How to handle a dying relationship

So, after 3 plus years in a committed relationship, my boyfriend and I decided to mutually break up.  For the past few months I have not been happy in my relationship and I had the feeling that my partner wasn’t either.  We both got into the relationship fully aware of our personal faults and limitations.  Based on that, I guess we tried our very best to hold on to what we worked so hard to build.  But, there comes a time when you realize that the relationship you’re in might not be the best thing for you.

For months I was lying to myself, telling myself that I was happy in my relationship, when all the while I knew I wasn’t.  The first step toward handling my dying relationship was to be honest with myself.  I had to admit to myself that I was not happy.  Once I was able to determine that I was not happy I took time to understand what it was about my relationship that made me unhappy.  I wasn’t happy with how my partner was treating me or the lack of respect there was in our relationship.  I constantly felt like there were conditions put on me that I had to meet or else I wasn’t deserving of his love.  All the while, I was loving him unconditionally.  After facing myself, I realized the next step was to face my partner with my true emotions.

It took me months to muster up the courage to “talk” about our relationship with him and discuss where it’s going.  For months I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach every time we had an argument.  It was an uneasy feeling where I knew that these fights were deeper than the actual fight itself.  There were hidden big undertones or messages in the fighting that occurred over small and frivolous things.  So, I dove right in and started talking about what I really wanted out of a relationship.  I communicated my wants in a relationship and what I felt I was deserving of and what I could give back in return.  Once we were both able to openly discuss what we both really wanted, we were able to see how far apart we were in terms of our individual needs.

After we were able to determine that neither of us were getting what we really needed out of this relationship we decided it was best to take some time apart even if it was for a few days or a week or two.  By taking the time apart we both were able to force ourselves to get back into our regular “single” routines.  I focused much more on my yoga and meditation.  I went to the gym more frequently to get my mind off of things.  By the time I would get home I was too tired to worry about “missing” him.  As the days went on and communication ceased between the two of us, it just got easier and easier to not check in with one another.

So, it has been several months now and we both mutually agreed to not contact each other.  The communication just naturally stopped and because we were both honest with one another, the “not talking” part of this whole ordeal was much easier to deal with.  I didn’t feel any guilt or pressure that I wasn’t doing 100% in this relationship.  It was like for the first time, I felt like I had made a mature decision that I knew was the right thing to do even though my heart felt hurt.  It was so much easier to let go this time because we both want each other to be happy.  Both of us made a selfless decision based on wanting to make the other person happy, even if it meant we couldn’t be the ones making each other happy.  Overall, I know that in the long run, this was the best thing for both of us.

Time to reflect:

Are you in the middle of a dying relationship?  How do you normally handle these type of situations?  Does the idea of breaking up hurt so bad that you’d rather just stick it out in the “unhealthy” relationship?  Breaking up doesn’t have to be hard or hurtful, especially if both of you understand each others expectations and wants.  Communication is key.  If you can communicate to one another of your needs and wants you stand a greater chance of being able to fulfill those needs and wants.  But, if you fail to communicate you not only jeopardize your sanity but also the possibility of a friendship out of the relationship.  Mutually breaking up is not a bad thing, in fact, it may be the first sign that you are officially taking control of your life on a positive note.  You are aware of what you want and deserve and you are giving yourself the chance to attain that.  


“Breakups hurt, but losing someone who doesn’t respect you is actually a gain, not a loss.” ~ anonymous

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