If you find yourself in a relationship that’s struggling and are unsure where to turn here’s something you can do to clarify things.

Start by making two lists, the first of all the good things the relationship has to offer. On the second, list the faults and weaknesses that are stopping you from finding the path to happiness with the other person.

Simply put, it’s much easier to condemn the relationship than it is to do the work needed for a long and happy future together.

With luck, the second list will soon start to outweigh the first, and you’ll find that the more you add to it, the easier it gets.

Seek advice

You could also turn to others for guidance. Ideally, these should be people who have had their own failures. Either they have made the leap before you and are no longer in a stable relationship, or they have never known one.

Don’t be critical of them; if they seem cynical about the future prospects for your relationship, they are only trying to help. They probably have your best interests at heart. though, naturally, their advice will be coloured by their own experiences.

That’s all there is to it. Before long any uncertainty about your relationship should be replaced by clarity, determination, and the realisation that you deserve better. From that point, it will be easy for you to make the decisive step to end the relationship.

Please remember

  • With the divorce rate in developed countries hovering around 50% (a figure that doesn’t include separating couples who are not actually married), you won’t be alone on embarking on a painful and costly separation, there’s plenty of support and encouragement out there.
  • It’ll be a challenge, but you’ll avoid the much more arduous route of overcoming relationship problems in a dignified and respectful way, learning about yourself and building a stronger and safer foundation for the future.
  • Just because there is research to show that a loving and respectful partnership is an important factor in health, wealth and wellbeing, it doesn’t have to apply to you. What do researchers know about your life and needs anyway?
  • Like a pension, a strong and supportive partnership has to be built over time. Just as saving for the future can seem tedious and too long-term, so, life’s too short to wait for a good relationship to blossom, it should be quick (like in the movies).
  • If anyone says that you should hang in there, remember it’s easy for them to say. You need to be ‘true to yourself’, and remember what you are worth.

Your Relationship

If you are still having doubts, and despite everything some stubborn streak in you thinks that the relationship is worth saving, there are plenty of useful ideas to help you give the relationship another shot. I’ll expand on these in another post in the next few days.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.