Far too many couples are breaking up seemingly on a whim. One partner comes home and tells the other partner they’re no longer happy and they want out of the relationship. The other partner is shocked and feels blindsided. The idea that a spouse or significant other would suddenly announce they want out is beyond not OK. This is crazy—particularly if you’ve been together with someone for many years. First off, nobody should ever be shocked about the loss of a relationship. Second off, no relationship should ever end without many conversations happening prior to the bomb dropping.
Relationships require communication to function well. If you are unhappy in a relationship, then you owe it to that relationship to discuss the issue(s) that’s making you unhappy. Staying silent because you don’t want conflict or you don’t believe things will change or you’re too tired or . . . whatever other excuse you tell yourself is just simply not acceptable. And if you have children in the picture, it’s REALLY not OK. Part of being an adult is being expected to act like one. That means we all need to have hard conversations. We all need to step up to the plate. We don’t get to break up by text or walk away or find someone else to distract us and help us escape. Our actions impact people’s lives and we don’t get to take that lightly.
If you’re unhappy in your relationship—SPEAK UP. Talk to your partner about why you’re unhappy and let them know what you want to change. If time goes by and things aren’t changing, then have another conversation. In this conversation, though, ramp up the seriousness of your message. Be totally honest about whether or not you’re thinking of leaving. Request that both of you get into couples therapy. If they refuse, then tell the person that until those things happen, you will be moving out of the bedroom—and then move out of the bedroom. Be clear with them that if that doesn’t change, then you will do an in-house separation and so on until it’s clear that divorce is your only option. All along the way however there should be steady communication. For your entire marriage, there should be steady communication.
Challenge: No one is a mind reader. It is not the other person’s job to try to figure out what you want and need—it is your job to speak it. If your marriage or significant relationship is not what you want, then find the courage to speak to that and ask for what you want. Back your words up with steady actions—and don’t ever drop a bomb from out of the blue about leaving