Sanctuary for the Abused
Monday, August 21, 2017
Should I End This Relationship?
You might be surprised to learn that the time to leave a relationship is NOT when you are miserable, but rather when you are happy, joyful and peaceful. When you have learned how to make yourself happy and bring yourself peace and joy, and if your partner is still distance, angry, needy, disconnected, resistant, unloving, or acting out addictively - then it may be time to leave if that is what you want.
When I work with couples, I help each partner learn how to take full, 100% responsibility for their own feelings and needs. Obviously, if both people are behaving in ways that bring themselves joy, they will have a lot of love to share with each other. As long as they are stuck believing that their unhappiness of the other person’s fault, they are being victims. As victims they want to control the other person and get them to behave the way they want them the behave. As victims, they are afraid of being rejected or controlled, and are behaving in ways to protect themselves from what they fear. All the ways they are trying to have control over not being rejected or controlled are creating the relationship problems.
• When Jacob criticizes her, Hannah shuts down. When Hannah shuts down, Jacob criticizes.
• When Sally gets angry at Joe, Joe defends, lectures and explains himself. When Joe lectures, Sally gets angry and resistant.
• When Robert is demanding, Ingrid gives herself up to comply with Robert’s demands. The more Ingrid complies, the more Robert demands.
• When Michele complains, Hugh resists. The more Hugh resist, the more Michele complains.
• When Craig acts like an irresponsible child, Karen becomes parental and judgmental. The more Karen is parental and judgmental, the more Craig is resistant and irresponsible.
If they were to act in loving ways toward themselves rather than react in controlling ways toward their partner, then:
• When Jacob criticized, Hannah might speak up for herself instead of shutting down, saying something like, “Jacob, I don’t like being criticized. I’m not willing to have this discussion until we can be open with each other.” When Hannah shut down, Jacob could be curious instead of critical, saying something like, “Honey, you must have a good reason for withdrawing from me. Do you want to talk about it?”
• When Sally got angry, Joe could disengage from the conversation instead of trying to talk her out of her feelings. He would give up
trying to have control over Sally’s anger and how she sees him and take care of himself. When Joe tried to control Sally with his lecturing and explaining, instead of trying to control him with her anger, Sally could speak up for herself, telling Joe that she doesn’t like it when he tries to talk her out of her feelings.
About the author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?", "Healing Your Aloneness","Inner Bonding", and "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?"