Carlette Norwood shares some advice for those times when you feel locked in an unfulfilling relationship.
My bestie Nicole and I were recently talking about relationships – something we do often. Most times I walk away with a headache. Relationships are the single one thing that can drive us to things we would never imagine ourselves doing, either positive or negative. When we’re involved with someone else, I mean Really involved, that person has the power to push our buttons like no one else can. All that pushing can result in helping you overcome obstacles in your life, moving you beyond previously conceived boundaries and making you feel on top of the world. Conversely, all that pushing, especially if there’s a lack of communication, can cause you to tap into the whole plethora of your negative emotions.
Relationships are so complicated and can be either blissfully fulfilling or terribly dreadful with very little wiggle room in the middle. It seems as though things can be either going great or they tremendously suck at an alarming level. Once your relationship has moved to graveyard status, no matter how miserable you are, it’s not always easy to get out of it. There are kids, houses, cars, furniture – all that stuff to figure out – who gets what? What are you willing to leave behind? Who leaves and who gets to stay? He/she makes more money than you do so you *can’t* just leave. The situation can end up quite messy and quite expensive so sometimes it’s just cheaper to keep her/him than to stir up the pot.
But how do you live with someone you can’t stand? Do you keep pretending and hoping that things will work out? Do you give up everything you’ve worked for over the past several years and start over?
What I do know is that self preservation, self worth, self respect and the desire to do better for yourself should win out over anything – even finances. Living in misery will make you angry, bitter and mean. Stress could quite possibly end your life. It has been proven that stress directly contributes to the onset of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and early Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re trapped in an unfulfilling relationship, your health can take a direct hit as a result.
Sometimes we think because we’re compatible with someone that they’ll make a good spouse. Not always the case! Also, sometimes it’s not anyone’s fault; you’ve simply outgrown your partner and it’s time to move on.
Either way, love yourself enough to make a change in your life if you find yourself in a love/hate, unfulfilling or dead relationship. Even if it will take time to make your move, at least start making your plan.
Here is a relationship check-list posted by nationally syndicated radio-personality, Michael Baisden. Maybe it will help until you can come up with another plan. Personally, I like numbers three and eight but as with anything, eat the meat and spit out the bones. By no means is this list complete nor should it be considered “right” or the end-all be-all reference guide to couples therapy!
1) Be honest about who you are and what you want…from day one!
2) Leave room for growth and change. People grow and relationships change. If the person you lay next to in bed is not someone you can evolve with your relationship will be in a constant state of disintegration.
3) Don’t misinterpret a good friendship for a good relationship. Just because you get along well as friends doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make good life partners. Being compatible sexually, financially, and temperamentally is important and should not be underrated.
4) Communication really is the key! It’s not just about being able to talk but being able to listen. Most importantly, you must be able to talk through disagreements. If you can’t have an argument without always blaming your partner or constantly bringing up the past, the relationship is doomed.
5) Make your relationship a priority. Too often we put our careers, families, and friendships before our loved ones. Of course, there will be times when work requires extra time or friends and family need you, but it should never cause you to become inconsiderate of the most important person in your life.
6) Don’t start something you can’t finish. There’s nothing more frustrating than inconsistency. When you break your routine socially and sexually it creates insecurity and distrust.
7) You must share the same values and lifestyle. Don’t date a spender if you’re a saver; don’t date a couch potato if you’re a fitness freak. Don’t date a non-activist if you’re an activist. You must VALUE the same things and you MUST have similar ways of looking at life, and the world, to have a chance at longevity.
8) Some relationships have seasons. The person who is ideal for you today could be obsolete tomorrow. That may sound cold but it’s true. It doesn’t mean the relationship failed; sometimes you simply outgrow good people.
9) If you’re monogamous, don’t date someone who wants to date and have sex with other people. No amount of love can make you okay with sharing your partner if that’s not who you are.
10) Master the art of being alone and learn to enjoy your own company. And never love someone more than you love yourself. Once you have achieved that you will choose better people to share your space and your life with.
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–Originally published on Lette’s Chat
–Photo: Love Locks on the Hohenzollernbrucke Bridge, malyousif/Flickr