Lately I’ve been working with some clients who are struggling in their relationships. Feelings include frustration, anger, resentment, loneliness, pain, confusion, and sadness. Questions I’ve seen clients ask themselves include:
- Have I done all I can to save this relationship?
- Am I ready to lose this person from my life entirely?
- What else will I lose in my life if I say goodbye to this person (friends, family, financial stability, home, belongings)?
- Will I be able to find love again?
- Will I regret leaving?
- Will I be happier?
Often times there are imbalances in relationships that can be looked at and discussed and those include the division of chores, time spent together, financial discrepancies, health issues, lack of support systems, and conflicting visions/goals for the future. It can be helpful for couples to keep talking about what they want their lives to look like both individually and as a couple. Too often we may assume odd dreams remain the same, but the truth is that we are evolving being and what we wanted 3 years ago may have changed.
There are other signs that indicate that the relationship is an unhealthy one and those include:
- physical and sexual violence
- name calling and degrading comments
- extreme jealousy
- controlling behaviors
- problematic alcohol use
- drug use
- lack of intimacy
If you find any number of these problems in your relationship it would be beneficial for you to talk to someone to make a safe place to reduce the chance of harm. Intimate partner violence is a serious matter and utilizing professionals is highly recommended. Use this hotline if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone now: (800)799-SAFE (800.799.7233).
Knowing when to leave can often be a difficult process. If you find challenges in your relationship are not improving but you are not ready to leave, consider couples counseling which can help foster difficult discussions about what each individual wants and needs. It can provide time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working, and a counselor can provide tools for discussions and goal setting that can be beneficial.
Letting go can be difficult and accompanying that is a process of grief and loss. Remember this does not need to take place in isolation and many could benefit from individual counseling at this point. This can be helpful in the grieving process, taking time to re-group and think about what you want in your life, and reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself in this process.