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 Risky Paradox of Love: The More You Give, The More you Feel

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THE RISKY PARADOX OF LOVE: THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU FEEL

Kyle Benson

Love is often perceived as this easy thing that everyone is capable of doing. I find this to be untrue. To love and be loved can create anxiety.

To have the faith that we are lovable and beautiful with our scars, not just temporarily, but permanently in our own heart, is a questionable endeavor for many. Even I am not immune to the protective armor we wear to guard our fragile bleeding hearts.

I remember sitting in my psychoanalyst’s office talking about a new relationship I was starting. I told my analyst that my mind was jumping to conclusions. “Maybe she wants children right now and I’m not ready for that,” I said to him. “She doesn’t text very often because she’s busy working an amazing job. I don’t think she has time for me.”

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

Separation

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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Why a woman needs to be prayerful

WHY A WOMAN NEEDS TO BE PRAYERFUL

In Luke 7, Jesus observed a huge funeral procession in Nain. The entire town was present. He observed the young men and women weeping. He observed the pastors and apostles weeping. He observed the elders weeping. He observed the fathers weeping. He observed the children weeping. He observed the sadness on people’s faces.

Nothing seemed to move Him, until HE SAW THE MOTHER. The Bible says He had compassion when He saw her and immediately raised her boy from the dead. (Luke 7:12-15). It was the cry of a mother that moved the Heart of God.

Still today, Mothers who cry before the Lord for their families, for their marriages, for their homes, move the Heart of God. When MOTHERS stop praying, their families (especially their children) perish. Satan gets a foothold and starts to destroy the home, yet when they return to their rightful place as the anchor of the home, demonic strongholds get demolished.

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7 Daily Rituals Intentional Couples Use to Cultivate Lasting Love

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7 DAILY RITUALS INTENTIONAL COUPLES USE TO CULTIVATE LASTING LOVE

Kyle Benson

Due to the daily pressures, distractions, and dynamics of modern life, a romantic couple doesn’t have to be dysfunctional to grow distant over time. Long working hours and the demands of raising children can push date night, sex, and romantic vacations to last place on the priority list.

Researchers at UCLA observed 30 dual-career couples with young children to understand the daily challenges for finding opportunities to build strong relationships and families. They discovered that these couples: 1

  1. Spend less than 10% of their time at home with each other and without their children around
  2. Are career-focused with long working hours (partner one) and a have a double burden of work and childcare (partner two)
  3. Prioritize children and household needs over the needs of their spouse or self
  4. Become more like roommates, drifting apart emotionally and physically
  5. Miss important opportunities to connect emotionally on a daily basis

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5 Ways to Make Small Gestures Count in Your Marriage

Image result for picture of an elderly black couple

5 WAYS TO MAKE SMALL GESTURES COUNT IN YOUR MARRIAGE

Terry Gaspard

One of the things that Jake appreciates about Kristin is her way of showing love through her actions. Jake puts it like this: “When I come home after a long day and Kristin is there, she usually gives me a hug and wants to know how my day went.”

According to a new study by researchers at Penn State University, you don’t need grand gestures to show your partner love. In fact, this team found that small gestures, such as hugging, holding hands, and regular acts of kindness all top the list of how most Americans report feeling loved and appreciated.

Kristin explains: “It’s the everyday moments that matter. Jake and I have found that little things make a difference. When I forgot to pay my cell phone bill, Jake noticed it lying on the counter unopened and quickly called in the payment so it wouldn’t be late.”

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Self Care: Cherishing Yourself And Your Relationship

SELF CARE: CHERISHING YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Ellie Lisitsa

In Wednesday’s posting on The Gottman Relationship Blog, in which we shared a recent study out of UC Berkeley on the relationship between sleep and relationship conflict, we brought up the importance of cultivating good habits in self care, one of the most critical tools in maintaining healthy relationships. This weekend, we offer you a few of Dr. Gottman’s tips for goal-setting and stress management! We hope that the following lists will help you as you work to find balance and create a healthier lifestyle, both for yourself and for your relationship.

DR. GOTTMAN’S TIPS FOR GOAL SETTING:

  • Make your goals specific and measurable. Rather than telling your partner that you would like to talk more, suggest that you go on a date every other Saturday. Leave the kids with the babysitter and find some time for just the two of you.
  • Think about the pros and cons of making healthy changes. If we stick with the example above, we could imagine that a pro would be the ability to feel closer to each other and relax (at a favorite dinner spot, on a jaunt through a beloved park, in a cozy cafe), and a con could be the price of the babysitter.

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A Dad’s Letter to His Son (About the Only Good Reason to Get Married)

A DAD’S LETTER TO HIS SON (ABOUT THE ONLY GOOD REASON TO GET MARRIED)

Kelly Flanagan

Dear Son,

It seems like yesterday you were blowing poop out of your diaper onto your mother’s lap. Yet here we are, on the verge of the birds-and-the-bees conversation. The poop was way easier.

Before we talk about sex, though, I want to talk about marriage. Not because I’ll shun you or shame you if you don’t put them in that order—although I hope you will—but because I believe the only good reason to get married will bring clarity to every other aspect of your life, including sex.

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What Do Singles Really Want?

WHAT DO SINGLES REALLY WANT?

Aaron Ben-Zeév

Is sexual diversity all they need?

“I thought I was promiscuous, but it turns out I was just thorough.” Russell Brand

Many married people envy singles for their greater romantic freedom in conducting casual relationships. Do singles envy married people for their enduring serious relationships? A recent study(link is external) of singles in the United States, conducted by Match, the world’s largest relationship company, indicates surprising trends.

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Is Being Sexy More Important Than Being Beautiful?

IS BEING SEXY MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING BEAUTIFUL?

Aaron Ben-Zeév

Should we bring sexy back?

“I think being sexy is far more important for love and sex than beauty; and it is also quickly identifiable. If I see an unsexy pretty man, I can appreciate the looks but I don’t feel sexually attracted to him. This happens often, not just to me, not just to women. I’d like to think of myself as both sexy and good-looking.” A married woman

Both being sexy and beautiful enhance romantic attraction. Which one is more dominant? And which one is more positively received? The answer is not obvious.

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