A Miserable Relationship Changes You — How to Rediscover Yourself

The hardest thing is learning how to love without losing yourself

Karen Nimmo
On The Couch
Published in
4 min readMay 23, 2024

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Image by Freepik

My client was fresh out of a relationship gone slowly, badly wrong.

She’d left her marriage after discovering her partner’s infidelity but — she admitted — that was just a “really good excuse”.

She’d been miserable for years with a man who wasn’t mean, wasn’t toxic — he just paid her very little attention. His job was breadwinner; hers was domestics and kids — there wasn’t much overlap.

“I did things to try and get him to notice me but nothing seemed to work. I felt invisible. I forgot who I was.”

But then, in a whisper she added, “perhaps I never really knew?”

Two Types of Misery

“I surrendered myself to the cages of others’ expectations, cultural mandates, and institutional allegiances until I buried who I was in order to become what I should be. I lost myself when I learned how to please.” ― Glennon Doyle

Stories like that of my client are common in therapy — particularly when people…

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Karen Nimmo
On The Couch

Clinical psychologist, author of 4 books. Editor of On the Couch: Practical psychology for health and happiness. karen@onthecouch.co.nz