relationship has its ups and downs

“Reflections By Glass” HANG IN — OR HANG IT UP?

Every relationship has its ups and downs. People in long-term marriages often recall times when they were on

1. Physical and emotional abuse

   Throw in the Towel:

  • If you are only staying because you are afraid to leave.
  • If you feel like a prisoner in your own home.
  • If partner blames you for provoking their anger.
  • If you feel like you are losing your sense of identity.

   Pick Up the Pieces

  • If the abuse has been linked to drug or alcohol, and your partner is in recovery.
  • If the fights are interactive ones where you participate equally in the escalation, and you are involved in couples therapy to learn conflict resolution.
  • If partner admits responsibility for the abuse and is committed to long-term therapy and/or medication.

2. Financial irresponsibility

   Throw in the Towel:

  • If you have lost vital assets due to partner’s reckless spending or gambling.
  • If partner acts entitled to buy extravagant personal items but doesn’t have money for the basics like groceries.

   Pick Up the Pieces

  • If you have enabled your partner by encouraging their spending or by continuously bailing them out.
  • If their over-spending is a symptom of power struggles in the relationship.

3. Infidelity

   Throw in the Towel:

  • If partner has no compassion for your pain.
  • If partner justifies the betrayal or minimizes the significance of the infidelity.
  • If partner continues to lie and deceive you.

   Pick Up the Pieces

  • If partner shows remorse and empathy for your devastation.
  • If partner takes responsibility for understanding their vulnerabilities.
  • If partner is willing to discuss the betrayals openly and honestly.
  • If the unfaithful behavior has stopped.

Sometimes people leave relationships because the passion is gone or the loving feelings have diminished. This could be a big mistake. Most relationships shift from romantic idealization to a period of disillusionment. Those who keep working at it then move into a reality-based mature love in which differences and minor flaws are accepted. Lack of loving feelings can be caused by unresolved resentments or insufficient time and attention on the relationship. Remember if you leave to start another relationship, you will eventually have to struggle with many of the same issues. Why not try to maximize the one you are already committed to? If you can’t improve things by yourself, try couples therapy or a marriage education course before giving up. Behave in loving ways, and the feelings will start flowing back. Remember, love is not just a feeling — love is also a verb.

This column appeared on, part of Oxygen Media. All rights reserved

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