- Mental Health
How to Let Go of Stressful Relationships
What Brought You To This Article?
Should You Let Go?
Life is too short to deal with stressful relationships for a long period of time. Of course, it can take some time to really be honest with yourself about the relationship.
If you recognize that the relationship is bringing you stress, then you need to either deal with the issues causing the stress or end the relationship. Why would you possible want to suffer longer than you have to?
Yesterday on Dr. Phil, there was a woman who believed that her man had cheated on her something like 78 times (he said more like 20). Can you imagine the amount of stress that she is feeling over her relationship? Yet, because of her own personal reasons, she decides to stay in this stressful relationship.
Imagine her 20 years down the road if she stays. She will have wasted 20+ years on a stressful relationship that cause her more pain than joy. She will have some sort of stress related diseases - there is no questions in my mind about that...you cannot live with stress on the mind and body for that long and not have issues from it. Maybe it will be mental issues or maybe it will be physical, but it will be there.
However, if she gets out of the stressful relationship now, then the next 20 years can be spent pursuing happiness without the block of her stressful relationship being in her way. The outcome for her life will be much different.
You ultimately choose what path you want to take. However, I personally recommend taking the path that doesn't include stressful relationships.
As dashingscorpio said in his answer to my question about relationship failure - "I'm a firm believer that (you) are responsible for your own happiness. Anyone who is unhappy in a relationship and chooses to stay....is (choosing) to be unhappy."
How To Let Go Of Stressful Relationships
First, be honest with yourself. Have you tried to fix the relationship issues? Usually improving communication and being honest about your feelings is enough to shift the dynamics in the relationship and relieve the stress.
It is amazing what honesty can do to heal wounds and repair relationship. However, many people avoid being honest with someone because of pride or fear. Don't be that person who regrets not telling it like it is...be honest and decide if the relationship is still worth letting go of.
If you realize that you still want to let go of the relationship because the stress has not, or is not, going to disappear, then it is time to be honest with that person and tell them so.
When You Enjoy The Attention You Get From Others Because Of The Stressful Relationship
Be honest here. Nobody is watching you and nobody can hear your thoughts.
Are you someone who has developed a victim mentality, which causes you to hold on to stressful relationships because it gets you sympathy from others?
My mother in law is an example of this. She would never let go of any relationship no matter how stressful it is because she loves to complain about the relationship to everyone else and receive sympathy from them. To her, every relationship is stressful, and she says things like, "Awwwww....he doesn't care..." or "She always tries to make me feel bad."
If you have developed a victim mentality, and you enjoy the attention that you get for being misused in a relationship, then let me assure you that positive attention from other people is much more rewarding than negative attention.
For example, instead of gaining sympathy from others, gain respect or awe from them by doing great things in your life and being a good person. This is the kind of attention that will really make you feel rewarded at the end of the day.
Getting rid of the need to feel pitied will allow you to easily let go of stressful relationships.
3-Step Plan To Leave Stressful Relationship
Make A Plan And Stick To It
Your plan should consist of two things. Honesty and direction.
You need to be honest with the person you want to end the relationship with. This WILL be hard, there is not doubt about that, but if you want to avoid leaving the person (and yourself) with confusion, then you need to be honest.
For example, if you say, "I just want to take a break from the relationship for a while," then they are going to hear that you are going to restart your relationship in a short while.
You need to say something like, "I don't think this relationship is working out anymore. It would be better if we go our separate ways and find new relationship that cause less stress and more happiness in our lives."
Next, you should have a direction to go. Planning a direction in life, without your current relationship, will allow you to see that it is possible to move forward from this relationship.
Right now you likely envision your future with this person. So, lay out a path for yourself that doesn't involved this person and get excited for a future full of healthy and happy relationships.
Put Stressful Relationships In The Past
Remember what dashingscorpio said, if you choose to stay in a stressful relationship then you choose to stay stressed.
Don't do that! Choose to NOT be stressed.
I can personally tell you that putting stressful relationships behind you feels good. You may miss the person they once were, but you won't miss the person that they became. Every day should be lived in as much happiness as possible - it's the only day you really have- so put stressful relationships behind you and start being happy.