It's weird how life works. How we allow people and situations to stand in the way of our dreams. Our body tells us when a relationship is not healthy but we do not always listen. Why is that? Our intuition is so loud sometimes, yet we turn down the volume. Below you will find some of the answers I get through surveys.
The question is "Why do you stay in a bad relationship"?
- I don't want to be lonely. (Recently I even met a 73 year old woman who is staying in a 10 year relationship and I can speak of her because she is anonymous and she is very unhappy but feels she’ll be lonely.)
- I want to have someone in my life.
- I don't want to do things alone.
- I don't want to be alone forever.
- How will I pay the bills on my own?
My question to you is - "Is it worth it"? What is healthier, being in a bad relationship or being alone (lonely)? I want you to ponder that. If you are in a bad or unhealthy relationship right now, think about it. List the pros and the cons on a sheet of paper or on your computer. If the con side far outweighs the pros, figure out why you are staying. Shouldn't you be running as fast as you can? I know it's not always easy. Sometimes there are children involved or a lot of assets that are keeping us holding on. Some of you may just not want to hurt the other person so you stay in the relationship and hurt yourself instead.
Getting out of a bad relationship is the same as setting other goals (of course there are a lot of emotions attached to it). First you must start with thinking about what you do
want out of life. You must set the goal. Begin taking steps, big or small, and then take action.
You now have two choices. Do you want to make this relationship work (is it worth it?) or do you want to move on? Answering that question is the first step. You must make that decision. Once you make that decision it's time to set some serious goals.
I believe in focusing on the positive. However for this list, you need to first think of some negatives so that they could be changed into positives.
Begin putting a list together of all the things you do not like about your relationship. What drives you over the deep edge? What makes you unhappy or makes you cringe? What makes you know that this relationship is not healthy?
Once you complete the Negative list, it's time for a Positive list. What makes you happy in this relationship? What does he/she do that makes you happy? What good qualities does this person possess? What good times do you have together?
This is your Pros and Cons list aka Positives and Negatives list. If you plan on Staying and making it work.
Go over your negatives (cons) list and really think about everything that is on that list. Does it really matter if there is toothpaste splatter all over the sink and mirror? Is the toilet seat being kept up really a major issue? Is the fact that she hangs her pantyhose all over the bathroom a real problem? When he shaves and there are little hairs on the sink top, is that really a reason for breakup? When her hair is all over the place is that a reason? When she asks you to do the same thing over and over again, is that really nagging or have you just not done it you just been procrastinating? Go within and really give thought to the issues and see if they are issues that you could live with. No one will ever be perfect. This I will guarantee you. If he or she does not cause major life issues, and I'm talking about: Is he or she verbally abusive, mean, nasty, and downright rude? Does he or she have serious addictions? Are there issues that are even worse? Is there infidelity in the marriage? Are you going for counseling? I always suggest counseling first because it does help some couples. It is usually the last ditch effort and who knows where it will take you if it is a relationship worth saving. If the other person is not willing to go for counseling, I'd consider changing your mind about staying unless you know there is definite chance for improvement without it. I am not telling you to leave your partner, all I am saying is, really, really think about your situation. You must start changing your thoughts and attitude to change your life.
Now, if you have decided I'm definitely staying,
then here are some steps I would suggest that you to take.
Start by making a list of all of the positive things about this person.
Why did you fall in love with him/her?
What does he/she do that makes you smile?
Is he/she funny?
Is he/she your best friend or at least one of your friends?
What attracted you to this person?
Start writing down all of the positive things from the past and start appreciating all of those things first. This will put you in a great frame of mind for the present. I always tell my clients not to think about the past. What I mean is the negative past, but I love the positive aspects of the past so by all means think about those for this exercise. Leave the negative past right where it is, in the past. That's the only way this is going to work. Start from this moment on. A relationship filled with grudges can never succeed. The grudges get bigger and bigger as the years go on. If you really want this to work let go of the Ego, let go of Pride. Start from this moment on. Everything that your partner told you that you do not do for them or with them should change NOW! It's not too late if you both want to make it work. Take it as constructive criticism or them telling you so you have a better relationship.
I had a partner that I told many times what I needed from him, and he would not do it. First, he said it was because he couldn't do it immediately after I asked him to because it wouldn't feel like it was coming from him. Then, when it didn't happen for three weeks and I commented again, he called this nagging, he said I needed to remind him and it was my fault it wasn’t happening because I was reminding him. I'm here to tell you right now...if you want it to work, listen to the feedback you get from your partner. Have they told you in the past that you don't appreciate all that they do? Start telling them how much you appreciate them. Have they told you how they just need a little bit of touch every now and then or a hug? Start touching and hugging them. These little things could change your entire relationship. People want to be heard, they also want to be loved. Everyone has a different way of feeling and showing love. I will share that in another article. Appreciate your partner! Point out the good!
Make a list of all of the things that this person does now that you are grateful for. It could be as little as throwing out the garbage or washing the dishes. Or it could be as big as providing for the family and being a great father or mother, being the best housewife or partner. Really think about what you are grateful for. This is a very important step on your journey to happiness. Add what you are grateful for to the things that you loved about your partner from the beginning. I am grateful for ___________. If you plan on leaving.
First make sure that you are positive that this is your decision. Don't jump to any rash decisions. Weigh out all of the options. Again, the pros and cons/positives and negatives list. Do what's right for you. Start this very moment thinking about YOU. Not your spouse, partner or the kids. I know that sounds harsh but you need to take a moment to focus on you. If you don't you will feel overwhelmed and as if there is no way out. If you have any doubt about leaving, this is an exercise that I would suggest you do.
