Are you stuck in a relationship that’s not working?
Are fears of being alone, broke, and heartbroken all that is keeping you in the relationship?
A bad relationship is not going to suddenly turn into a good one, and at some point, the best thing to do may be to end it. There are many reasons for divorce in Australia, but here are some compelling reasons to end your relationship.
1. There is domestic violence
If this is happening, you need to leave immediately. Contact family or friends and explain what’s going on—people who love you won’t judge. If you need a temporary place to stay, ask them. Look online for legal and social resources. Contact 1800-RESPECT for assistance. Domestic violence is never justifiable and can cause lasting physical and mental trauma.
2. You feel like you’re treading water
Maybe you’ve looked at your own issues and have been working on being a better partner but there’s been no tangible change. All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Relationships run their course and some last longer than others. Stalemates in relationships turn into dead marriages, and often breach of trust. If you’re just treading water, it’s time to do couples therapy, and if that doesn’t work, it may be time to leave.
3. You’re in a joyless union
If you’re constantly miserable and there’s no joy in the relationship, end it. Occasionally people come together because of similar trauma in their pasts—this can be very therapeutic, in the best cases. But it can also bring out the worst in both people. If your relationship is bringing one or both of you constant misery or anxiety, ask yourself why you’re still in it. It can be scary to imagine your life without your partner, so don’t—focus on what you need to do to end the relationship with integrity.
4. There’s constant drama
If your partner is lying and cheating and taking no responsibility for bad behaviour, acknowledge the situation, and then get out. No matter how they act when they’re with you, if your partner is lying and cheating they’re disrespecting you and taking away your free choice. A long-term monogamous relationship with one or two infidelities can still be salvaged, but only if both parties agree to work through it. Constant lying and cheating are untenable and bring much pain. If you can get out of the relationship without a massive, hours-long draining fight, you’ll enter the next phase of your life with less baggage.
5. Your partner is unwilling to work on the relationship
If you’re trying to talk to your partner about the issues but they’re freezing you out. This is a form of passive aggression. The other person doesn’t want to fight or address the problem, so they tune you out, shut down, withdraw, or cease all communication. This is an impasse that’s best avoided and may be a sign you need to end your relationship.
A word on couples therapy
Finally, couples therapy can be very effective for about 80% of people that commit to the process. However, if you’ve been to couples therapy and there was no improvement, this may be an indicator that the relationship is beyond saving. A couples therapist is trained to see patterns, both physical and mental, and guide people towards harmony. If a sustained run at couples therapy didn’t work, consider ending the relationship, as amicably as you can. That you made the effort to go to couples therapy means you both gave it your best shot, and there’s no need to feel like you failed.
Do you need relationship help?
If you need relationship help, contact Clinton Power + Associates for a FREE 15-minute inquiry call to discuss your situation and find out how we can help. Call us now on (02) 8968 9323 or book your free phone consult online.
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.