Relationships can be very difficult. Why is it worth it to try and save it? and when is it necessary to call it quits?

Relationships of any duration can often be hard. Why? Initially, most couples get together and it’s easy and fun. Talking about everything seems like a breeze and getting along well and feeling connected is basic. Then what happens? After a period of time, people are not on their best behavior as they were in the beginning. When something happens at work or with friends or family that is difficult, irritability and stress become apparent. How that gets acted out is different with different people, but typically, people tend to take out their feelings on the ones they are closest to….not really fair, but it happens so often. Then, the couple begins to argue. And usually around the same time, life stage issues surface. Shall we live together ? Shall we have a child ? These are tremendous life decisions which are both very exciting and stressful.

Everyone deals with stress in different ways. It is helpful to talk with one another about how you deal with stress and have your partner understand you. That way, the reaction can be expected. This is not necessarily easy, but is a factor that, when understood, can help a couple work out issues together. Once a couple has children and have established a life together, I always think it is worth trying to save the relationship if possible. Divorce is very disruptive and difficult.

The other big issue is that whatever problems you have in a relationship, chances are you will have those same issues in a future relationship. Changing partners does not necessarily solve the problem. So, it is helpful to try to resolve the issues and see if that first relationship can work. Another important consideration is that life is not perfect, and no relationship is perfect. Is it “good enough?” Expecting perfection will not lead down a good path. If you can get past perfection, can you accept things in your partner that you don’t really like? Can you accept that you will not get everything you need from this one partner? Life is complex and comprised of many parts. The key is finding ways to deal with all the parts and working to meet your needs.

But sometimes, you really know that this relationship will just not work. How do you know that? Well, if you are really unhappy most of the time. If you’ve been feeling good until you are with your partner and then generally feel bad and can’t wait to be away. If you feel angry all the time. If you feel generally unloved and uncared about. Those are bad feelings that need your attention. And if that’s how you generally feel, I suggest you first try some couple therapy to be sure. And if that is unsuccessful, then there is probably not choice but to separate. And it will be okay!