When is it time to say “This relationship is over”?

WHEN IS IT TIME TO SAY “THIS RELATIONSHIP IS OVER”?

Michele Gruenhage

Frequently people come into my office unsure about whether their relationship is worth saving or if it is beyond repair.  As couples tell me the story of their relationship I hear them describe the ways they each feel hurt, lonely, and discouraged.  Sometimes couples come in soon after they recognize they need support in communicating with each other in better ways. They haven’t had much conflict and they feel terrible about the things they recently said to each other in the heat of the moment.

More often, however, couples have been coping with their painful dynamics for years, and their level of discouragement is high, and their hope is low.  They have ingrained patterns of fighting – yelling, screaming, name-calling, and/or silence. The Four Horsemen are running rampant. They feel embarrassed and worried about how all of the fighting is affecting their kids.  Maybe there has been an emotional or sexual affair. Maybe one or both partners struggle with addiction – gambling, pornography, drugs, and/or alcohol.

I often ask clients “Why do you stay in this relationship?”  Or “What is your commitment to working on this relationship?”.  These are some of the answers I hear regularly:

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The Psychology of Arrogance

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ARROGANCE

Glenn Geher

5 reasons that arrogant people (regrettably) often succeed

Raise your hand if you like arrogant people?! … Just as I figured – no hands! Hey, I’m with you!

I work with a lot of people and, over the years, I have come to truly believe that there is at least a splash of good in each and every person. And that we all have a ticket on the same ride. I try to be forgiving and I try to respect others as best I can.

This said, if there is one quality in others that gets my goat, it is arrogance. In an article summarizing a provocative set of studies, Johnson, Silverman, Shyamsunder, Swee, Rodopman, Cho, and Bauer (2010, p. 405) define arrogance as “stable belief of superiority and exaggerated self-importance that are manifested with excessive and presumptuous claims.” Sounds about right. We all know one. He or she might belittle you without warning in any context. This person almost definitely talks behind your back. And you go out of your way to avoid having to have interactions with this person as you fear that such interactions may leave you feeling bad for any number of reasons.

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‘PANTS’ Rules

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‘PANTS’ RULES

Please every parent and guardian should teach their children and wards, especially toddlers, very early about ‘PANTS’ rules. Times have changed and the world has become a very sick and pathetic place to live. There are many paedophiles and rapists out there. Be careful, and note that everyone is a suspect here.

We must prayerfully protect our children by arming them with the right information:

PANTS

P – Private parts are private. Nobody is permitted to touch them.

A – Always remember that your body is yours and yours only.

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5 Steps to Fighting Better if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For

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5 STEPS TO FIGHTING BETTER IF YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR

Kyle Benson

Conflict is inevitable in every relationship. Psychologist Dan Wile says it best in his book After the Honeymoon: “When choosing a long-term partner, you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unresolvable problems.” However, Dr. Gottman has found that nearly 1/3 of all conflicts can be resolved with the right approach.

The popular approach to conflict resolution, advocated by many marriage therapists, is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes, listen to what they say, and communicate with empathy that you understand their perspective. It’s a decent method if you can do it.

But most couples can’t. Even happily married couples. After studying couples for the last 40 years, Dr. John Gottman has recognized that even happy couples do not follow the experts’ rules of communication.

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Hurt Feelings Do Not Mean You Did Something Wrong

HURT FEELINGS DO NOT MEAN YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG

LaVerna Wilk

I was recently visiting with a friend and she shared a story about a blowout fight she had with her husband. Being a therapist, I’ve grown used to this over the years.

The story went like this. Someone accidentally moved her chair as she was going to sit down at work, causing her to fall and hit her neck against a desk. As a result, her range of motion was limited and it was very painful for her to turn her head.

After her fall, she and her husband had been driving on the freeway and as he was trying to make a last-second lane change, he asked her to check out the passenger side window for cars. She said she felt disregarded because he knew she was in pain, and his request only made it worse.

