Relationships: When to fight for it and when to call it a day
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Teresa Mulvena, CBT Cert, MA Counselling, MBACP (senior accredited)
29th June, 20120 Comments
When things are not going well in a relationship it can be hard to know if it is worth salvaging, or whether there is so much bitterness and resentment that it is impossible to turn the clock back to happier times.
A good question to start with is to ask yourself: what were you doing differently when it was going well? Is it possible to do more of this, and less of the things that lead to problems?
This may sound like a simplistic question - but presumably at some stage the relationship worked, and it is easy to lose sight of the factors that made that happen.
However sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it is not retrievable. You may WANT to get back to appreciating and valuing each other, but if it is impossible to put aside difficult times you may need some help to sort out what you want.
In a relationship of some length there are bound to be a mix of feelings towards the other person. A mix of good and bad times, a mix of hurts and feeling loved. How to sort out how much is "good enough" to continue to try and work on the relationship is a very individual thing. It is important to be realistic about your expectations of the other person, and also to find a way of dealing with disappointment without lowering your expectations so much that you begin to feel disillusioned with the relationship.
However, it is always true that in every relationship of any depth that there is always some conflict; it is inevitable. This is not necessarily a bad sign. It is healthy to be able to work through conflict; what can be more difficult is if you have trouble dealing with conflict healthily. It is normal to feel anxious about conflict – it is never pleasant, but if it is dealt with in a destructive way, or if you don’t deal with it at all, it can go underground and come out in less obvious ways yet still affect the relationship.
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