Is it Time to Pull the Relationship Plug?
Everyone says relationships are hard (especially if all your ex’s live in Texas), but no one ever tells you how hard it can be to break up with the people you’re dating or seriously committed to.
Well allow me: breaking up is hard – even if you’re polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous and “aT lEaSt YoU hAvE sEmEoNe ElSe”. Whether you really were in love at one point, or you still care about the other people or person(s) in question, or you’re just struggling to break the attachment that often comes with forming relationship bonds, letting go is never easy.
You may find yourself wondering if pulling the relationship plug is the right thing to do, or if you should hold onto the hope that your relationship will eventually come out of its vegetative state. Most will sit with relationship problems for 6 years before considering getting help. For relationships with very low levels of commitment there is discernment counseling where you land in one of 3 places: committing to working through the challenges, working on an amicable disentangling, or kicking the decision down the road for 6 months. Those that consider breaking up and stay committed to another 6 months usually stay together.
What should you do and what’s the right thing for you and for your partner(s)? Asking yourself these questions are a good place to start.
Set Your Feelings Aside and Use Discernment
Here’s the thing, you can love someone with every fiber of your being, and staying with them still might rip you to shreds, or for logistical reasons just not work. So, if you find yourself wondering whether or not you should end a relationship with one or more people, try to put your feelings aside so you can use your best judgement. Whomever you choose, about 70% of your problems will be gridlocked, unsolvable, changing partners only changes which problems are gridlocked. That said, there may be partners you are more aligned with in values and beliefs.
What’s your motivation for staying in the relationship or potentially pulling the plug? Are there relationship conflicts that you’re struggling to work through? Or is it more related to who you are as a person and what you want, vs who they are and what they want? How do you know? Have you had any sort of conversation with your partner(s) about these concerns?
You may also consider what role your own attachment or conflict style is playing in your decision making process. Anytime you build a relationship with another person, romantically or otherwise, you form attachments with them. Being polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous doesn’t exclude you from this truth. When we become attached to anything at all, letting go can be excruciating, even if we know it’s the right thing to do.
Get Support and Explore Your Feelings
Sometimes, being in polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous relationships can make things even more complicated. Or perhaps you’ve only recently acknowledged your desire to engage in these types of relationships, but you’re currently committed to someone who isn’t on board. How do you honor yourself and your needs while also considering the other person or people involved?
You may find it helpful to speak with a mental health professional on your own, or in a “couples-style” counseling session. A mental health professional, like myself, can help you work through your feelings, weigh your options, and come up with an appropriate solution.
Schedule a consultation to see if counseling is right for you. Together we can talk through various scenarios and come up with a plan for your relationship. I can even help you get your partner(s) involved so you can work together with them to come up with a potential solution that works for everyone involved.
One of those possible solutions is not to break up really, but to deescalate the relationship in whatever areas needed, for a while or longer.
To get started, fill out the form below for a brief, free consultation. I serve polyamorous and ethically non-monogamous individuals all over Texas, both virtually and in home / office by appointment.