Is Your Relationship Worth Saving?
How to Determine Whether Your Relationship is Worth Saving
Almost every relationship could be saved. But not every relationship should be saved.
If things aren't going as well as they could be with your relationship with your mate, it's time for you to evaluate the strength and vitality of your relationship and assess whether salvaging it is a viable course of action.
When Things Go Wrong
Relationship problems can run the gamut from being bored with your mate to being miserable with him. A major determinant of whether your relationship should be saved is largely dependent upon whether it is suffering from a mild case of temporary general relationship malaise or whether it is in the final debilitating stages of a chronic and fatal terminal relationship illness.
The symptoms of general relationship malaise can be subtle and difficult to detect, even by the individuals who are involved in it. Its first signs are when little things your mate does start to get on your nerves. The initial symptoms may temporarily subside from time to time; but they never completely go away. At this stage, the problem is usually not severe enough for you to attempt to actively address the matter. Instead, you simply ignore it and hope it goes away. But it doesn't. It grows and it festers until, eventually, it can no longer be ignored.
You start to see your lover in a different light. Everything he does annoys you. He bores you. You become frustrated, and you begin to feel guilty because you want to spend less and less time with your lover. You find yourself avoiding your lover and spending more and more time with other people. As you continue to drift apart, you believe you no longer have much in common, and you believe that the two of you have become incompatible.
The symptoms of a terminal relationship illness are generally much more obvious. Characterized by major relationship defects such as infidelity, dishonesty, mistrust, disrespect and abuse, terminally ill relationships are difficult, but not impossible, to resuscitate. One or both of the partners feels betrayed and angry. The couple seems to only be hanging on for the children, because neither of them can do any better, out of force of habit or out of fear.
Assessing the Relationship
When you assess your relationship, you need to try to be as objective and detached as possible. The whole point of assessment is to determine whether or not your relationship is worth the considerable time, effort and energy you will have to commit to saving it.
The first thing you need to do is list your investments, commitments and entanglements with regard to the relationship. Do you have children together? Are you jointly responsible for a pet? Do you own property together? Are your finances intertwined? Do you have joint investments? Are you jointly liable for debts?
Your next step is to write a detailed description of your feelings about the relationship. What is its current status? How do you believe it got that way? Have there been any attempts to fix the problem? Have there been any efforts to repair the damage? Do you believe it is damaged beyond repair? Why or why not? Do you believe it is worth the effort it would take to fix it?
The last step involved in assessing your relationship is deciding whether you and your partner are willing to do the work that's necessary to repair it. Are you willing to communicate openly and honestly with your partner? Is it possible for you to completely and totally forgive your partner for whatever pain or harm you believe he has caused you? Would he be willing to forgive you for whatever pain or harm he believes you have caused him? Would the two of you be willing to commit to participating in relationship counseling for as long as it would take to repair your relationship? Are the two of you mature enough, strong enough and committed to each other enough to put the past behind you, support each other and help one another heal?
Once you have completed your assessment process, you will have a clear indication of whether or not your relationship should be rushed to intensive care or sent to the morgue.
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