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Tuesday Jan 14, 2014


If you’re experiencing a lot of conflict in your relationship or feeling unloved and undervalued, it’s very normal to be asking yourself this question.

Ending a marriage or a long-term relationship is a life-changing event, so it’s not the kind of decision you should make without a lot of contemplation and reflection. The most important thing to remember is that you can get divorced any time. But you may not always have the opportunity to work on your marriage. Here are some of the things to consider.

Before you end it, seek help. Sometimes you feel hopeless because everything you’ve tried hasn’t worked. You continue to fight about the same things. This may not mean there isn’t a solution. It may mean you haven’t found the right one yet.

Approximately 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. But varying studies have shown that the success rate for couples who seek therapy ranges between 64 to 89 percent. Seek the help of a professional who specializes in working with couples issues. He or she should be able to offer you perspectives that you and your partner haven’t considered.

Sometimes one small shift can make a huge difference. Consider your part and what you could be doing differently that might make a difference. This is not about blame!

Feeling heard, respected and valued depends on how you communicate your needs and desires. Marriage requires negotiation, stepping into each other’s shoes and the ability to talk about your issues without judgment or criticism. When you can begin to talk in a different way, amazing things can happen.

Falling back into love. Life takes its toll on marriages and relationships. Children, careers and even the day-to-day challenges that come your way, can be a distraction from the most important relationship you have. The one you have built your entire future upon. It may be that you haven’t fallen out of love.

Rather, it may be that you haven’t taken the time required to embrace it the way you once did. Resentments build and before you know it, you’ve detached from one another. It’s possible to get it back. Find ways to remind yourself of why you fell in love in the first place. It’s important to spend quality time together. Quality time is not spent talking about the kids, the bills, the resentments and the anger. Set it aside.

Put aside all technology — you’ll survive without it for a few hours. Give yourself permission to laugh and have fun. This can make challenges and problems look a lot different. Ending an abusive relationship Love should NEVER hurt. And physical abuse is NEVER acceptable. You need to know that you’ve done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment.

If you are in a physically abusive relationship, the question is not whether to stay or to go. The question is how to go safely. It will require the support of others to do this. You can ask friends or family to help; or there are professionals who can help you develop a safety plan for leaving. Women In Distress (www.womenindistress.org) offers 24-hour crisis intervention and shelter for women and children. They also provide educational programs and training.

When you know you’ve tried everything … Not all marriages will succeed. It takes two people to make a relationship work — two very motivated, committed people. Knowing that you have tried everything possible to be happy together will make transitioning to being single easier.

And working through issues and accepting responsibility for how you have contributed to the successes and failures of the relationship will help you move on and be more successful the next time.

Dr. Laura Richter is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist who works with individuals, couples, and families. Her specialties include: surviving infidelity, improving communication, beginning again after divorce and effective co-parenting after divorce. She is also a trained mediator, qualified parenting coordinator and collaborative law mental health professional. For more information, please call or text us today at 561-715-6404 to schedule a consultation to see how we can help.