Letting Go of a Bad Relationship

 

If you’ve done everything you can to reinvest in a relationship, but nothing is working or you are the only one trying, it may be time to let go of that bad relationship.

The point of a relationship is support, nurturing, caring, affection, fun, intimacy and above all love. But many relationships devolve into a war of enemies instead of a pursuit shared by loving partners. If you’ve done everything you can to reinvest in a relationship, but nothing is working or you are the only one trying, it may be time to let go of that bad relationship.

First, realize that a relationship is merely a psychological and social construct. There are no wires attached. Sure, if you are filing for divorce, or if you cohabitate and share a bank account there are going to be logistics to work out. There always will be. But by and large it’s all in your head, and the head of the other person. Once you start thinking of the relationship as over and start making plans, planning out the steps, and begin to execute them, viola it’s over. If you want to let go of a bad relationship, start thinking about it as over. That’s the first step. Make sure you outline clearly why it is ending. Have it clear in your mind. Lots of people will be asking why it ended. Your significant other will want to know too. Start making plans on how to address the issue with them. You want a clear go-to statement in your head because if they are manipulative or persuasive they may start trying to convince you to stay. Having a clear reason and clear cut incidents to call to mind will help you stay true to your decision and not back pedal, only to go through the same process again later.

Decide to what level you trust them. People break up for different reasons. Was it infidelity? Just falling out of love? Was there abuse? Or is the relationship just not going anywhere? A breach of trust is the worst kind of breakup. They may have stolen, lied or cheated. With this situation you have to be particularly careful. If you have a joint bank account and you think your soon-to-be-ex might clear it out, take your money out of there first. Secure any valuables you have at their place or if you cohabitate. Wait until they go out first. You’ll have to be sneaky but it’s better than getting ripped off. Don’t get revenge by stealing their stuff or taking their money. You will hurt your own reputation. It might be illegal. And then instead of standing up for you people will think that you are the bad guy. If your significant other is abusive or manipulative and you just can’t seem to shake them, elicit the help of a friend. Have them with you when it is time to break up or go over their place to get your stuff. If even this won’t help, clear out your stuff when they aren’t home. Then call them when they get home from work and explain to them what is happening and why. You don’t have to do it in person if they are going to hurt you or suck you in again. They don’t deserve that respect. You are doing it this way to protect yourself. Next grieve but don’t get stuck in it. Let it unravel naturally. Then work on healing.

Ending the Affair

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Ending the Affair

An affair can be so edifying, passionate, and you may find the person you are having it with irresistible. But infidelity can also tear your life apart. If you are thinking of switching up, think carefully. Will you be able to trust them? Will they trust you? The one you are cheating with may not have the best long term relationship qualities to begin with. They cheated with you after all, what makes you think they won’t do it again when things get too tough? It’s best to end the affair. But it must be done in the proper manner. Only if you are determined can you put an end to it.

It may be comforting to have a place to go to when your spouse or live-in partner doesn’t understand you or ignores you. But sooner or later they are bound to find out about the affair and blow everything wide open. If your relationship is too far gone and you’ve tried everything you can to fix it, with little success, perhaps it’s time to end that too. Usually, an affair is caused for some reason. The cheater isn’t getting their needs met in the primary relationship. Determine what needs aren’t being met. Is it intimacy, appreciation, or fulfillment? See if you can reinvest in your primary relationship to have your needs met and reconnect. But if not, perhaps consider ditching them both and starting over from scratch. You may be happier in the long run.

Turn to a trusted friend for support. It can be really difficult going through something like this by yourself. Having a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board and someone to give you advice is the thing you need. Instead of focusing on the positive aspects focus on the negative ones. Break off the affair in your head first and start thinking about it as over. Look for the shortcomings and problems with the person you are having the affair with and the affair itself. It’s time to change your mind set about it. If all you want to do is be with that person, even though you know it’s the wrong decision, you have to start having a negative outlook on it. Once your mind has turned from enjoying to reviling the affair it will be easier to sever the ties to that person. Get rid of all the mementos and signs that an affair has occurred. Erase the text messages. Sell the gifts and tokens. Delete the secret file on your computer of you two together.

