Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to End a Relationship - On A Positive Note

These are some of the ways in which a person can determine if their relationship is good, bad, or all out ugly to be in. Not all relationships are like Camelot nor are they like the classic romance novel or film. Some require little effort if at all. Others are a day in and day out challenge. Then there are the relationships that just are doomed to fail, with no fault of each party. How and when do you begin to gather the courage to end a relationship that does not work? This is a topic that this site will deal with as a way to help those in need of advice.

The beginning of a relationship can take anyone through a whirlwind of joy and happiness, but ending one can be pure torture as well. What each person must acknowledge is that once you understand the circumstances by which you are in that strained relationship, ending it is for the betterment of the other. In other words, “it has to end". How that is accomplished is a varied and non-scientific method but for the most part, there are some ground stroking roots for doing it without the danger of hating the very air that sustains life to the other. Here are some resources for doing what we would call the civil way of doing things.

Ending Relationships: Saying "Good-Bye with Love"
The following are the guidelines which will help you understand how to use this site's information.
  • Definition of a Relationship and When You No Longer Feel "Good"
  • Weighing the Risks and Making the Separation Work
  • Third Party Involvement and the Knowing of What You Want
It is by human nature to be wanted by someone. The human need to be accepted, loved, a part of a group or social structure. For years, men, women, and children deal with the issues of acceptance of one's self, family, friends, and co-workers. The concept of self-identity and self-esteem has taken on a new and different image in today’s society with the growing number of get better/get personally healthy icons. Talk Shows and News Programs labor to keep pace with the needs of the people to know "What to do?" But sometimes it’s not a simple self-esteem issue but one of compatibility. Has someone forgotten that "Love Connections" are not always with the first, second, and sometimes tenth person you meet? Simply put, people do see relationships as a commitment of one's time, money, and efforts to be loved and or be in love. It’s because of this modern day philosophy that ending a relationship can often be difficult and often violent.

What is unique about relationships is that all parties going in know and accept that any chance of a love affair to flourish, WORK must me attained. For males, that is an alien concept, but none the less, it’s something that each understand and thus a commitment to at least try is made. The first sign (in the beginning of a relationship) of a potential problem is the "P" word. PROMISE. Never promise. Promises, like faith, are a tried, truth, and tested practice. Relationships are just as they are, "commitments". Faith is in what you ultimately believe in, not the purity of the soul. Example: you can not love your mate more than the Creator or God. Your mate is the by-product of your faith and your belief, the end result of being blessed. Not the factor of your existence. Also look at a promise much as you would equal to that of a lie. Lies are told only for one of the two reasons. One: A lie is told when a person is afraid of another person or the consequences of their actions or the others. Two: A lie is told when the person is uncomfortable with keeping up or maintaining a specific expectation for others. Promises are made in hopes of gaining continued admiration from others without proof or conviction much the way spirituality is to faith.

So in the beginning when one person to another indulges in the "Honeymoon Stages" of a relationship (the beginning of a relationship which can extend from 4 weeks to 2 years), promises of happily ever after is pursued through dinners, dances, movies, travel etc. At this point, you have to be real enough to know and or realize that this is a part of the promise. Once the "Honeymoon" is over, only the real person is left. Do you really like what you see?

The concept of love has many levels. The one I want to touch upon is that of the committed love or what I like to call the "I feel good" factor.

When a person is in love, or says that they are in love with another person, what they really are saying is that "I feel good about myself when I am with you." A quick example, if you dislike a person, you don't like the way they make you feel. Regardless if they are sitting next to you, across the street, or on the other side of the World, they make you feel bad. Feelings of stress, anxiety, tension, and pain, came to mind. All of these feelings/emotions are related to "bad" feelings and as a result you avoid them. In love, you are attracted to the opposite of those feelings and thus pursue them at all chance.

At this point, you may be asking, "Why on Earth should I be thinking about entering into a relationship that may have disastrous results?" Well to be honest, you don't know and that is the beauty of the socialization of love. The answer, of course, is that emotions, if properly utilized, can be a highly effective way of dealing with good feelings and understanding when they are not true and when they are compromised for the sake of a "promise' of commitment. (Note* When I state a promise of commitment I don't mean infidelity, I am describing the act of staying in a non-evolving relationship because of a "hope" that it will get better at the expense of each persons "good" health).

Definition of a Relationship and When You No Longer Feel "Good"

So far we have defined what a relationship is. Although there will be those that disagree but for the most part, there is a consensus that there are two people involved and that each must like, enjoy, or "love" the others' companionship. Mutual activities (i.e. social, spiritual, physical, intellectual, financial) must be to the liking of each person and deepens the bond. A balance of ideas, goals, and a bright future together are the premise by which each look forward to each day in their lives. If any one or more of the aforementioned is ignored, thrown off balance, or even challenged to any degree, a sense of tension is experienced. Its to the overall degree that we see a breakdown of the overall relationship.

