Can you handle a failing relationship


When a new relationship begins, it often seduces the mind to explore the unexplored. There is no subtlety, just a lot of excitement. But with time, boredom trickles in and the reality of life can diminish the spark. Disagreements, jealousy, unfulfilled expectations all play a role in making your relationship lose soul and with time many of such relationships sputter to an end. Sometimes the differences are irreconcilable; but the real trouble begins when one partner feels the differences can be worked out while the other has already undone the cupid’s magic.

It was in the time of our grandparents and great grandparents that couples once married, spent the rest of their lives together till their last breath. We’d hear them brood over issues but rarely talk about separation. But today when everything happens so quickly, people also fall in and out of love so easily.

Talking about failing relationships, psychologist Harsheen K. Arora, Co Founder – The V Renaissance opines, “Couples are spending lesser time in trying to build trust with each other -trust comes with time and a belief that no matter what the other person has their back. The lack of proper communication and expression of one’s feelings leads to doubt and assumptions. “We need to talk!” is a statement that most partners today dread. However, they reach that point because they are not talking to each other about what matters on a regular basis.” Dr. Sameer Malhotra, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and Drug DE addiction Specialist Director, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Max Hospital, Saket adds, “As a person wanting to break the relationship, try to think about the consequences on self and others involved in the process; also try to ask self whether you have genuinely made efforts to correct the relationship your end or not; and also give some time to your partner to clear his/her stance and to bring about a meaningful change in his /her behaviour.

Try to resolve issues through a meaningful dialogue without any bias/prejudices, focussing on the current problems, and try a solution based approach. There is also no harm in visiting a professional for comprehensive assessment and marriage counselling.” Many a times underlying personality problems , emotional or behavioural disorders including drug abuse (psychiatric disorders) can cause misunderstandings in relationships.

But what makes the falling out more complex and tough? Andrea Wachter, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-author of The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook tells, “The natural tendency of any person in a crisis like this is to worry about future. But what they need to know is that you cannot predict future, so there is no point fretting over it. In my personal therapy sessions I have seen couples come closer after a chapter of infidelity, I have seen some go separate ways and realise they felt so much happier. In short, you have no idea how things will eventually turn out. Sometimes the stories and scenarios that we create in such situations seem so real that they scare us even more. So focus less on the negatives and do what feels right for them.” Sometimes you are not as trapped as you feel.

What will make you feel better?

Sit and think about things that you used to be passionate about before this relationship took away all your attention and time. It’s best to reestablish old passions and also cultivate some new interests, something that you have always wanted to do. It could be as simple as joining a book club, learning to play guitar or going on a hike or starting a blog.

When stuck in a tricky relationship, where you don’t know what to do, your mind often goes in two direction – one will be the over confident side that will encourage you to take the risk and step away from the relationship. The other cautious side will warn you about things that can go wrong. So pick up a diary and a pen. Write down things you resent about your life, things you worry the most about and then pen down points that make you feel confident about moving on in life. Try and balance the two.

For some, inability to handle stress related to a breakup or cheating partner can make the situation worse. They may threaten suicide to stop a partner from leaving. But what they don’t understand is that instead of helping, it just creates anger and resentment. A leaving partner will rarely be able to empathise with such blackmails. Having said that, such situations need attention to prevent a potential mishap. Criminal psychologist, Anuja Kapur explains how the situation should be dealt with:

Call near and dear ones and let them know of the threats or intentions threats given by the other partner.

 Give an application to the SHO of the nearest police station mentioning the threats given by the other partner. It may sound insensitive but if the suicidal threats continue for a prolonged period, it’s best to take preventive measures.
Kapur further adds, “In order to avoid future complications, couples can consider going into an MOU (Memorandum of understanding), which is a kind of legal contract where the partners can either create liabilities or can exclude themselves if either of them want to end the relationship.”

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