Sometimes I have clients that vacilate– they are not sure whether they should pull the plug or not on their marriage. This is not a decision that anyone I’ve ever know has taken lightly, and many will try counseling to try and right the ship before jumping off the Titanic. But recently I read that for every bad interaction it is going to take 5 positive ones to cancel out that negative occurence. Knowing that, I can see how the odds become stacked against a couple that is spiraling downward. So if you find yourself getting pulled into this black hole situation, maybe the best thing is to take a break. There is nothing wrong with hitting pause and allowing yourself some time to think before you write the end of your love story. Unfortunately, you need to be prepared for the fact that the other party may not agree with hitting pause, and if so, that is simply too bad.
Whenever I have found myself in a perplexing situation, either at work or personally, I just take a break. Maybe I’ll go for a run, or a walk around Dupont Circle during lunch. If I need a weekend to think things through, I just pack up a bag and go. Getting out of a situation does wonders to help you think clearly. And here is the other thing I have realized– you need to trust your gut. When you escape the problem area, how do you feel? If I have left someone and feel sad, then I realize I need to return and work on the issues at hand, but if I feel nothing but overwhelming relief– like I am free and can breath again, then I know that the situation is simply unhealthy for me.
As many dear friends have said to me now that it is safe to fully share their opinions, falling in love is supposed to be easy– it is supposed to be like any other friendship that just naturally develops overtime, without feeling forced or rushed. Meanwhile, if you are trying to push a square peg through a round hole, you will undoubtedly find yourself facing a lot of friction. That is NOT normal, NOT good, and you need to stop trying to force things.
I go back to this– trust your gut. Don’t try to make compromises you aren’t willing to make. If you find yourself making lists all the time to try to convince yourself that the good outweighs the bad, you really need to stop right there– what does that tell you? You should have no doubt that the good outweighs the bad; in fact, you should feel like the luckiest person in the world. Everyone should see you glow– and let me tell you, people are not idiots. They can pick up on the lack of a good vibe. Pay attention to the vibes you give off as a couple– a life partner should be an asset, not a hinderance. When you feel like a true team that can conquer the world– that is how you know it’s right.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.