Unhappy In Your Relationship? How To Know When To End A Relationship
How to know when to end a relationship can be pretty tricky. Many people stay in unhappy relationships and marriages for a long time, hoping something will change or get better. I call this being in limbo- half in and half out of your relationship.
When to end a relationship is a very individual decision and can only be made by you; but in this video I’m sharing three important factors to consider when to leave a relationship.
January is known as divorce month because so many people, unhappy in their relationships, finally pull the plug after one last holiday season. I’ve worked with men, women and couples since 2001 and what I know to be true- are these few things: 1. So many people who are unhappy in their relationships will stay for years in a half-in and half-out state. They stay for loyalty, for the kids, for fear of being alone or hurting their partner (all good reasons). 2. Most of the time, these people think they have “tried” to work on their relationship and they are willing to do the work too! Perhaps they have read books or gone to therapy but nothing changed. This is likely because they haven’t been focusing on the right things to make their relationship better (there is a lot of well meaning people pushing bad information out there) 3. Staying in this limbo state year after year is almost as painful if not more than divorce- it’s emotionally exhausting and all consuming to wake up and think about your relationship status all day everyday. 4. Most people end up leaving eventually and at first feel relief and then they miss their family unit tremendously but it’s making the decision that is the part that is healing. 5. No one can make this decision for you- only YOU! But you must make a decision.
On today’s episode I share my tool “Determining Deal-Breakers” to help you get clear about whether you should stay or go! I hope it helps- and please share it with anyone you know who is in this situation
1. The first factor for how to know when to end a relationship is catching yourself with ‘the grass is greener’ mentality. You may be thinking, is there somebody out there who’s a better fit for me? Is there another relationship out there that’s less argumentative? Where we get along better or we have better sex. Thinking that there is something easier or better for you “out there” will have you stuck thinking that another relationship is going to be better, and the truth is, if you don’t figure out what’s causing the problems in your relationship now, not just what your partner is doing, but what you’re contributing, you are likely to leave this relationship and just repeat the same painful patterns with someone else. The grass is greener where you water it. If you have not already put a ton of time and attention and focus on your relationship and done the work that you need to do to figure that out, with somebody like me, a professional, then you haven’t even started trying to do the work yet, right? The grass is greener where you water it- so make sure you’ve really put in the effort in THIS relationship before considering it time to end it.
2. The second factor for knowing when to leave a relationship is to consider if you are a “fleer.” When the going gets tough, do you get going? If so, it is likely your first line of defense when things get tough is to think of getting out. But marriage and long term relationships are tough and require lots of work and effort. Consider being ALL IN and seeing how commitment dramatically affects your relationship for the better. Be a fighter and fight for the relationship.
3. The third factor for answering the question, ‘when is it time to break up,” is whether the things that are bothering you are actually deal breakers. Living with someone who is messy is infuriating- I know! But every time I think I can’t take it anymore, I have to remember that I’m not getting divorced because my husband has trouble with organization. Many things ARE deal breakers but we each get to decide what those things are for ourselves. So think about whether or not it’s worth ending a relationship over, and if it’s not, you need to get over it.
How to know when to end a relationship is not an exact science. You will likely know when the time is right for you and you can’t do it until that time.
You learned three important factors for knowing when to end a relationship. I hope those tips were helpful. If you need support or assistance in getting clear and making a decision, we are here to help.
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Hilary Silver, LCSW is a marriage therapist and relationship counselor in Denver, CO, and the creator of Hot, Healthy & Happily Ever After. She specializes in helping men, women and couples learn the secrets of keeping the love and passion alive for the long- term. Visit www.hilarysilver.com for more information!