New Year - New Relationship?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Owen Redahan. MBACP. B.Sc.(Agr)
30th December, 20130 Comments
A lot of people usually, at the start of the New Year, take stock of our lives. Is it the life they want to live, how can they change, how can they improve? Which is why the first week on January is full of people trying out diets, joining the gym and looking for a divorce. Lawyers say that they see a huge increase in couples looking to split up at this time of the year.
There are potentially a number of reasons for this. For example couples are together for longer over the holiday period - they don’t have to go out to work. Or one wants the perfect Christmas and the other lets them down. Or it’s just the end of the year and one or both have had enough of each other.
Whatever the reason someone takes the brave step and decides that the relationship is not working and they are not getting what they want out of it. If there are children it can be more complicated. A recent survey by ‘Netmums’ shows that a significantly large number of children are unhappy with their parents’ divorce and turn to self harm and drink to alleviate the pain.
The question then is to stay in an unhappy relationship for the sake of the children or split up so that you will be happier and hopefully they will be too? Only you know your children and should be able to gauge how they might react. But if you are going to separate then it is important to make it as peaceful a process as possible. It is important to plan. Talking to friends or a counsellor may help sort your thoughts out.
But breaking up is also an emotional time with the mourning and anger of a failed future together. Loss of control and anger is not unusual. But in time both partners will hopefully come to accept that they are not getting everything from the relationship they wanted, see the logic of separating and begin to move on.
This is a good time to look carefully at yourself, what you want from a relationship and what really went wrong with the one you had. The old adage is that we learn from our mistakes is usually true but when it comes to relationships we sometimes don’t. The emotional and physical excitement of a new relationship can slide us down the path of coupledom and before we know it we have the potential to make the same and new mistakes.
If you are planning to break up your relationship or marriage look carefully at what has gone wrong. Can things change and do you really want them to change? Can your current relationship evolve and become something new that works for both of you? Do you want it to? Or have you got tired of trying?
If you do take that final step then remember it may feel exhilarating but there may be times when you get depressed and sad. When you first met you were probably excited and positive and planning for a bright future together. Now you will have to mourn the death of those hopes and desires. Take time, look after yourself and your children, if there are any, and assess where you now want to go. Time spent on loving yourself will be time well spent.
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