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Free Yourself: Stay In It or Let ‘Em Go

Ending a relationship with your partner is never an easy thing to do, but if one finds themselves unhappy in the relationship than the best thing to do would be to part ways. It is important to not force yourself to be in a relationship if you are no longer happy. Ending the relationship can be better to avoid further issues and heart ache. You owe it to yourself and your partner to call it quits if things aren't working out. Ending a relationship can be difficult, but by utilizing these four essential steps; thinking things through, arrange to meet up in person, be honest, and being compassionate and understanding, you can assist the process for both you and your partner.

Considering ending an unhappy relationship can be a tough decision for anyone to make. There are many things that need to be thought over before making a final decision, and this can be either a problem or an issue. In the process of ending an unhappy relationship, it can turn into a problem if you don’t have communication with your spouse or partner about it and hold everything in. This causes your spouse or partner not having a chance to express their feelings are put an input into the situation. Other ways I determine this can become a problem is when I question myself and questioning my own feelings. Some questions that I may ask myself are: How can I make my feelings known to my partner without hurting his feelings? How can I let him know that I am not happy without a confrontation? How can we both reach a decision where it will work for both of us?

Now, continuous of ending an unhappy relationship can also be an issue when you want to involve your partner or spouse in your feelings. The frequent questions that will mostly be asked are: Does he feel the same way I do? Is he just as afraid of telling me how I feel? Is he willing to work with me on the things that are causing me to be unhappy? Many times, this situation would be considered an issue because most couples would talk about these things and not hide their feelings from each other. They also may not want to express their feelings for fear of the other person’s reaction. At this point you need to determine if you want to continue keeping your feelings to themselves or do you want to be open and communicate how you feel so that there can be a resolution.

Make sure to think things through and decide if ending the relationship is what you really want to do. You will need to make sure to avoid impulsive actions that can lead you to hasty decisions that you will end up regretting. Make sure to give yourself time after a heated issue/argument to start thinking clearly. Once you feel more relaxed a list of pros and cons can be extremely helpful in assisting you through this difficult decision. While making your list, it is always important not to over think about the different scenarios and make sure to keep it simple. The list compiled should be used to help put things into perspective and allow a clear picture about the next phase that is needed.

Give your partner the courtesy and respect of ending the relationship with them in person. By being able to sit down face to face with your partner the communication of feelings and concerns/issues will become evident both in verbal tones and body gesture. If possible, avoid meeting up around special days; holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, because it would not be fair to ruin those days for them. It is also important to avoid locations that were of importance to both of you or overly crowded areas. Even though you already know how the end of your meeting will turn out, it is helpful to have a conversation to allow both persons the opportunity to release feelings. This might be the last time the two of you might be together so closure and honesty is needed for both of you to be able to move forward.

If people have gotten romantically involved with one another, there has been conflict within those relationships. Some people argue that conflict is bad for the relationship and will ultimately lead to the demise of that relationship. Others argue that the conflict is good for the relationship and will help it to flourish. Conflict can be both positive and negative for a relationship. It can both help and hinder the relationship. No matter what stage the relationship is in and whether the relationship is being helped or hurt, conflict is always happening in different contexts. Conflict is also caused by numerous reasons. These reasons include a lack of interpersonal communication skills, low levels of trust, physical abuse, an individual’s history in relationships, and many others.

Not many people in the world can say that they have had a 100% successful romantic relationship. Looking at the high divorce rate in the United States can prove this. However, there are those couples that have remained together for numerous years. As I am sure that conflict played a big part in ending many relationships, I am also sure that the successful relationships have had their fair share of conflict and have even been helped by that conflict.

Studies have shown that when romantic partners who are intensely in love are exposed to photographs of their beloved, the brain regions that become activated are the same regions that are activated in cocaine addicts when they are craving cocaine. But even if love has some addiction like qualities, healthy love is likely to involve other qualities as well, such as respect, trust, and commitment, qualities that keep a relationship strong even on those days when excitement and passion are not at the forefront. Addictive love, by contrast, tends to be more singularly focused on attaining those highs whatever the cost.

Research suggests that people are best at making lasting changes when they come up with specific implementation intentions, or if/then plans. These plans have been shown to help people avoid temptation, meet health goals, and even avoid stereotyping outgroup members. You may currently have a lot of default if/then connections that are not working in your favor, such as, If I feel lonely and miss the partner, then I call him or her and ask him or her to come over. Instead, you could replace this default then with a behavior that is likely to make you feel better in the long run.

Our minds have a sneaky way of justifying our actions so that we never should feel like we did something stupid or made a mistake, a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance. This is the reason we tend to be more loyal to groups that we suffered to get into (i.e., a fraternity with intense hazing) and the reason why we find ourselves derogating the job we turned down once we make the final decision to go with another (post-decision dissonance). It's also one of the reasons it's so hard to break free of bad relationships, especially when we've been in them for a long time.

Ending a relationship can be a long and painful struggle, and it's not easy to do it alone. You will need a good support team to keep you on track and help you fill your life with healthy, positive activities. But ultimately the decision to end a relationship is yours, and succumbing to pressure from those around you is unlikely to last very long.

In researching what researchers and everyday people have had to say about unhealthy relationships; look at the aspects or features of unhealthy relationships:

1. Put one person before the other by neglecting yourself or your partner

2. Feel pressure to change who you are for the other person

3. Feel worried when you disagree with the other person

4. Feel pressure to quit activities you usually/used to enjoy

5. Pressure the other person into agreeing with you or changing to suit you better

6. Notice one of you has to justify your actions (e.g., where you go, who you see)

7. Notice one partner feels obligated to have sex or has been forced

8. Have a lack of privacy, and may be forced to share everything with the other person

9. You or your partner refuse to use safer sex methods

10. Notice arguments are not settled fairly

11. Experience yelling or physical violence during an argument

12. Attempt to control or manipulate each other

13. Notice your partner attempts to controls how you dress and criticizes your behaviors

14. Do not make time to spend with one another

15. Have no common friends, or have a lack of respect for each other’s friends and family

16. Notice an unequal control of resources (e.g., food, money, home, car, etc.)

17. Experience a lack of fairness and equality

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