To some, this would be a wake up call to solve the imbalance that one feels towards the other. This is also the time when the person(s) begin to examine the true nature of the beast they are now involved with, no matter how insignificant the matter is. The challenge to the other's sense of being has been addressed and a checks and balance of more than just actions are looked at, but character, morals, ethics, and most of all, emotional security on the violators part. In essence, "You are not making me feel good, emotionally". It is this point which can drive or stop a relationship in its tracks.

People, like all things, follow set patterns. Some are obvious. Others are very subtle. Yet as subtle as they may be, the things which we did not see (although they were there all along), rises to the surface and a sense of dealing comes into fruition. Compromise and acceptance are the ground rules for couples. In either case, each person must continue to balance the others needs. (Needs being only those things that are a necessity that is opposite "wants", those things desired). When needs are confused with wants, havoc in the relationship begins. How does one cope with this? Understanding that experiences are not new but are the physical makeup or totality of that person, and to change what is natural in that individual is an insurmountable task. Each time you try to change what is, by the very nature, a person's being, more tension, more stress, and more feelings of helplessness and sadness arises. At this point, you are not happy due to your lack of complete transformation and therefore re-programming the other fails. Your disappointment, the inability to change the innateness within your mate and thus the questions of self-change becomes the next issue. And since no one openly admits or wants to commit to self-change, a stalemate is made. In other words, the foundation is laid for an ending. The relationship must and will end.

So can couples just end their relationship amicably? You go your way and I go mine? It just might not be that easy. What if the other is still deeply involved? What if the person finds that the feelings you are having does not equal their own? In other words, they are still in love with you or you them. Separation then is not an easy thing to end abruptly. Sometimes there are other matters involved such as joint bank accounts, cars, apartments, homes, job and career investments, benefits and even children. What is a person to do?

To begin, you must understand what type of relationship you are in. There are many levels and degrees to relationships but to sum up the three most basic reasons why couples part are as followed:

Symbiotic relationships, or when one person lives and sets themselves up to live for the other, the bond is more psychological. The break up will strike up a psychological resonate which could keep a stressful relationship going when it should not be. The fear of a departure from their significant other can cause not only emotional damage, but also physical damage to person and property. A sense of vengeance and possible retaliation may and most often will occur.

Co-dependent relationships, there may be a sense of love and affection but the driving force is financial only in commitment. In these relationships, it may take the form of the following 1. The relationship is tied intrinsically to share finances. 2. The person (s) are committed to the other by assumed and actual personal investment (i.e. children, business, property), and 3. The relationship takes on a passive co-existence (separation) and often defines itself as an "Open Relationship".

Depreciated relationships, which begin as a good and vital union, soon begins to diminish over a period of time. Often ending in differences in personalities, outside commitments, or other unforeseen issues not related to the couples’ relationship to each other (i.e. moral or ethical conflicts, family, past physical or social issues, psychological trauma, health, financial loss). Often the parting is a result of unfulfilled needs and lack of a healthy evolution within the relationship. Often, these relationships end in mutual understandings or respectful practices of interpersonal relationships or friends.

Weighing the Risks and Making the Separation Work

The relationships with the most to loose when Separation becomes an issue are Symbiotic and Co-Dependent. Within each there is the potentiality of both physical and psychological damage. To think about relationships as healthy or unhealthy is a beginning for healing, but the actions taken to do so may be more traumatic and that the emotional anguish to do so could stifle its ending. Some steps are easier than others but for the most part, steps taken in the right direction will always lead you into a better state of mind/being.

The methods which people become intimate and break up are not always the same. Nor is it always as easy as it sounds. Some steps can be taken immediately. Others take time. Sometimes days, sometimes months and years before the relationship is finally over and closure is made. In Symbiotic relationships, the separations can be more stressful. Much like the saying, "caught between a thin line between love and hate", the move toward separation can lead to a very violent ending. You see examples of this in the media; reports in domestic violent cases, film, News and television where the persons involved become violent to a point where major hospitalization or even deaths have occurred. Suicide attempts and mediation (family, friends, law enforcement, neighbors), often are seen and sought out when these break ups occur. One way of preventing this is to begin to work the individual into a sense of independent.

