Why do relationships end? What makes us decide to throw in the towel instead of sticking it out and resolving our problems? How can we be strong and persevere in the face of difficulty, so our relationship lasts?
Everyone who is in a relationship has thought about leaving it. I don’t care how happy you are in this moment, there has to be some time, maybe in your past, maybe recently, where you felt so upset and you couldn’t figure out how to change the circumstances and you thought that leaving the relationship is the only way out. All of us feel this. This is human.
Why Do People Get Fed Up and Leave Relationships?
So if everyone in a relationship thinks about leaving when they get upset, why do some couples seem to figure out how to make their relationships last? These couples have worked on staying. This is the art of being in a relationship, and maybe the art of being a mate. It’s developing the skill of believing the relationship will get better.
I know that this is not even a thought when you are so mad at your mate that you can’t stand their mere presence anymore. I know you can’t find a reason to stay one more second, and yet if you have had a previous fight where you felt this way, you have given the relationship at least one more chance. Yeah, that’s what you have done. You believed in the relationship enough to give it another chance.
How Do People Hang In There When Relationships Are Difficult?
Sometimes we wonder how resilient we are. Sometimes we are even amazed that we weathered such emotional turmoil. And if you can look back in your relationship and see that you have come through some big fights and now your fights are milder, fewer, and further in between, you know you’ve survived the hard part. You have built enough resilience to know you and your mate will get through what comes.
Now this place is very special and hard to describe. And everyone who has fought and felt terrible just wishes they can inhabit some sense of knowing that everything will be OK. But there is no guarantee anywhere. The people who make it just find a way to not let the terrible moments be the end of the relationship.
Resilience Helps Prevent Relationships From Ending Early
It’s not magic. I know many times in the early days of my relationship I would grab my dog and storm out of the house and walk around the block crying and wishing I could just run away and disappear. I wished I could go to a safe place where I wouldn’t be unhappy and everything would be great. I did this a lot in the early days. And when I returned I still felt awful, but I always returned.
And that’s the key. Just stay. Teach yourself to stay. Staying is not defeat. Staying is not saying you will put up with bad stuff. Staying is making a statement that you are trying to build something better. You and your mate have never done this together before. Give yourselves a little room to grow. It’s hard to figure these things out. And that’s what you are doing. Figuring out what it’s like for you and the one that you love to stay connected even when you don’t want to be.
So, Why Do Relationships End? It’s Because People Don’t Make the Decision to Stay. Make the Decision to Stay
And doesn’t that sound weird? And yes, that’s what it takes. Deciding to stay, even when you feel like leaving. The more you practice this action, the more you can do it. And then you build a habit of knowing that you live there, even when you are upset. Maybe you just go into another room. That’s OK to do while working things out. The main thing is you haven’t left. It’s the leaving that is so hard to repair.
So learn to stay. Tell yourself something to get yourself to stay. Always be safe, but find a way to stay if you want to build something long lasting with your person. This is how we grow as humans. This is how you grow with your mate. This is how it is done.
Bring Simple Joy to Your Relationship
Attend a Talk About Relationships
On the 1st and 3rd Monday each month, you can attend FREE relationship talks from marriage and family specialists. Come learn how to create a good relationship and understand problems that get in the way.
Come join the conversation. No reservations needed.
- Mondays: 6:30–7:30pm
- 1232 E Wardlow Road,
Long Beach, CA 90807.
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn how to be resilient in your relationship and weather the tough times, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help you communicate better and build a solid foundation for your relationship, helping you feel closer, fight less, and love more. Give it a read.
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Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.