Have a face-to-face meeting with your lover. Make it someplace public so that they won’t make a scene. Explain to them how much you enjoyed it but that you need to end it and the reasons why. Let them know that you are cutting off all contact. Once you’ve explained yourself get out of there. Avoid getting back into the affair. Remember that just because you’ve changed the affair’s status in your mind doesn’t mean they have. They could call and plead, beg, even use blackmail to force you to see them. Resist or find yourself in the same situation all over again. For more advice read, How to End an Affair: Stop Cheating with Proven Steps to Infidelity Recovery by Eugene Marks.

Drifting Apart

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Drifting Apart

It stuns you when you first realize that you and your sweetie, you seemed like the perfect couple, are drifting apart. Sometimes just as perfectly as you fell for each other, as if it were only natural an event like a natural disaster, an earth shattering union over which the two of you had no control. But just as powerfully so too can each party find forces pushing them apart, and these can occur just as naturally and as inexplicably.

Sometimes we end up in a comfortable relationship that has no future. This kind of relationship has dueling emotions inside you. On the one hand you have your life goals. On the other you love this person and perhaps fear being single again and facing a big, black who-knows-what. Sometimes the fear of the unknown makes us stay in an uncomfortable situation. But the problem with that is we die a little inside for we are born to seek out our dreams. Scientists have proven that parts of the brain showing good, sound judgment shutdown when we fall in love. As the relationship progresses more and more we get to learn about our partner and deal with their shortcomings, and our own.

Once you have that down, you think you’ve got it all figured out. And you’ll live happily ever after. Or not. More likely it will be like a series of hurtles you’ll have to jump over. You’ll dodge them and do okay. Once in a while you’ll have a victory to celebrate. At other times a defeat to mourn. But when people have different priorities or if their values change, as are natural to do over time you can find the couple naturally drifting apart. The question is how far is this drift going to go? Can you relate to one another anymore? Is there trust and respect? Can you build a deep bond of connection and intimacy despite these differences? Each couple has to decide for themselves. It takes a big conversation.

Some long term couples and married couples decide to live together despite their differences. They share what they can but each also enjoy their separate lives. Others seek out a partner who fulfills all of their needs. Then there are those who try to change their lover, or spurn them for not being the person they fell in love with to begin with. Instead, talk about it. Discuss the drift. See when it occurred and why it occurred. Figure out if it makes sense to stay together and share your life together or perhaps you’ve grown too different after all. For more advice read, Help! My Spouse and I Are Drifting Apart by Dr. Bill Maier and Mitch Temple.

Reminiscing Can Renew Your Relationship

Senior Couple Lounging on a Wood Deck

Reminiscing Can Renew Your Relationship

Of course we have to discuss the day-to-day upkeep of the household and so on with our partner, but this can get dull fast. However, sometimes when you’re sitting around, talking about the old days you can get to laughing and really get the old engines purring. Reminiscing can renew your relationship, so says a study out of the University of Queensland.

Just last year psychologists Kim Halford and Susan Osgarby sought out to test positive reminisce as a tool to boost relationships. Participants were all married for at least one year and ranged in age from 21 to 65. They all had varying degrees of marital satisfaction. None were in couple’s therapy. Two groups were created from this one pool. There were 27 put in one group and 25 in the other. Each person was asked to describe a “really positive relationship memory.” Then each partner proceeded to spend five minutes explaining one. Important events in their life together such as the birth of a child, their wedding, holidays, and shared successes such as buying their home.

