Close
Premium Podcast Help Contact Dr. Laura Dr. Laura Designs Return to DrLaura.com
Menu
Join Family Premium Login Family

Dr. Laura Blog

Is Walking Away the Best Solution?
01/04/2017

Breaking up is hard to do. It’s miserable, exhausting, and very painful. Sometimes it needs to be done, but in many cases, the relationship or marriage doesn’t have to be over - you can still work things out.

So, how do you know when it’s time to walk away?

  1. Ask yourself if the relationship is really bad, or if you’ve simply forgotten the good stuff. When I was doing marriage therapy in private practice, couples would come to me feeling angry, hateful, and resentful. Instead of asking them to start by talking about why they were pissed off at each other (which never worked), I would instead have them go back to the beginning of the relationship and tell me what drew them to one another. Everybody has these stories. Thinking about the good stuff motivates you to work on whatever needs to be fixed.

  2. Ask yourself if you’re together for the wrong reasons. We don’t always choose partners for the right reasons. If you felt unimportant in your family, you could possibly align yourself with someone who does not make you a priority or show affection. If you had a parent who constantly nagged you to be smarter or better, you may find a spouse who is always trying to change or fix you.

If you’re together for the right reasons but have forgotten the good stuff, then walking away isn’t the answer. Here’s what you should do instead:

  • Break your routines. Relationships can easily get boring when you have a routine. If you have to wake up at 6, get up at 5:45 and make your spouse a latte, or wake up at 5:30 and drag them into the shower with you for a sexy 20 minutes. If your spouse shows any interest in a hobby or activity, support the hell out of it. You will find your spouse much more interesting if he or she is excited about something in his or her life.

  • Stop keeping score. Your marriage is not a competition. Don’t sit there with a scorecard keeping track of who is kinder, smarter, or the better parent.

  • Own your part. Instead of blaming your spouse for “losing it”, ask yourself why he or she lost it. Did you provoke him or her? Did you nag, complain, act cold, or criticize? People don’t just blow up over nothing unless they are mentally unstable.

  • Take care of yourself. Part of taking care of your spouse is taking care of yourself. That means dressing and smelling nice. Of course, stuff happens, and you need to be compassionate when stuff happens. However, if you are just being lazy and self-centered and arrogantly saying that there should be unconditional love no matter how bad you look and behave, you need to find another planet because this isn’t it!

  • Find things to compliment. A person who feels appreciated will have a much more positive attitude and behave better.

  • Don’t let problems escalate. If one of you gets emotional about an issue, take a break and discuss it when you’ve both cooled down. When somebody gets emotional, the other person usually ends up annoyed or angry. Show compassion for the fact that the other person is really upset.

Want more Dr. Laura? Join the Dr. Laura Free Family to listen to Dr. Laura's daily Call of the Day and receive her Daily Dose newsletter! 
 


 

Tags: Attitude, Behavior, Dating, Divorce, Marriage, Relationships, Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships, The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage, Tips
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
< Back to Dr. Laura Blog Archives