When to let go
How do you know when to let go of a relationship? It can be hard to say good bye to something you have invested a lot of emotional energy (and possibly financial resources)into. The longer we stay the harder it can be to let go of a relationship. So what do you need to consider when thinking of letting go?
How long have you felt unhappy? If it has been less than a month, it might just be a low patch in the relationship. If you have felt unhappy for longer than a few weeks it might be an issue that will continue to persist. Consider couples counselling to see if you can iron out underlying issues.
When you talk are you able to resolve issues? Sometimes when two people come from completely different perspectives they can find it impossible to understand each other’s perspective. The wider the differences in how you see things the more difficult it will be to sustain a relationship. When a couple comes to see me for counselling, I can tell pretty quickly how in tune they are. When they describe the same event as if it is two completely different events, the less hope there is that they will be able to resolve their issues.
Sometimes, even when there are differences, if a couple still feel attracted to each other and there is still goodwill remaining, many difficult factors can be overcome when there is motivation to work at the relationship.
Do you function as a team or do you feel that you may as well be single when it comes to receiving support in life? Support comes in many forms – financial, emotional and physical support. Does your partner care for you? Do they try to make your life easier – whether it is through acts of service (such as doing your ironing or fixing your broken washing machine), giving useful information to help you, or listening to you with a cup of tea and a cuddle at the ready? Selfish partners who put themselves first tend not to do well in relationships where they have to consider someone else.
Do you still want to be intimate with your partner? When things start to go wrong, this can be the first part to suffer. When there is resentment it can hinder physical closeness, more often for women than men.
Most of all – trust your instincts. You will know if your needs are being met and if you respect and love your partner enough to want to stay. Often we stay out of familiarity and fear of the unknown. You are doing yourself a disservice by staying in something that no longer works. Be strong – get through the initial sadness to enjoy the fulfilment and love that is waiting for you on the other side.