Ending A Relationship

Michael Patanella
Aug 20, 2018 · 6 min read

We normally think of Romance when we hear the word Relationship. That word’s meaning goes a lot further than just the kind of love you’d find in a marriage. Relationships cover a broad spectrum that includes relationships between siblings, a parent and child, a childhood friend, work related relationships between co workers, & medical and therapy patient, clinician relationships. All of these can have potential to enhance or hinder quality of life.

The decision to end a relationship is a major choice & much consideration should be put into a potential ending of that relationship. If ending it does turn out to be the best choice, there are guidelines to follow that should be able to clearly see that the decision is, or isn’t the best route. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, (DBT) has a good study module that covers this topic.

The decision for ending a relationship has to be a choice made from the mind, and not the heart. The heart likely will drag emotions into things, and it is quite often that we see potential for rash decision and actions. Allow any ordinary types of feelings to subside; anger, sadness, disappointment, confusion or what have you.

There are certain reasons for ending a relationship that although seem like obvious reasons, are still sometimes difficult for people to leave. The kind of scenario where both parties may actually be enabling each other, feeding a relationship that’s very unhealthy.

Destructive relationships may just slowly but surely get more and more destructive as time goes on. If your body is in harm's way. Or if it puts a roadblock into not allowing happiness, or being at peace. Last, if dignity, and esteem also suffer, you really gotta pack up and get out. Nobody’s mental or physical health should ever be compromised. Especially in a relationship that’s supposedly one of love.

That in turn goes into similar situations, this one being quality of life. A big example is, jealousy. That’s one of the most negative feelings or emotions. Many times, it’s jealousy completely unwarranted, yet it still persists, and begins to hurt the friendship with who a spouse is jealous of.

Many people may tend to back away, and begin to stop communicating as it can be a very awkward feeling when finding out your friend’s mate or spouse is jealous of you. Often times, there is not much to do, that can cease that type of behavior. Such an incredibly awful feeling, and literally can cause physical and mental pain.

It’s a very unfair thing to make such a claim to & usually, doesn’t even carry proof. It’s a representation of a high insecurity, and low trust, that can resonate from that person’ own past misgivings. One who has cheated in their past, will actually, become very jealous, often based on total nonsense. If that jealousy’s hindering the relationship quality on daily basis, then questioning the long term health of the relationship, should be considered.

Another point to consider is when not to end. A time of true difficulty in a relationship, but difficult in a different way then I already discussed. The where the benefits of staying are more, than the benefits of leaving. Unlike the first ones in this article, the ones referenced here have more pros this time and less cons. Tough times, but not times of abuse, broken trust, or malice. Example being,

DBT teaches a module that has a part that goes over this area quite well. Their quote on it is, “It makes sense to stay in a relationship when the cost of leaving is greater than the cost of staying.” Examples that fall under this category are not necessarily abusive or malicious. However the relationship is still quite difficult.

This can be scenarios where one partner may suffer from Dementia. Or other types of Neurological disease or disorder. Many of us can relate to how very difficult this path can become. The person may eventually forget who we are, and all the wonderful memories. There also may be times that seem abusive, based on random anger that those diseases can create. The relationship’s strain may be extremely tested, as those type of brain conditions often literally change who the person is.

These are times when our loved ones need us more than ever. It’s a time when love, patience, and caring might be so difficult, that it’s almost impossible. Although feelings can be strained, we love them & we feel it’s morally best to not walk away.

One important things to remember though, is in order to get through difficult times like these, we must learn how to establish a healthy level of boundaries. Create just enough space that, we aren’t turning our backs on our sick loved one, while we’re also not allowing ourselves to be abused.

It’s important to keep a proper level of distance, as well as be sure that the fine line between having a moral duty & being walked all over is properly balanced. The differences must be completely clear.

Lastly, the final part to this is about guilt that is generated when going through a break up or ending of an relationship.

There’s two types of guilt, Unjustified, and Justified. Justified being when an act intentionally crosses or breaks morals or the values we deem a priority. Unjustified doesn’t break morals. It’s related more to how we feel & worry about other people’s opinions, view, or words about us. Stressing what others think, instead of what we think.

Often times in life, we give more of ourselves to someone else, then we give to ourselves. Not to say that it’s wrong devoting a strong loyalty to a relationship and the person you’re in it with. The problem comes when we start to neglect our own self and our own needs, where a journey in a relationship can start to become unhealthy. It can become so blurred as to whether a relationship is strained, unhealthy, worthy, or as strong as it may had once been.

Ending a relationship can be one of the healthiest things we can do at times. Yet, even when it’s a choice that would greatly improve ourselves, it still remains seemingly impossible to walk away from. Relationships have the potential to either bring out the best in us, or magnify the worst. Mindfulness is a practice that should be devoted to any relationship.

I utilized the DBT Skills Module, Interpersonal Effectiveness Chapter, while researching & preparing this article. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and Mindfulness are fields of study that are seemingly endless. This article is a small fraction of all the learning that’s waiting out there for us.

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Michael Patanella

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Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things. MichaelPatanella.medium.com

Ascent Publication

Strive for happier. Join a community of storytellers documenting the climb to happiness and fulfillment.