Do you and your partner seem to argue more lately? If you and your spouse or significant other seem to butt heads more than usual lately, this may be a sign of a bigger issue. In this article, we talk about what steps to take when you feel like your relationship is over.
We've all been there at some point. It's gotten to the point in your relationship where it seems like your partner is your worst enemy. Nothing they can say or do is right, and vice versa. The person you once planned to spend the rest of your life with seems to be drifting further and further away from you by the day. So what can you do about it?
Many couples go through rough patches in their relationships where one or the other partner feels overwhelmed by life and needs to take a few steps back. This doesn't always mean that a breakup is on the horizon - but it can if proper precautions aren't taken as soon as the signs present themselves (we'll talk more about those later in the article). In the case that the signs turned out to signal the end of your relationship, remember that it's only the relationship that's ending - and this can happen in life.
Intimate relationships can go south for many reasons. Some have to do with the partnership issues, while others have to do with the individuals themselves. Issues within the relationship can take many forms, such as minor (and major) disagreements over household chores, finances, and other areas that seem to be common issues for most couples. However, when these small battles grow and fester, and you find yourself in an all-out war with the person you love, it's time to enlist the help of an expert.
Dating And Relationship Coaching
Scheduling a session or ongoing sessions with a relationship expert can do wonders for your relationship. A dating and relationship coach or counselor is a neutral third-party that can take an objective view of your relationships. Your dating coach can help you identify key areas of the relationship where there's room for improvement. They can also help you to more clearly identify toxic relationships that involve domestic violence, narcissism, and other forms of abuse.
Whenever there is verbal or physical abuse present in an intimate relationship, you need to get help. Abuse of any kind within intimate relationships is an attempt for one party to control the actions, desires, or movements of the other party and should not be taken lightly. Sometimes, abusers are aware of their abusive behaviors. In other cases, abuse is a learned behavior from watching unproductive or unsuccessful relationships unfold early and in life. In cases where abuse is "inherited," this is usually the only form of intimate connection that the abusive partner has witnessed.
A licensed dating and relationship counselor can help you get to the bottom of related mental health issues that may have come up because of your relationship issues. Most times, it turns out that one partner or the other has been experiencing the symptoms of chronic mental health issues that have hurt the relationship.
Your counselor can give you an assessment to let you know if chronic mental illness concerns are at the root of your inability to maintain solid and long-lasting relationships. Chronic mental health sufferers often deal with ongoing symptoms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder (BPD). Putting your best self forward in relationships may be a highly daunting task for people suffering from chronic mental health issues.
A licensed professional can help you identify these chronic mental illness symptoms and provide you with advice, guidance, and medication management for more severe issues. Keep in mind that online counseling services (of any kind) are not intended to act as a substitute for emergency medical care in any situation. If you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, contemplating suicide, or in other immediate danger, reach out for emergency help immediately!
Visit your nearest emergency room for evaluation, treatment, and support. If you cannot make it to your local emergency room, contact a National support hotline like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Hotline operated by the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
The contact information for both agencies is below. National support hotlines normally operate 24-hours a day and can be accessed by landline, cell phone, or other mobile devices.
Key Signs Your Relationship Is Ending
We've put together a list of common behaviors and signs that start to show up in intimate relationships near an end. This is a great place to start if you've been feeling like your relationship may be heading towards its end.
While there are many obvious signs that your relationship is ending, some are more subtle and often go by unnoticed - until it's too late to save the relationship. Noticing the signs of distress in yourself or your partner as early as possible is one of the keys to saving a salvageable relationship.
You may wonder what "salvageable" means when it comes to a relationship. Sometimes, relationships can be saved using therapy, implementing new communication skills, and changing negative behavior patterns. In other cases, the relationship is either broken beyond repair, or both partners aren't equally invested in doing the work to save the relationship. This means they aren't salvageable or able to be saved.
Lack Of Affection - if either you or your partner seems to be less affectionate lately, this could be a sign of a breakup brewing on the horizon. Pay attention if your normally affectionate partner suddenly becomes distant - with no explanation. Chances are they're having a personal issue and may need some space. However, if a lack of affection comes with other debilitating relationship issues like those listed below, you may need to prepare for the inevitable.
Infidelity Or Cheating - When one partner or the other starts secretly stepping out on the relationship - this is a huge sign. Infidelity is in the mix when you or your partner connect emotionally (or physically) by seeking a romantic partner outside of the relationship. Infidelity happens for many reasons outside of simple attraction and desirability.
Becoming Secretive - Did you and your partner used to share everything, including your deepest secrets and fears - or a cell phone that's now locked down like Fort Knox? One partner suddenly becoming secretive or closed off in the relationship is a key indicator that your relationship may be in trouble. Keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their privacy. However, if your partner, who used to be an open book, is no longer sharing with you, you need to find out why.
Stating the obvious - Has your partner openly stated to you they want to leave the relationship on one or more occasions? This is a sign that you should not ignore. Whether your partner is saying this seriously or in jest, the fact the topic is coming up means someone is thinking about it - and it needs to be addressed.
How To Cope With A Breakup
Breaking up - is not the end of the world. People grow up, people change, circumstances change - and that is okay. When a relationship ends, it means that the parties involved no longer suit each other—anything more, nothing less. The ending of a relationship doesn't show that there is something inherently wrong with you (or your partner); it just means that you've outgrown each other for one reason or another.
