The latest fad in New Year resolutions seems to be “cleansing.” But what if you cleansed your love life? What if you made a resolution to get all the toxins out of your life, even if it includes … your toxic relationship? How would you feel? If you have an inkling that you might feel better, read on.
- Is your relationship bringing you more pain than joy?
You probably started out with a lot of good times together. Maybe the sex was great or you really enjoyed going out to your favorite restaurants and movies. But lately, the joyous times are few and far between. Perhaps various problems have come between you and you just don’t feel like you used to when you are together.
The thing is, you shouldn’t be feeling more pain than joy your relationship. With the exception of the occasional argument, you should always feel good with your partner. If something happened that caused a rift between you, ask yourself, will you be able to heal from it and move on? Or will the thorn always be there, causing a fresh wound over and over?
- Have you tried to work out your problems to no avail? All couples can feel like they are “stuck in a rut” from time to time. Even the best of couples can have the same issues come up again and again (“He is so forgetful,” “I wish she would keep the house tidier,” “I don’t like traveling to Minnesota every winter to see the in-laws”).
But if there’s a problem that registers as an 8, 9, or 10 on a scale of 1-10, as being extremely serious to your relationship, it must get worked through. If you’ve tried couples therapy or talking about the issue and you or your partner puts up a wall preventing any headway in solving the issue, then that’s a big red flag. Major unresolved issues will not go away on their own.
- Do you feel like you’ve invested too much time in this relationship and you can’t leave?
We call this “Ponzi-Love.” You’ve invested too much time, money, and life into this relationship. How can you walk away if you’ve already given so much?
But, you can. Spending more time in a bad relationship will not bring you back more time. Or money.
- Do you hardly have anything in common with your partner?
If you only have fun together when you’re drinking, partying, or going on vacation, there’s a problem. You should be able to enjoy everyday things with your partner, like taking walks, talking about your day at work, eating meals, and watching TV together.
You should have most things in common, such as opinions, values, beliefs, lifestyle preferences, and hobbies. Sure, you may differ on a few things, but if these differences cause you to spend most of your free time with others away from your partner, that’s a problem.
- Do you feel any disdain or disgust when you think about your partner?
This seems like an obvious problem. On a given day, if things are copacetic between you and your partner, if the very thought of him or her makes you feel repelled, then you’ve got a problem on your hands.
Thinking about your partner with disdain or disgust usually indicates that you lack respect for your partner. Perhaps this came about from something deeply hurtful that your partner did … or perhaps it developed over time due to cracks in the foundation of your relationship. But if you don’t respect your partner … why are you still with him or her?
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