This post is for the ambivalently uncoupling couple, the partners that are unsure of what their future holds with one another, whether they want to end their relationship or move forward together and give it their all.
An ambivalent uncoupling is very common. Oftentimes, couples come to therapy when they are at their wits end. They feel they have exhausted all their other options in the relationship and therapy is their last resort. So, they do not know whether they are ready to end their relationship and need help with moving forward, or if they can give it one more shot and see if there is still hope and meaning left to be discovered.
An ambivalent uncoupling can present itself in many ways. Sometimes, it is near constant fighting but then reattaching to one another without really resolving the conflicts. It can manifest as a deep yearning for wanting the relationship to move forward, and to heal and grow with one another, while at the same time feeling hopeless about being able to heal from past relational traumas, betrayals, abuses, etc. At times, an ambivalent uncoupling can feel incredibly certain. Both partners are sure they are done this time. At other times, both couples are sure they are meant for one another and could not live without the relationship. It is an oscillation between sureness and uncertainty that exists within each individual and the relationship as its own entity. But this ambivalence can cause lasting trauma. People experience major hurt and betrayal when another is unsure about them, whether they see themselves in their future or not, whether they need them, want to be with them, love them. The highs are high, and the lows are low, lasting, and destructive.
Your relationship is (maybe) over or ending, but you feel confused, frustrated, lost, unsure. So what now? And why therapy?
Because your relationship should either be pursued or dissolved concretely.
To leave or stay in one’s relationships with such confusion and back and forth behavior can result in lasting trauma and impede any hope for a healthy long term future together, or apart from one another. Staying in relational limbo adds emotional baggage to both parties, and that emotional baggage is heavy and hard to get rid of. Therapy can help you make a choice that feels fair and achievable for both parties, while working on healing past traumas so both individuals can either move forward together lovingly, or move on compassionately apart.
Here are my questions for you and your partner.
Why therapy? Why now?
What are your individual goals for couples therapy?
What would you need to officiate this break up?
What would you need to pursue healing and moving forward in the relationship?
Are you both on the same page?
Are you feeling confused about where to go now, or do you feel sure of what you want?
Have you tried everything to work on the relationship?
Do you think a therapist could help you work through these issues effectively?
You don’t have to go through this alone.
Sonya Som MA, MFTC, LPCC, Uncouples Counseling, PLLC
Life is about the choices we make and the relationships we foster, both with ourselves and others. I would be honored to walk alongside you in your journey, and form an alliance through which you can honor your own decision making process and understand where your choices truly come from. I would like to help you move meaningfully through life, with awareness, compassion, and empathy. I am a couples and family therapist in training, and use an integrative and collaborative approach to problem solving and goal reaching. I provide services to individuals, couples, teens, and families, all in the hopes of getting you to where you want to be.
Contact Sonya: 303-416-6542; firstname.lastname@example.org; SonyaSomTherapy.com