Dysfunctional Relationship? – Can I/Should I Make It Work?

3 minute read

As a therapist, I would never advise my clients to break up with someone or to do anything possible (and impossible) to make the relationship work. It is up to you to decide if a relationship has a future or not, but it is hard. One of my greatest achievements is helping a client establish better communication with his girlfriend. He wanted to fight for a relationship that I personally would never tolerate. It was important for him and now he is happy with her, even though a year ago she used to make his life miserable.

bad painful relationship

Figuring out what you want exactly is a hard task and it takes years to be achieved, but once you know yourself better you will be able to sort out the relationships that you can keep and the ones that you shouldn’t.

In an ideal world, everyone is psychically stable and takes responsibility to deal with his/her own emotional baggage, but it is not the case. We deal with our problems and we help our significant others deal with theirs. But if the relationship you have makes you unhappy most of the time what are your options and where will you draw the line?

It is up to you.

Considering whether to try to repair or leave a dysfunctional relationship you need to look close to problems in it.

When the problem might be primarily caused by you?

  • When you have unrealistic expectations from your relationship;
  • When you are unable to express your desires and expectations;
  • When you wish to receive more than what the other person is able to give;
  • When you hide your true feelings;
  • When you are obsessed with your own personal problems and/or desires;
  • When you are obsessed with your partner;
  • When your fantasies don’t let you see the reality clearly;
  • When childhood trauma is interfering with your current feelings;
  • When you are pathologically jealous;
  • When disappointments from past relationships are interfering with your current relationship.

When the problem might be primarily caused by the other?

  • He/she just doesn’t love you enough;
  • He/she doesn’t want to be in a relationship (right now or in general);
  • There is a pathological factor in the other person’s personality such as jealousy, addictions; constant anger, etc.;
  • When your partner is too dependent on his/her parents (to a degree of being unable to take decisions by her/his own);
  • When he/she lets disappointments from past relationships to interfere with the current one;
  • Still has strong feelings for her/his exes (strong hatred also counts);
  • When you are always on a second place;
  • When he/she has never been monogamous.

Always analyze your feelings first. Be completely honest and try to be objective. For example, you might be interpreting your own insecurity and jealousy as a lack of attention. You also might be blind to all the flaws of your partner due to your low self-esteem.

Take a responsible decision when you reach the bottom of the problem. Don’t be afraid to terminate a long relationship if there is nothing you can do to make it work. Actually many people even feel sorry that they haven’t been braver to do it sooner.

If you realize that it is your own issues that are interfering with your relationship, start working hard to overcome then (alone or with a therapist. Your improvements will affect positively not only the relationship with your significant other, but also the relationship with your family and friends.

I can’t tell you more about your personal situation in an article, but I believe that with this article I have helped you ask yourself the right questions.

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