Unfortunately, not all relationships work nor can be saved, as the time spent ignoring the issues can be extremely damaging in the long run, but it is at times like Christmas that it often comes to light more and it can be a particularly stressful time for those who are already feeling unhappy, as spending so much time together will highlight the problems. We then wake up on Boxing Day wondering how we can carry on and go through it. Interestingly, the first Monday back to work after the festive break has been dubbed ‘Divorce Monday’ by law practices. So what should you do?
First of all, you need to ascertain how long the issues have been going on for and establish exactly what’s not working anymore. Some of what you see as a problem might actually be a response to your own behaviour or your partner may not even realise that they are doing something that you are deeply unhappy about.
We often know that there is a problem but we put it at the back of our minds. We try and make do, we put on a front because after all, life isn’t that bad, is it? But we unconsciously know that we are kidding ourselves. We are in limbo. We are waiting for better times to come and they just don’t. We become resentful, and maybe a bit jealous of those who seem to have it all too. It can make us a tad bitter but also very sad indeed, and it is the sadness that is often the most difficult to deal with, as it can easily turn to anger. This is why there are often arguments at Christmas, as they would have been festering for a while.
Once you recognise that there is a genuine problem, you have taken the first step towards acceptance, which is also the hardest. It is more of an unconscious acknowledgement to start off with, as it can be quite difficult to admit to yourself. There is an internal battle going on, which is totally normal and a very human reaction. It hurts to concede that there is something wrong but once we have, we want to ‘regain control’. Until then, we are just in a state of self-delusion, failing to recognise the reality of what is really happening.
It can be a very painful process to go through, especially as we don’t always feel we can talk about it. After all, what we really want especially at this time of year, is that special someone to be by our side and be happy, so it can make us even more frustrated by the situation. We feel like we deserve and should be getting more… What can’t we have it all?
The thing is, and whichever way this is going to go, you need to talk with your partner in a constructive manner, as opposed to just voicing unhelpful generalisations. Yes, it’s obvious but you would be amazed how many people skip that important step. The best way is to be honest and not come from a place of blame. They deserve it and so do you. Breaking up does not have to be the only conclusion that you come to but it’s worth bearing in mind that it is ok to do so if the relationship has run its course. It might be the best outcome for you both.
So if you feel unhappy this Christmas, address it. Burying your head in the sand will only make it worse and drag out a situation that could still be resolved…