While some relationships grow and prosper over time, others just aren’t meant to last. If your relationship has been on the rocks for a while, you may have reached the point where you just don’t know what to do anymore. The truth is, staying in a bad relationship is never the answer. You need to work through your problems or go your separate ways. That might be hard to hear, but it needs to be said; there’s no point staying together if you’re unhappy.
The struggle that many couples face is knowing when to work on their relationship and when to call time. To help you and your partner make a decision about your future, we’ve put together this handy guide.
Talk to your partner
If you’re unhappy in your relationship, the first thing that you need to do is talk to your partner. They may be aware of how you’re feeling, or they may have no idea, so talking to them is important. Explain that you’ve started to feel differently and that over the past few months, you’ve wondered whether the two of you are right for each other. Once you’ve talked to him or her, you can then work out what steps the two of you want to take.
See a relationship counselor
Do you want to try and make things work? If the two of you decide that you want to try and fix things, it’s a good idea to see a marriage counselor. Sometimes, talking things through with a counselor can help to improve your relationship. It can prevent arguments from breaking out and help to mediate difficult conversations.
Have a trial separation
If counseling doesn’t seem to help, and you’re still feeling unhappy, a trial separation could help. This is where one of you moves out of your home, and you spend some time apart – this is usually a set period. It could be a couple of weeks or a couple of months, it all depends on how much time you need. After your trial separation ends, you then need to decide if you want to work on your relationship or if you would rather end it.
Consult a lawyer
If you are married and decide that you don’t want to try and make things better, then the first thing that you need to do is consult a divorce lawyer. This is important as there is a lot that needs to be discussed. From who will get what in the settlement to who will have custody of the children, there’s important things to sort. Aim to do this amicably and keep the courts out of it. Doing this will make the process much quicker, easier and less expensive for you both.
Find ways to get back to being happy
If you do decide to give your marriage another try, you need to find ways to stay happy. This means ensuring that old habits like going to bed at separate times, don’t start creeping back in. It is probably a good idea to keep seeing a marriage counselor or relationship coach, just for a while. It’s also important to make an effort to spend quality time together and do little things to show each other how much you care.
Sometimes, relationships just don’t work out. It’s sad, but breakups can often be for the best. That said, sometimes a relationship that seems irreparable can be fixed. Don’t rush into a breakup, spend some time trying to fix things first. Then, if nothing can be done, you know that you’ve done all that you can.