What to do when a relationship isn’t working

When a relationship isn’t working, your whole world falls apart. Feelings of resentment fester and if action isn’t taken, issues eat away at you. Mental health becomes a problem and all other areas in your life are affected; work, friendships, children.

So, what can you do when it just isn’t working?

First of all, there were reasons why you once loved your partner, or maybe even still do. You owe it to those reasons to try and get back the feelings. Finding a lover, let alone a partner or a soul mate is hard to do and it’s rare. You were attracted to your partner because of some of their qualities. Do you remember now, what they once were?

Counselling should be your first point of action. Relationship counselling will work wonders, if your partner is willing to go with you. You can gain resolution skills and listening skills to name a few. Counselling can help you see things from a different perspective complete with specific actions to take to try and heal. 

If your partner is not willing to go with you, go for yourself. A professional will help you understand the root of the issues and gain clarity.

In the meantime, don’t antagonise the arguments. When emotions are flaring, we all say things we regret. Talking in a state of anger doesn’t improve or solve anything. Make sure you can always hold your head high. Walk away if you need to. Take some deep breaths, find a quiet place to calm down and sort out what you would like to say succinctly. Go for a walk or a drive. Remove yourself from the situation for a while.

Participate in active listening. Don’t listen just to respond. What is your partner really trying to tell you? Put your own feelings aside and whole heartedly listen to what they are saying. What can you do to make your partner feel loved and appreciated? How can you work to resolve the issues your partner is feeling? Sometimes writing things down helps make things clear.

Be patient. If you are hurting and angry, chances are your partner is too.

Never, ever use your children against your partner. Children have a right to see both of their parents and not have to listen to negative talk about the other one. 

If you are 100% sure the relationship is over, get a back-up plan. What would you need to do in order to leave? Get solid plans in place. How much would a rental cost? Do a budget. Do you have everything you need to live separately? White goods for example. Make a list of everything you would need to purchase and how much it would cost you. Talk to a solicitor if there is property or children involved. They will be able to tell you how the separation would work, what they can do to help you. Sometimes only 1 appointment is needed.

You may never act on any of this but knowing you could leave and knowing exactly how you would do it, will help keep you sane.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, you need your own money. Start stashing some away. Keep it secret if you have to, just start forming a little nest egg. Nobody can survive independently if they are financially relying on another person.

At the end of the day if you have honestly tried all of these actions and nothing is working, it’s ok to walk away. Don’t stay in a relationship because you are afraid of the unknown or of being alone because you won’t be alone. Friends and family will help you. Sometimes even strangers will help you. And you have YOU. Remember, you are a powerful being and you will be powerful again, even though it doesn’t seem like it now.