This month has already been crazy busy so thanks for your patience! I will be uploading a video soon about this topic as well, but for now here are a few of my thoughts regarding choosing to either work things out in a relationship or letting things break off (ending the relationship). I did not want to just include breaking up, because I do not believe that is always the first answer when dealing with conflict in a relationship. The goal is to stay together and make things work. Take a look!
Time to Breakup: Many times couples find themselves at a fork in the road where they are deciding if they should stay in there relationship or part ways. There are times that I believe breaking up will be the only choice. Those times are when infidelity (cheating), constant disrespect, religious differences, criminal activity, or any type abuse is present. If your boyfriend or girlfriend cheats, leave. There are too many people in the world to settle for someone who does not see you as enough for them. No matter what excuses follow the cheating, leave, no one has the time or energy to deal with cheating. Constant disrespect and abuse of any type is also not tolerable. If your significant other is abusing you or themselves (addictions) the best thing for them to do is seek help. It is not your job to try to "fix them" and it does not make you any less loyal that you chose to leave. Criminal activity is self explanatory, no one really wants to be like Bonnie& Clyde (we all know how that ended). Religious differences, if you and your significant other have different religious beliefs and it conflicts with your relationship, which 99.9% of the time it does, choose to breakup peacefully respecting each others choices. I say that because those differences will definitely clash if the two of you choose to get married especially in the area of having children. Also, if your partner is not willing to work with you in any way to get the relationship back on track, its time to leave.
Time to Make-up: If you are not having any of those problems then I believe that your relationship has the potential to be restored. From experience, I have noticed that the biggest issues in relationships are miscommunication, unspoken expectations, and the fact that everyone has their own preconceptions of what a relationship is suppose to look like. There has to be healthy communication, compromise, and a open, non-judgmental space for the two of you to communicate in. I know that for myself it took a while for me to notice in my own relationships that I was very closed minded and did not leave room for my significant other to feel free to openly discuss things with me. You have to start from the drawing board with your partner and decide together what the dynamics of you relationship will look like. I am not saying that you have to have it down to a science where everything is black and white. I am saying though, that there should be a discussion of what the two of you would and would not like to see take place in the relationship. Unspoken expectations are deadly, you cannot expect someone to read your mind, you must communicate. Healthy communication is key in everything you will do in life, especially your relationship. Discuss with your partner how you communicate and how certain types of communication make you feel. Let them know how you best communicate and find out how they best communicate. This will help restore things if you two have not had this conversation before. In a relationship you cannot be afraid to communicate and confront certain issues, it is part of maturing. Compromise is also huge, you have to decide what you are and are not willing to compromise on. A relationship ultimately reveals how selfish we are, it brings light to our own selfish desires that we may have not noticed. When you recognize those things, be willing to compromise on them and realize that a relationship is now about the two of you and not just one of you. There is a lot of giving in a relationship so if you are not willing to give anything, your relationship will not survive. A great exercise to do is take the Love Language quiz (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/). The quiz reveals how you best receive love, allowing you to know and your partner to know. This is good because many times we love others how we want to be loved, not understanding that everyone does not want to be loved as we do. Your way of showing love and your partners way of showing love could be completely different. Take the quiz and discuss how you can better love on your partner and vice versa. Lastly, create a safe space for your partner to always be able to come to you without them feeling like your are judging them or condemning them. You should always feel comfortable enough to talk to them regarding how you feel, whether it is pertaining to the relationship or your life in general.
Relationships are hard work no matter what. A relationship will help you grow, stretch you out of your comfort zone, and more importantly reveal things about yourself that you did not notice. If you are not up for the challenge, you may not be ready for a relationship so making up with your significant other may not be a good idea. This may be a time that you need to just take a step back and focus on self-growth, ending your relationship.
I hope this was helpful to the emails that were sent in and I will posting a video sometime soon going a little deeper into this topic and giving a few tips on how to have a healthy breakup.
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Have a great week and as always I will be praying for each and every one of you! - Love, Rissa
Clarissa C. Burton, M.S.W
Devoted to guiding others toward living a life they don't need a vacation from.