Our culture puts a lot of pressure and emphasis on “love ever after”. People who are married and especially those that have long term marriages are seen as somehow better than the rest of us. When someone divorces, people describe that as a “failed” marriage. We are shocked and dismayed when we hear that marriages such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s are ending.
There are many wonderful things about making a commitment to one person and seeing that commitment through until “death do us part.” The benefits are bountiful and I will definitely write a blog on this topic another day. But today, this blog is for those that want “out” but feel pressured to comply with our cultural standards or don’t want to feel like a failure or are simply feeling lost and alone. There are many good reasons to end a relationship. When a relationship is unhealthy and unworkable for you, staying simply for the sake of staying together under adverse conditions only reinforces stagnation and pain. Here are some reasons why it’s okay to call it quits.
1. A lot of people stay in unhealthy relationships because they’re too dependent and feel like they cannot make it on their own. Being in a relationship should be an asset to your adult life, not a means to keep you stuck in childhood or adolescence.
2. If you keep growing as a person, your needs will grow accordingly. If your significant other is unable or unwilling to grow, you will keep yourself at a disadvantage. Relationships always operate from the lowest common denominator. You can’t have intimacy with someone who is unable to be intimate. You can’t soar if you are tied to an anchor.
3. If you are being abused in any way whatsoever – physically, emotionally, or psychologically–GET OUT! Your safety and well-being comes first, always!
4. Relationships need to be redefined at regular intervals throughout the lifetime of the relationship. If you can no longer define your relationship with your spouse/partner in a way that works for both of you, you may not be able to find a new purpose and meaning. No one wants to live a life without purpose and meaning. This goes for relationships as well. Sometimes the relationship has simply run its course.
5. Make your decision based on what works and doesn’t work with your current partner. Don’t get caught up in the fantasy that there is a perfect person waiting for you that will make you happy and whole. Make sure you’re making the decision for the right reasons.
6. Get input and support from outside sources. When you’re living in a fishbowl, it’s hard to see the water. Take your time in making the right choice for you. Involve your significant other whenever possible. Breaking-up and divorcing is not easy nor pain free.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at www.julieorlov.com. We’re here to help you grow and thrive.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com