Tony Robbins did something to this effect at a seminar and it definitely had a huge impact on many attendees. We all had our eyes closed and the room was dark. When you do it, if you do it, you will be alone so it will be even easier. I thought this was a very powerful tool to see a glimpse of the future. I would like you to do something similar. After you read all of this, close your eyes or look at yourself in a mirror and imagine yourself in this relationship 5 years from now. How do you feel? How does your body feel? How is your mind? Take some time to really put yourself there. Then picture yourself in 10 years from now, 15 and 20. How do you feel? I want you to really concentrate on each time frame for more than a few minutes. Really put yourself there. How do you feel? I know that when I did this exercise many, many years ago when it was time to end a relationship, I got a knot in my stomach. I almost felt nauseous and I was crying. I felt more and more unhealthy and unhappy as the years went on in my mind. That's okay. If that is the case - ask yourself - Is this where I am supposed to be? Is this where you want to be? Do you want to feel like that in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years? Don't waste your life away if you are not in the right situation. If you feel sick to your stomach, if you are crying, if you feel like this is so wrong then you need to reevaluate where you want to be in life. This doesn't sound like the person for you. Making a change would probably be advantageous to your well-being. I’m not advocating you breaking up; just giving you my thoughts on the matter.
If the answer is a surefire yes, that you are leaving, then here are some steps that you will need to take.
Start setting goals.
Find a good lawyer. Find one that will make it a peaceful transition and not cause more trouble within the already unhealthy relationship. You set the ground rules by being fully aware of what you wish to keep and not to keep ahead of time. Be fair, this isn't a battle. This will help you stand your ground though, in case anyone tries to sway you. You know what you want. You need for this divorce to go the way you want it to go. If that is smoothly that is great. Remember it is better to be kind than right. Do your best to be the best you possible through this.
Do you have enough money to leave now? If not, start saving. If it’s that bad find somewhere to go or someone to take you in for a short time.
Do you have somewhere to go while in transition? If not, do you know where you want to go or could afford to live? In a furnished room, apartment, townhouse, condo, house, with a relative or friend? Will you stay in your home? Remember, material things mean nothing compared to happiness.
Who will be leaving?
These are all very important things to think about.
Do you have children? If so, how will you handle this situation? Will they be with you ½ the time and the other parent the other ½? Do you want sole custody with visitation rights?
Think about all of these things ahead of time so that when you present this to your lawyer and partner you are totally prepared and ready for any questions and comeback. Don't leave any room open for "ifs" and "buts" and negative feedback. Let the other person see that you really planned this out and you are serious. It may be a lot of work for you to do alone but it is worth it to have a calmer break up. You may decide to seek counseling or hire a Self Empowerment Coach to get you through the transition. Some people think that break ups can't be calm. My belief is it is all in the way you present it. If you're ready to fight - the other person will put on their gloves. If you take a peaceful approach this will sometimes, and I emphasize sometimes, calm the other person down. If not, at least you will have peace within yourself. Every now and then it just takes some time for the other person to see that the relationship really is unhealthy. Some individuals will never understand why you are leaving and blame you but that should not stop you from leaving. You may have told them about this problem 100+ times and they still don't know why you are leaving. That's okay. They may never get it. As long as you do what you need to do to take care of you. It just probably means you have different ways of showing love and you just don’t mesh.
Before leaving I would also think about what part you play in this relationship. Do you need some counseling either alone or together? Do you have past issues that interfere with your current situation? Did you pick someone who was wrong for you or is he/she totally right for you and YOU need to change? Are you sabotaging the relationship because deep within you don’t feel like you deserve this person? It's not always the other person. Men and women have different ways of communicating. Please be sure to look within first. Sometimes, we are the cause of a bad relationship. It's hard to accept that but it is sometimes true. Please take that into consideration. What could you change that might ultimately change the relationship? Have you tried this yet or are you just running? There are so many things to take into consideration before ending a relationship. My best endings to relationships were the ones people shared with me how they perceived me because it enabled me to change those things for future relationships.
Good luck with your future. I hope that you either stay in a healthy relationship, make a not so good relationship great, or think about whether you want to stay or go if you are in a bad one. Just be sure to be sure! This is a big decision. Only speak to people who are going to encourage you to do the right thing and be supportive of your choices. Sometimes others will try to talk us into staying in a bad relationship. Sometimes they try to talk us out of a good one. You always want to take others advice into consideration but don't take it to heart. Review it and keep what resonates with you, the rest throw out.
I wish you luck on your journey!
Marion Licchiello is creator of Get Motivated with Marion, a company that helps to change people’s lives on a daily basis. She has helped numerous men and women transform their lives over the years through changing their focus, creating a new mindset, visualization, seminars, workshops, and 1-on-1 coaching. She coaches over the phone, IM or in person. She keeps in contact through emails also. Her mission in life is to help others through her own experiences. She is the author of “ANYONE CAN! Live A Happier Life”. She is interested in your stories of how you changed your negatives into positives. She practices and believes that "Whatever you focus on is what you get" whether it is good or bad, so why not focus on the good. She changed her life through visualization and focus and she knows you can too!
Email Marion at email@example.com
to learn more about how you could change your life or help someone you love. Website: www.anyonecanliveahappierlife.com