So often I talk to people who are riddled with angst over whether or not all is well and secure in their romantic partnership.
Take the example of Katelyn:
"I just hope everything is okay with my boyfriend, I never know for sure. I love hanging out with him but then when I don't see him I feel completely disconnected and worry he is out with other women. I try to talk to him about it, and he gets angry with me. He says I'm overly sensitive, and I need to give him his space. I need to be more secure and less emotional."
Or, the example of Simon:
I've been married for 7 years and I don't want to leave my wife. But I always feel like I'm on eggshells, as if I can't be myself or she will explode. I stopped doing hobbies and hanging out with friends. All I do is worry about what my wife will think or not think of my actions . When I try to talk to her she turns the tables and tells me how I have let her down. I think I need to try harder to be what she expects me to be, but I can't crack the code to keep her happy.
Here are 5 ways to determine if you need to let go of a relationship:
1. Trust In Your Emotions: If you are feeling, more times than not, insecure and ill at ease about your relationship, you need to pay attention to this perception. You are not overly sensitive, insecure, needy, and irrational all of the time. People tend to tell themselves these things so as to push their negative emotions away and avoid confronting the possibility that a relationship may not be sustainable. Instead of criticizing yourself for your feelings, take them seriously and try to directly talk with your partner. If your partner habitually dismisses you, rejects you or turns the tables by blaming you for your feelings, this is an indicator that this relationship may simply not be workable. Manipulation through guilting you, telling you are overly sensitive, needy and turning the tables are key signs of a toxic union.
2. Trust In Reliability. The basis of healthy love and friendship is believing people are going to do what they say they are going to do. It means something if your partner often leaves you hanging, shows up late or doesn't show up at all. We all have off days or events come up that are out of our control, but most of the time your partner should be reliable. If you live with anxiety about what's going to happen next or whether he/she is going to let you down, there is a major issue in your relationship. If you live off small crusts and crumbs of pleasure with your partner, then consider that this relationship may not have enough sustenance to keep you happy and healthy.
3. Trust In Intuition: Have you ever had a hunch about someone but then talked yourself out of it, only to later have your original hunch confirmed? So often when partnering up we want so badly to believe in a person or in love that we dismiss our intuition. We know something is off or not quite right about our new partner but choose to ignore or push away these insights in favor of getting swept up in romantic love. Sometimes people push their intuition away for years, or even marry, only to eventually have it all come crashing down when they can no longer ignore what they have always known to be true. When you have a hunch that something is off with your partner, talk with him or her about it, but when you continue to have the same sense that something's not quite right, don't push your instincts away. Your intuition is telling you that this particular person may be a lemon and that it is time to discard.
4. Trust In Your Experiences: It means something important when most of the time you're around your partner you feel ill at ease, uncomfortable, or worried about tripping a switch to a fight. For things to be going well in your relationship, most of the time you should feel safe, at ease and comfortable with your partner and with bringing him/her around your friends and family. Remember when things start off poorly, they are unlikely to improve with time and hard work.
5. Trust Insecurity: Take full notice that you have a major issue if you feel insecure most of the time about how your romantic love feels about you or about what their level of commitment is to you. It's not your fault when this insecurity wells up. Talk with your love about your feelings, your worries, your concerns and see if you feel better after this talk. You may have things you need to work on as an individual, but you should be able to talk with your partner about these things. Once your partner knows what the buttons are that make you insecure, he/she should not continue to push them. You should feel safe and secure with your love, not worried about if you are going to feel insecure in their presence.
For more help working through a divorce or break up read Breaking Up & Divorce 5 Steps: How To Heal And Be Comfortable Alone, available on amazon.