Within the psyche of the Symbiot, the key to their existence is to live for and through their mate. Often, within the Symbiotic existence is weak self-esteem and a vacillation of self-conviction. That energy or lack-there-of is directed towards their companion and re-directed back. Acknowledgement of the fact that the relationship is imbalance is important when understanding how to end it. The relationship may have been ideal, even fun, but as relationships grow, they also change/evolve so as the relationship continues in a forward direction, the symbiot's needs becomes more intense/deeply dependent and the relationship becomes draining (socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually) on the provider. If not taken seriously, the person's very life's energy is drawn out and a deep depression occurs. Mediation and therapy is a good way to communicate this but it has to be done without malice. Again, key issues to keep in mind, re-direct the energy, and communicate, mediation, and balance. If this is not done properly, prepare yourself for a hating for love/loving to hate roller coaster ride.

Co-dependent relationships are material and opportunistic in nature. When advising people who plan on leaving this type of relationship, "Prepare to count your loses". This means that you will not end the relationship with everything you brought into it and will not be able to split everything down the middle. In essence, it’s the closest thing to "War of the Roses" as you can get without a marriage certificate. Although on some levels, the relationship is like a Symbiotic one, the main difference is that each person is seen as an individual capable of great things but occasionally needing the resources of the other on some level. Be it financial, social, physical, or spiritual. The end result is that each person receives something in exchange.

In Co-dependent relationships, the idea that two people will live happily-ever-after colors the reality of the relationship. Often times these relationships are rushed into and a sense of shared responsibility is at the foreground of their interactions (i.e. rent, travel, work, entertainment, catering and pets etc.) Also, in Co-dependent relationships, the initial beginnings may be that of personal gain but due to circumstances, turn into one that limits the mobility and fruition of what was assumed and then takes on a sense of complacency which only keeps the relationship going out of convenience. Often you hear that people are together because they know, "no one else is better", or the person will not leave knowing that "no one else will take shit like the one you are with". These are internal issues and beliefs, which places couples in Co-dependent dilemmas.

So how do you approach a relationship like this? First, know yourself. Communication and honesty is the key. No one does not want to be manipulated nor do they want to be used. Once the reality settles in that "people are not who they really are" and the things said, done, felt, and believed are "untrue", then you will harbor your need to protect, defend, and even acquire in order to capture what is intrinsically you and yours. The need to hold together a sense of who you are, based upon who you thought you were, will ultimately kick in and lines will be drawn. Misconceptions, falsities and fantasies become paramount in Co-dependent couples' lives and only those things that are based in reality (material items) become the equalizer. When joint bank accounts, homes, mortgage and leases, cars, businesses, children, loans, debts, and investments come into play, the holding of hostage those items either due to the other or in shared interests are at hand, bitterness and violence can and will occur. Which is why it is usually suggested that individuals should, " Count your loses" and let it go. In doing so, the significant other has no claim over you or your emotions and their need for revenge becomes mood for the things that were assumed the most painful or important to you now no longer matter. All aspects of the relationship becomes a moot point and the relationship or the connectivity to each other is suddenly and completely severed. Then and only then can the real business of departure and closure occur.

In the case of manipulation, it is the provider or initiator within the Co-dependent relationship (initiator meaning the person who is the main provider within the relationship), that may feel the most abused within the relationship. Depending to the maturity, the moral and or spiritual foundation of the parties involved, will determine how easily/quickly the separation will occur.


Third Party Involvement and the Knowing of What You Want

In all separations, third party involvement may be necessary and is encouraged. Not as an active participant, but as mediator and or support. Friends, if aware, can be brought into the middle of conflicts and social situation as mediator of situations that can in effect escalate into tension but if that third party person is of neutral character, the wisdom of truth can reach the ear of those that may not listen to their significant other.

Councilor, police officers, doctors, church representatives, neighbors and family are often people brought into intense full separations. But this does not have to happen if rules are discussed and agreed upon. In either case, support should be sought out when the actual Separation occurs to protect both parties’ interests. In the case of legal issues, a witness should be present by both parties and decided upon by the opposite's mate. This means that the friend (s) of the mate can feel comfortable with the end result. If the separation is one which is not amicable, then communication is recommended between the chosen third party representatives. Personal property, finances, and or the completion of commitments should be handled through third parties. When it comes to property and possessions, remember the rule, "Count your loses". This is why all possessions should be negotiated and agreed upon in advance. If the tensions for gathering those possessions are more than a person is willing to loose, legal matters can always be instituted. But if you can't accept to live without certain possessions, think in terms of your Peace of Mind and the limited amount of material items and move towards your third party support system.

Peace of Mind Publishings Inc. ©1999 Shazza Nakim and holds All Rights Reserved 2008

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful comment, but in the case where is the lady that spends money taking care of bills and the man, yet he has a very bad attitude like chasing around and not being greatful, what do you do?

Shazza Nakim said...

The roles are interchangeable. The point isn't about money but the relationships that are created and the steps for closure.

Understand that whatever the reasons for ending one's relationship, it is the repercussions that occur when you end happily-ever-after is what the concentration and focus of the article was about.