Can I Save My Relationship?

Raising happy kids involves a wide variety of influences. Parenting experts often discuss character and discipline related issues that work toward this goal.  However the health of the relationship of the parents, together or apart, is a crucial factor in helping our kids grow up to be confident and secure in themselves and the world around them.

Relationship expert Sharon Rivkin, author of The First Argument discusses the all important issue of how to leave a toxic and unhealthy relationship. She says that we often do a 'back and forth' dance...asking ourselves "should I leave? It is really that bad? "

According to Sharon, each time we go back in and get back out, we are stronger in our conviction to leave once and for all.  We’ve seen - one more time - the impossibility of the relationship and the necessity for it to end.  Each time, the aftermath of doubt and fear can lessen by remembering the reality of why we’re leaving and why the relationship doesn’t work.  It takes a long time to convince the heart and emotions that something really doesn’t work, even though our head is telling us to leave and stay out.  Repeated pain seems to get the message to our hearts that “I just can’t do this anymore.” It’s when we slip into our fantasy about the relationship that we have our doubts.  The more reality-based we are, the less we doubt our decision, and the stronger we get.  We may need to go back in several times to hold onto the reality that it’s over when we leave.  One day it just happens that we’re done.

Sometimes we leave the relationship when we’re not really done, and not allowing ourselves to go back in makes us hold onto the partnership much longer.  You can’t will yourself to be done.  It’s a process and it takes as long as it’s going to take.

There are no rules or time lines for ending a relationship.  It is by staying with your truth that the end will naturally come, without force or will.  So if you’ve gotta go back in to get back out, do it with consciousness and choice, and to become clear about your decision.  When you know deep inside it is time to leave for good, you will.

Below are five things to remember about going back in to get back out:
1.  You are not stupid or crazy to go back in – just human.

2.  Don’t be hard on yourself - that just weakens you.

3.  Go back in with consciousness, observing and learning again what doesn’t work.

4.  There are no time lines about when you should be done

5.  Sometimes if you don’t go back in, it can take even longer to really let go.

Sharon reminds us that all relationships are complicated and they are a process. Honoring that in both our spouses and our children is an important step to creating a healthy family, regardless of the specific circumstances.

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