This post is for the not so amicably uncoupling couple, the partners that, either consciously or not, are in the process of dissolving a partnership that feels destructive to one or both parties.
A dissolution to a destructive partnership feels and looks different to each couple. Sometimes, it is screaming matches, broken dishes, fighting over the kids, finances, and anything else under the sun. But sometimes, it is more insidious. Maybe it is a quiet bitterness, piled on top of feelings of resentment, frustration, jealousy, betrayal, stress, anxiety, and fear. Maybe it is contempt and exhaustion. Maybe it feels empty and done. Maybe it feels like nothing.
Your relationship is over or ending, and has left a bad taste in your mouths. So what now? And why even consider therapy?
Because your relationship doesn’t have to end as badly as it feels.
To leave one’s relationships with such difficult feelings, both raw and unresolved, is a betrayal of self and one another. It impedes personal growth, and can serve to be an obstruction for future healthy relationships, as well as co-parenting situations. While therapy cannot make the promise that the dissolution of your partnership will feel good, it does aim to help both individuals move on with compassion, understanding, respect, ease and grace. There was (most likely) a time where you appreciated each other and the relationship, and those times should be reflected on as much as the challenging times. This is not to draw you both back into the relationship, but to help you engage in a more expansive viewpoint. If we can integrate all of the information we have about a relationship, both the good and the bad, we can feel more confident in how we move forward and operate later on. Stones do not have to be left unturned. Old wounds can be bandaged. Your relationship was not a point on a spectrum, it was the spectrum.
Therapy can help the end of your relationship not be as messy, disastrous, intensely emotional, disruptive, or financially draining, or difficult as it currently feels. Therapy can help you co-create a spiderweb of lasting benefit, not just for the respective uncoupling individual, but for future partners, as well as any children that may be involved.
Here are my questions for you and your partner.
Are difficult feelings weighing on either of you?
Are these difficult feelings you are experiencing affecting others around you?
How do you want those around you to experience this breakup?
Do you believe there is a better way for the both of you to end things?
Do you have a desire for any old wounds to be mended?
Do you want to move on with the least amount of harm to yourself and your partner/those around you? Do you believe you are achieving this?
Are there things you want your partner to know before you move on with your lives?
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.