How to know it’s time to break up
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If you found yourself on this page, you probably have some doubts about the future of your relationship. Doubts can be present in any relationship, and that’s normal, but it’s possible that your premonitions are telling you that it’s time to break up. Ending a relationship is always difficult, even if you know it is the right thing to do. First of all, you need to be sure that you’re making the right decision, and to do that, you need to check to see if there are signs in your relationship that things are going wrong. This article will tell you how to do that.
- If the flaw is significant, you can’t live with it, and the person doesn’t want to change anything, it may well be time to end the relationship.
- Maybe you and your partner have different religious beliefs. If your partner doesn’t want to accept your faith, and it’s important to you, you need to seriously consider the future of the relationship.
- If you feel like your personal problems are getting in the way of the relationship, talk to your partner about them so you can figure out together if there’s a solution.
- If you know that there is no prospect for you in this relationship, it is best to end it as soon as possible, because this way you will give your partner a chance to recover faster from the breakup and find a better match.
- It’s best to end a relationship in quiet times, but that doesn’t mean you need to put it off because of birthdays, weddings, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve with your family and other events that can make a breakup awkward. All of these can drag on indefinitely, and there is no perfect time to break up, although it is certainly possible to find more or less the right time.
Reflect on whether you’re only continuing the relationship because you’re afraid of being alone. Do you worry about the fact that you might not have a date? Often people stay in relationships because they don’t want to be alone, but being with someone to use them is unfair not only to that person, but also to yourself, because you are not allowing yourself to develop as a person. Learn to live without a couple and be optimistic.
Be ready to accept the fact that you just fell out of love with your partner or he fell out of love with you. No one knows why we fall in love with some people and are indifferent to others. Sometimes the attraction just isn’t there, and sometimes feelings only come from one person in the couple. It happens. It hurts, but it’s nobody’s fault. You can’t force yourself to love. You may have been madly in love with your partner at one point, but how long did it last? The sooner you figure out your feelings, the sooner you can do something about the situation.
Meditate . Sit alone with your eyes closed for a while, concentrating on your breathing. Although this won’t necessarily open your eyes to what you should do about your relationship, it will help you put your thoughts in order. You may not have had enough time to think things through quietly, to listen to your mind and body.
- Sure, there are some very humble people, and some things are better done without your partner, but overall you should be proud of the person next to you and excited about the opportunities to introduce everyone to them. If you don’t like the thought of being seen together, can you be happy in a relationship?
- If you are being manipulated or controlled, it is best not to let the person know about the one-on-one breakup. If you are afraid he will be abusive toward you, do it from a distance and ask friends to help protect you.
- Lack of respect can manifest itself in little things. For example, a partner may tease our appearance, make snide remarks about your carter or imply that something you do not do well. This is also disrespect, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Pay attention to whether your partner scolds you often. Quarrels happen, and they can even be helpful because they allow for constructive discussion of dissatisfaction. But if your partner yells at you all the time, disagrees with you, calls you names, and is unreasonably cruel, it’s time to run from him.
Consider whether your partner is embarrassed by your relationship. This is a very important point. If he is embarrassed to go out with you or even tell people that you are dating, it can be considered a warning sign. It is very difficult to justify such behavior, except when the partner is underage or has to hide the relationship from overly authoritarian parents. But if the person wants to keep the relationship a secret from friends and acquaintances or refuses to take your hand in public, it’s time to cut the connection. You should strive to be in a relationship with someone who is proud of you, not ashamed of you, because you deserve only the best.
Analyze who usually initiates intimacy. If intimacy is always wanting only you or only you seek to bring something new into the relationship, it is likely to indicate a problem. It’s especially frustrating if you constantly have to ask the person to kiss you when you meet or say goodbye. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Perhaps your partner has a problem with an intimate relationship or they don’t want to touch you because you cheated on them. Whatever the difficulties are, you need to resolve those problems or end the relationship because there is no other way out of this situation.
To divorce or not? We sort it out with a psychologist.
Ending a relationship is hard. And if you are already married – especially because you have invested so much in life together, and divorce always brings difficulties. How do you know when it’s worth trying to save your marriage, and when it’s better to separate?
The decision to divorce can hang in the air for years, preventing the decision to make important changes or find a way to survive a crisis in the relationship. A practicing psychologist explains how to help yourself sort out your relationship.
