When is it Time to Break Up?
Love isn’t in the air? When a relationship isn’t working as expected thinking about breaking up or deciding to stay is pretty common. According to research, breaking up is considered a major stressor. Ending a relationship is usually painful at least for one of the parties involved and the fear of making the wrong decision can be very confusing. People change and evolve as do relationships. Sometimes people in a relationship grow apart and sometimes the relationship is going through a rough time. All of these factors make the decision of breaking up with you partner more difficult.
Love is a very powerful force and being in a relationship can be a way to feel love in its entire splendor. This experience can be wonderful and enriching for both partners. Therefore, it isn’t surprising many people try to make a relationship work despite of the evidence that such a past loving state is no more than reminiscence. Moreover, continuing in a relationship that isn’t working may create even more pain and hurt than leaving will.
One of the main reasons people seek couples counseling is because of feelings of disconnection. Through couple’s therapy, partners can reconnect and form a bond much deeper than the one they had before. However, there are instances where it may be too late or the work to be done to improve is greater than one partner can or is willing to do.
When might it be time to break up?
You or your partner aren’t in love anymore:
It may sound too obvious but there are multiple reasons people allow themselves to continue in a relationship without love. Some excuses to stay include kids, fear of not being able to find someone else, the amount of time they have been together, social consequences, the gratitude felt for the other one, not wanting to hurt the other person, financial reasons, and so forth. These will only prolong the suffering and ultimately make the pain worse. “Why did you wait so long to tell me?” It is a common question of the partner in love. They feel betrayed for living a lie.
You, your partner, or both are waiting for the other one to change. There isn’t a willingness to acknowledge one’s participation in the dynamics that led to the disconnection. This usually looks like one blaming it all on the other’s behavior. An expert in couples counseling can still help you if both of you decide to enter on this adventure, but willing participation is a must.
The lack of connection is due to individual issues that need to be addressed first. This includes but is not limited to addictions, anger issues, domestic violence, and trauma. The route here is to seek individual treatment first and then, you can engage in couples counseling.
As Gottman describes, when negativity has flooded the relationship and even memories that tend to be positive, such as first dates, trips, proposals, wedding are remember in a dark light, it is time to be alarmed. Your relationship is probably close to the end. Seeking couples counseling is the recommended course if you both are willing to do the work.
The first step here is to check if those feelings of unhappiness come from your relationship or from somewhere else. Sometimes other areas of our lives aren’t working and we may be projecting those feelings toward our partner. Once you are confident it is in fact the relationship and the interactions with your partner that leave you feeling sad and worthless, it may be a sign to break up or rethink the relationship.
Are you in a relationship because you feel lonely, but you’re not really into that person? This isn’t a reason to be there. Being honest with yourself and your partner will save you both a lot of time, energy and pain.
In any case, consulting a professional is always a good idea as every relationship is different and unique. If you are having issues on your relationship, go ahead and make an appointment to receive the help of a professional. Trained therapists at Family Therapy Associates of Jacksonville are available and ready to help you find the happiness you deserve.