Most times, breaking up is the next best step to avoid either party feeling stuck in a miserable relationship and developing contempt for the other party as a result. Ask yourself, would you rather be miserable with the wrong partner or able to grow and thrive with the right partner? As tempting as it may seem to say you'd rather be miserable with the wrong partner - especially if you're deeply in love - you have to look at the bigger picture.
Is it love that you're feeling - or obsession when it's obvious that your relationship is no longer working for either of you. Yet, you continue to hold on. The obsession becomes further compounded if there are children involved, as in long-term marriages and permanent dating relationships. As parents, the decisions you make (especially the bad ones) no longer affect you and your partner. Your kids are now experiencing a ripple effect and the backlash of staying in a bad relationship.
Think about how you got here in the first place. Is this a pattern? Is this something that you've witnessed repeatedly with a close family member or parent? If so, this is likely a cycle, and if you aren't strong enough to break that cycle with yourself - the chances are high that you're setting your children up to take part in the same relationship patterns you've had.
Becoming Whole Again After A Breakup
A Short Painful Breakup Is (Often) Better Than The Alternative
Seek counseling to learn new coping strategies and skills to help you prepare for the next phase of your life. If you felt like you were losing yourself in your relationship, now is the perfect time to work on finding yourself and figuring out who you are. Sessions with a licensed professional counselor go a long way toward helping you pick up the pieces and returning to (or becoming) your best self.
If you feel like you're ready to begin finding yourself again after a breakup and you're ready to experience your best self, contact a relationship expert at BetterHelp.com today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How long does it take to heal after a breakup?
A breakup is difficult, but many people wonder how long the healing process takes post-breakup. Truthfully, the amount of time it takes to recover from a breakup can vary from person to person. Regardless of the length of a relationship, anybody can feel a varying degree of emotion once it ends. Forget about there being a traditional timeline, as the amount of time can vary greatly. However, those looking for a tangible number should assume that recovering from a breakup will take around as long as the length of one’s relationship.
How do I stop hurting after a breakup?
Breakups are hard experiences to go through, but there are ways to reduce the emotional pain you may be feeling. First and foremost, surround yourself with your family, friends, or other loved ones. Having emotional support during this challenging time can help you overcome negative feelings. Get active and workout more to trigger endorphins and metabolize stress hormones in your body. Avoid doing things that will make you feel worse, such as checking your ex's social media or dwelling on unhappy moments from your previous relationship. Staying positive and reducing negative emotions following a breakup is about surrounding yourself with love and giving yourself time to work through the many emotions you rightfully feel.
How do you recover from a breakup you still love?
Recovering from a breakup where you are still in love with your ex is a challenging situation anybody may be faced with. Right off the bat, recognize that it’s perfectly alright to still be in love with your ex. With that in mind, it’s important to make peace with the past and focus on letting go of any negative emotions you may be feeling in addition to the love. Keeping an ex in your life is a great sign of maturity, but in the immediate days or weeks following a breakup, it’s probably best to reduce your contact with your ex. Loving your former partner is very common, and moving on will be a long and arduous process, but it is possible with enough time to heal.
How do you heal yourself after a heartbreak?
Heartbreaks are difficult and can leave you feeling as if you never want to break up anymore with anybody. Although breakups are an unfortunate part of growing and finding the right partner, healing from this challenging situation can be daunting. Take as much time as you need, and don’t suppress your emotions. Bottling your feelings up never works well, and it’s best to get all of the feelings out of your system so that you can make peace with your ex. Talk to supportive friends and family who can talk you through your thoughts and be a shoulder to lean on. Above all, treat yourself right and do anything that boosts your self-confidence. Additionally, keep your body and mind healthy with adequate rest and exercise.
Who hurts more after a breakup?
A breakup is difficult for all partners in a relationship, and there’s no single answer as to who will hurt more when a relationship ends. In fact, most partners feel the same amount of pain during a breakup. In a study by Binghamton University and University College London, following a breakup, it was found that women typically rate emotional pain as a 6.84 and men rate emotional pain as 6.58. The emotional pain felt by partners of a relationship, regardless of gender, tends to be equal.
Does the pain ever go after a breakup?
A rapid flood of emotions following a breakup is the scientific reason why heartbreak is so difficult to overcome. This rush of emotions can leave you feeling extreme sadness and stress but rest assured that the pain will always subdue. Overcoming a breakup is a physical and emotional journey, but the body's chemistry will always return to what it is naturally. You will always recover from a breakup physically, but the emotional aspect may take much longer to overcome.
How long does breakup pain last?
It’s a difficult experience that most people will go through to break up at some point in their lives. The time to recover from heartbreak, at least physically, is around 11 months on average. By this time, the rush of chemicals released from the breakup will have subdued, and your body chemistry will be back to your normal level. Emotionally speaking, though, a general rule of thumb is to expect the recovery process to take as long as the relationship's length.
How do I stop loving someone?
Being in love with someone following a breakup is a challenging experience. First things first, remember that there was a reason you and your partner broke up in the first place. Regardless of the situation, it’s important to accept the past to move forward in the future. Write down all the reasons you are in love with a person and write down if you see the same level of commitment back from them. Don’t idolize the person in your head and take the time to invest in yourself. Recognize that your feelings of love are completely valid and list why it probably won’t work. It’s difficult to stop loving someone and increase emotional pain, but doing so is an important step in moving forward.
Do guys feel sad after a breakup?
Breakups are difficult for all partners in a relationship. Men and women can feel deep emotional pain, and a person’s gender does not determine how they will respond to a breakup. As mentioned earlier, men and women are reported to feel around the same emotional pain level after a breakup.