Svetlana Makhova, family therapist, specialist of the service for the selection of psychologists Alter
Is it worth getting a divorce? In my practice, only a small proportion of couples go to a psychologist with this question. Many more couples go to therapy expecting changes to help save the marriage. However, even in the process of psychotherapy, spouses can come to the decision to divorce.
Is divorce a good thing or a bad thing?
It is neither bad nor good. And it is hardly possible to assess it from such a position – good-bad, right-wrong. Divorce is preceded by a disturbance in the “homeostasis” of the family system, in which it becomes unbearable for all of its members to exist. Divorce is one of the ways to resolve the situation, in some cases it is the only way.
Divorce is always associated with hard feelings of loss, change, the search for new forms of existence for all family members. That is why partners often look for a way to restore the relationship, rather than breaking it off. Especially if there are children in the family.
Over the years of life together the spouses develop their own traditions, rituals, habits. The thought of a divorce scares and raises a lot of questions that in a state of emotional stress is not easy to find an answer right away: where, who and with whom will live? At what expense? to return to my mother? will have to change schools / kindergarten? will not have to move to another city / country? how to participate in the education of children the second parent, who does not live with them? will have to go to court for child support? what to do with the apartment? who will pay the mortgage? These and hundreds of other issues do not bypass in a divorce, as well as for a long time after, so they will have to solve.
Should you get a divorce?
Before answering this question, let’s look at what the main reasons for divorce in Russia are. The list is based on statistics from open sources in descending order by the number of cases.
The main causes of divorce are
- Alcohol or drug addiction of one of the spouses;
- Domestic violence;
- lack of housing for the young couple, living with the parents of the spouses under the same roof, family interference in the life of the couple;
- financial difficulties;
- irreconcilable contradictions in their views on life;
- Long periods of separation due to business trips, arrests and other circumstances of one of the spouses;
- Inability to have children, unwillingness of one of the spouses to have children;
- the psychological immaturity of the spouses.
Addictive behavior of one spouse, as well as domestic violence are the most common factors. And when answering the question “should I get divorced?”, in the cases below, my answer is yes:
- If one partner is physically, sexually, and economically abusive toward the other spouse, as well as toward the children;
- If one partner has a mental disorder (a diagnosis confirmed by a psychiatrist) and his or her behavior may pose a danger to others;
- If one of the partners is addicted to alcohol or drugs.
It is not your job to rescue your partner from addiction; you should not wait for your spouse to figure out his or her aggressiveness, especially when your partner’s actions pose a threat to the lives, health and well-being of family members. In these cases, you need to leave immediately. Today – a “harmless” bruise on half your face, and tomorrow the abuse can end in intensive care or death. It is important to protect your life and the lives of your children.
Spouses who are in a situation are not always clear on this.
If the first three points are not about you, you should wonder if divorce is even worth considering.
Crises as part of marriage
There are crises in the life of every couple. They are usually triggered by a new situation that cannot be resolved by conventional means. Every couple experiences these crises at different stages of life together.
One of the founders of family psychotherapy Virginia Satir singled out the following stages of family life which are especially prone to crises:
- Birth of the first child;
- the child mastering speech;
- birth of the second child, children’s struggle for parental attention;
- child goes to kindergarten/school;
- adolescence in a child plus a mid-life crisis in a parent;
- empty nest syndrome, when children have started their own lives and have a family of their own;
- the wife’s menopause;
- husband’s diminished libido;
- the new roles of grandparents.
I would add to this list the beginning of life together, when the spouses move in together and begin to agree on the management of the household, the distribution of finances and other issues.
Renowned family psychologists Edmond Eidemiller and Victoras Yustitskis have identified crises associated with adverse events in family life:
- illness of one of the spouses or a child;
- financial crisis;
- conflicts with other people;
- housing and household problems;
- A change in the social status of one of the spouses;
- excessive workload;
- domestic violence;
- adoption, guardianship.
Each crisis has its own difficulties and ways of overcoming them. Difficulties in a relationship are inevitable. And when the issue of divorce comes up in conversations, it is important to understand which stage your family is at or which of the unfortunate situations it is in.
What exactly are the difficulties? What is preventing you from finding a way out of the situation? The answers to these questions will help you decide whether to keep the marriage or get a divorce.
For example, a young couple moved in together and started living together. And after a while faced with difficulties in the organization of everyday life: who cooks? Who cleans? Who goes to the store? Or the question of how to deal with finances became acute: who earns, who keeps them, who makes decisions about spending and so on.
