17 Jan Relationship Reality-Check
With the whole country seemingly ‘loved up’ in celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, the state of our relationships comes keenly into focus this month. If you have recently suffered a relationship break-up, or if you are struggling along in a partnership that isn’t working, painful feelings of loss and loneliness; rage and frustration and fear and shame can come to the surface. You may find old wounds re-opening as you recall the tender moments and good times you once shared.
As well as seeking qualified and professional help, there are a number of things you can do to help yourself:
If you are trapped in an unfulfilling relationship, look at any codependency issues you might have. Do you stay together because you fear being alone? Do you find yourself sacrificing your own needs to make your partner happy, scared they will reject you if you stand up for yourself? Along with other symptoms, codependency is characterised by poor boundaries, low self-esteem and the need to be in a relationship at all costs. These patterns are deeply ingrained but with qualified help you can start discovering who you really are and relearning how to relate to others in an authentic and healthy way.
And if you have recently broken up with someone, here are some steps you can take to help ease the suffering:
- Keep your distance from your ex, at least until you feel able to communicate on a purely platonic level. Meeting up, texting or calling each other every time you have a weak moment will only hinder the healing process.
- Reflect, but don’t obsess, about why your relationship ended. This can help with coming to terms with what has happened and planning how you can approach future relationships. Accept any mistakes you may have made, but don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge where it was your partner who behaved wrongly, but don’t dwell on blame. As long as you learn something from your experiences they have not been a waste of time.
- Seek the company of those friends who make you feel good about yourself. Take up those activities you always wanted to try, but never got round to or were unable to do whilst part of a couple.
- Go through your house and put away those things that remind you of your ex. It is amazing how strong a reaction you can have to a relationship memento, such as an old photograph or ornament, without being consciously aware.
If you want to look forward to this magical month next year, instead of dreading it, make a commitment to truly resolve your lingering heartache.