Happy couples were more intimate than distressed ones as shown by this study. Happy couples became even happier sharing their reminiscences together, while distressed couples became sad. Researchers believe this is because they realize how much happier they had once been.  Happy couples seemed to be telling the stories jointly, joining in and adding facts or color as the other went on.  They elaborated on one another’s comments and this seemed to make them happier too. For happy couples even negative things that happened in their life were recalled positively. Happy couples even hugged and shared close behavior, which was absent in the distressed couples.

A lesson to learn from this study is not taking part in negativity in your relationship. Distressed couples criticize, invalidate and take part in negative behaviors towards one another. This reminiscing can make you sad if you are in a distressed relationship. If so, realize when negative behaviors pop up. Agree to take a time out at these times, and come back later with clearer thoughts and discuss calmly the issues at hand. Reminisce often. Get those old feelings flowing again. If reminiscing makes you happy let it renew your relationship. If not find out why and fix it. For more advice read, Renewing Your Wows!- Seven Powerful Tools to Ignite the Spark and Transform Your Relationship by Jeffrey H. Sumber.

Should You Stay with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married?

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Should You Stay with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married?

Sometimes you are at a point in a relationship where you are so in love, everything seems perfect. You and your partner have been together for quite some time and you are expecting things to progress. But when you broach the idea of marriage, the other person gets anxious or defensive. Perhaps they don’t believe in marriage. Maybe they’ve been down that road before. Or maybe you get a noncommittal “we’ll be married, someday” without a hard date to count on. If you are with someone who is eluding your efforts to get married, or just says they don’t believe in it, while you do, what do you do? You could hand them an ultimatum, either marry me or I will find someone who will. But that usually doesn’t end well. Should you stay with someone who doesn’t want to get married? That depends on a number of factors. First, are they against marriage in total or just marrying you? If the relationship is mutually beneficial, warm, open, loving and stable but marriage is against your partner’s personal philosophy then you can negotiate and come to some sort of compromise. If this person is just biding their time with you until someone better comes along then this person is not the one for you.

Another important thing to do is to search your feelings about marriage. Why is it that you feel as though you need to get married? For some, it has something to do with their culture or religion. Others are being pressured by a family member. It could be something you have always dreamed of. Or it might be because all of your friends have gotten married. Start to uncover what your real feelings are about getting married and why you feel that way. It will give you a better perspective on why it is so important to you and how to address the issue. If you just want to walk down the aisle, have a great reception and be the center of attention, think of the aftermath. You are supposed to spend decades of life with this person, living side-by-side. So you want to make sure your desire to get married is genuine. Then consider the person themselves. Is this who you really want to spend the rest of your life with? Do they love you? Are they supportive? What’s the communication situation like? How is the sex? If you were both thrown into a crisis situation together, would your relationship make it through? You don’t want to set yourself up for divorce.

Don’t just wait around for a proposal and brood. That will never make it happen. If you’ve still decided this person is right for you, discuss all the insights that you’ve come to with your partner. Don’t pressure them with an ultimatum. They will probably pull away from you. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, slowly get your partner used to the notion. Introduce things subtly and make the idea seem like theirs. British psychologist Anjula Mutanda says to ask your partner, “If we were to get married, what would be your ideal way of doing it?” Agree with their answer and make it sound as if you are very impressed. Keep subtly moving things along like this and see if you get anywhere. If you want to take a more straightforward approach, sit them down in a comfortable place when you are both in a good mood. Make sure it is free of distractions. Compliment your partner and tell them what they’ve done right and what personality traits you adore about them. Tell them how close you feel to them and how much the relationship means to you. Let them know the reasons why you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Explain to them in a calm manner why marriage is so important to you and why you want that person to be them. Tell them you aren’t pressuring them or giving them an ultimatum. Let them know that you can make each other so happy. And then give them time to think about your thoughts and feelings and let the matter drop. Don’t blame. Don’t be defensive. Instead, use a positive, complimentary and romantic approach. If they still refuse to marry you, you’ll have to be ready to either move on or settle for not ever being married. But if they really love you and you were meant to be together, you two will find a way forward. For tips on being extremely persuasive in your quest read, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.