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6 Things To Remember When Your Heart Is Breaking

6 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOUR HEART IS BREAKING

Angel Chernoff

It’s a dull, subdued sensation when your heart is breaking, like the muffled sound of a distant gunshot. It doesn’t physically pierce your skin or tear you to pieces, but the sensation is physically present – the paralyzing discomfort of realizing that something you took for granted is leaving for good.

Although it’s hard to accept at first, this is actually a good sign, having a broken heart. It means you have loved something, you have tried for something, and you have let life teach you.

Life will attempt to break you down sometimes; nothing and no one can completely protect you from this reality. Remaining alone and hiding from the world won’t either, for endless, stagnant solitude will also break you with unhealthy nostalgia and yearning.

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24 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person

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24 SIGNS OF A HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON

Preston Ni

Highly sensitive people often “feel too much” and “feel too deep”.

Are you a highly sensitive person? Do you know someone in your personal or professional life who may be highly sensitive? High sensitivity can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. A highly sensitive person may be an introvert, an extrovert, or a combination of both.

Although there are many positive attributes to being a sensitive person (such as greater ability to listen and affirm, greater empathy and intuitiveness, better understanding of others’ wants and needs, etc.), in this writing we will focus on aspects of high sensitivity which adversely affect one’s healthhappiness and success, and often complicate relationships. Below are twenty-four signs of a highly sensitive person, with excerpts from my books: “Are You Highly Sensitive? How to Gain Immunity, Peace, and Self-Mastery(link is external)” and “How to Communicate Effectively with Highly Sensitive People(link is external)” These traits are organized into three major categories: Sensitivity About Oneself, Sensitivity About Others, and Sensitivity About One’s Environment.

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The Danger of Manipulative Love-Bombing in a Relationship

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THE DANGER OF MANIPULATIVE LOVE-BOMBING IN A RELATIONSHIP

Dale Archer

Spot the warning signs of love bombing early and recover faster with these tips.

“Lisa,” a 30-year-old patient, came to see me regarding a tumultuous relationship: Two years prior, she had met the perfect man, “Jake.” This was a guy who called every day, sent flowers, planned romantic getaways, and was so thoughtful and understanding about everything. After just a few weeks, Lisa was head over heels in love and thought, “this must be my soul mate!”

Then one day, Lisa got a call from an out-of-town college girlfriend, who wanted to go out, have a few drinks, and catch up. She made plans to go, but rather than say, “Have a great time!” Jake became very angry. How dare she spend time with a friend without his permission? He started screaming, “You don’t deserve me,” and stormed out.

Lisa was in shock. How could this loving man, who had been attentive, caring, thoughtful, and considerate in so many ways, suddenly get so angry over something so trivial? Distraught, and desperate to put a positive spin on it, she decided his anger was further evidence of his tremendous love for her; it was protective, not controlling.

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The Death of Love Isn’t Natural: The 7 Steps to Separation

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THE DEATH OF LOVE ISN’T NATURAL: THE 7 STEPS TO SEPARATION

Kyle Benson

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source, it dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds, it dies of weariness, of witherings, or tarnishings, but never a natural death.” – Anais Nin


Marriages rarely end overnight. They tend to unravel over time, in ways that are now fairly predictable thanks to research by Dr. John Gottman. In 1986 Dr. Gottman and his colleagues built a Love Lab to learn the secrets of lasting love and understand why love dies.

By studying couples for over 40 years, Dr. Gottman could predict with a 90% accuracy which marriage would fail, and which would succeed. These are the factors he found most often contribute to the dissolution of a marriage:

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5 things to do and 5 things not to do when your marriage is suffering

5 THINGS TO DO AND 5 THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN YOUR MARRIAGE IS SUFFERING

Shaelynn Miller

Here’s what therapists say you should do (and not do) when your marriage is suffering.

No one plans for their marriage to suffer. But sometimes couples experience rough patches or issues they think they’ll never overcome. Here are five things to do and five things to avoid when your marriage is suffering.

Five things to do when your marriage is suffering

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