we don’t know seems scary and potentially even worse.
If your source of sadness is via association to an individual, disassociating yourself from them will improve your life. I am sure there is a myriad of reasons you could fling my way as to why it is not easy to just walk away. It would cost money, yes, usually. It would be embarrassing, yes, failure of any kind usually has humiliation associated with it. It would be admitting defeat, yes, we all hate losing, but there is also a lot to gain.
You will realize the value of what you have gained when you are in your home, with a feeling of complete happiness, comfort, tranquility and joy from just being there. When the stress and strain of a dysfunctional partner goes away, you will realize you love yourself and your life so much. You will find the energy to rebuild and re-brand yourself, removing the skin associated with your past.
You will become a singular person and it is a magical feeling, when you have been a part of a painful partnership for so long.
You will realize that the power was within you all along, but you were so busy being unhappy and ‘powering though’ it, you could not see it.