How to agree not to get divorced
Carl Whitaker, a classic of family psychotherapy, wrote that conflict in the family is a struggle over “whose rules are right.” Each of the spouses remember the customs and traditions of his family, which he considers unshakable, and maybe never thought that there is another way.
If spouses are willing to listen to each other, share their preferences, fears, needs, habits, talk about their family traditions, and maybe even confess that he or she wasn’t allowed to handle financial matters at home and is now at a loss, it will give them more knowledge about each other and help them find a solution that works for both of them.
Often parents of a first-born child are on the verge of divorce. Beautiful pictures of other people on the Internet create unreasonable expectations of parenthood for the couple. And in fact the spouses find themselves facing a host of problems, many of which they can’t cope with – and should. Insecurity, shame, guilt towards each other and the environment for their own imperfections begin to destroy the relationship.
If the couple is ready to face their imperfection, recognize the presence of problems and lack of experience, there is an opportunity to overcome the crisis – perhaps by seeking help and support from more experienced parents, a psychologist and other professionals, thereby relieving the tension within the family.
In my practice, there was a couple whose conflicts and difficulties stemmed from the specifics of their personalities. Each of the spouses had experienced severe violence, bullying, humiliation and the death of a parent as children. Each of them underwent personal psychotherapy. This helped them understand more about themselves and their motivations for their actions, particularly in relation to each other. Sometimes it seemed to me and to them that it would be better for them to get a divorce. However, in the process of therapy, they came to the conclusion that if they got out of that relationship now, there was no guarantee that they would not end up in exactly the same one.
When to get a divorce and why a psychologist is needed
Spouses may face the fact that their opinions and views, goals and values are very different, and no one is ready to give in to each other. And then comes the time when both spouses recognize that their relationship has no development, and decide to divorce.
If to understand the situation independently do not work out, it is best to contact a family psychologist. Being inside the situation, being immersed in a lot of worries and emotions, it is difficult to be objective. A couple’s psychologist is an opportunity to get a sober look from the outside, to see the “point of difficulty”, to hear and understand each other, and only afterwards to make a balanced decision.
During and after a divorce, there are many organizational, “rearrangement” issues. If you can not come to a consensus on the division of property, child-rearing, and other issues, you may need a mediator. He helps the parties build a constructive dialogue and come to a compromise.
What to do if there are children in the family and divorce is imminent
Often couples decide not to divorce because there are children in the family – parents want to keep the family together for the sake of the child, so he will not be traumatized.
Let’s turn to experience to see if this approach is actually less traumatic for the child than a divorce.
How does divorce affect a child?
Divorce is an upheaval that will have repercussions either way. People who grew up in a single-parent family often have low self-esteem, low or, conversely, high levels of pretensions, high levels of anxiety, shyness in relationships with peers, insecurity and personal insufficiency, and difficulty in starting their own families.
What leads to this situation?
In the case of divorce, the child is afraid of losing the love of one of the parents, and at the same time of losing a sense of security. Anxiety and fears are amplified if parents keep the divorce a secret until the last moment.
In these situations, the child does not understand the motives for his or her father leaving the family, for example, and he or she takes the blame for the divorce – Dad left because I was bad. If the mother does not allow the child to communicate with the father, he will be afraid of losing his love because they will stop contact, but the child will also be afraid of losing his mother’s love if she finds out that he is communicating with his father.
Children experience divorce differently depending on their age. Infants under a year old are dependent on their mother’s emotional state. The mother’s anxiety is transmitted to the child, with the mother often either acting aloof or becoming hyperactive.
For children of preschool age, divorce becomes a violation of the stable family structure, the habitual relationship with parents changes, and attachment to parents escalates into conflict. Children become more irritable, aggressive, and divorce can provoke developmental delays. If the child is the only one in the family, he or she experiences the divorce more severely than in a situation where he or she has brothers or sisters with whom he or she can emotionally discharge. Adolescents have the hardest time with divorce. Experiencing a family split is superimposed on the complexities of adolescent change.
Research as well as experience has shown that exactly the same emotional problems arise in children from complete but dysfunctional, dysfunctional families, where quarrels and scandals often occur, where emotional detachment and coldness reign. Therefore, both divorce and life in a dysfunctional family leave a mark on the child’s character, development, and future life.
So the decision to keep the family for the sake of the child will not be less traumatic for him, because the relationship between the parents will remain tense. And as experience shows, parents, dissatisfied with family life, sometimes snapping not only on each other, but also take out their frustration on the child.
The position of the mother and father, their ability to cooperate after the divorce largely determines the well-being of the child’s development in an incomplete family.