Breakup to Makeup: When Should You Stay, When Should You Go?

I’ve gone through this many, many times. I’ve been with my husband since I was 20 and I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we broke up. Break ups can sometimes be positive because it allows both parties to take a step back and really look at the relationship with open eyes. It allows you to see if your life would be better if the two of you parted or it can make you realize how much you really want to be together.

However, I don’t think that most of us really take the time to look at the relationship with a clear head. We are blinded by factors such as missing the other person, reflecting only on the good times while forgetting all the bad times and making excuses for all of the things that caused the breakup. If we learned to really look at the relationship for what it is there wouldn’t be the constant break up and making up.

As I got older and really learned about myself and what it takes to make a relationship work I started analyzing my relationship. Not only analyzing his faults, but  looking at myself too.  Being able to be objective and clear about who we are and who we aren’t  can really help us decide what we want. Two questions that need to be considered are:

  1. Is the relationship really worth fighting for?
  2. Are we constantly progressing or are we steadily digressing? 

The answers to these questions can really help you in deciding whether you should fight for the relationship or if you should let it go. If you’re not sure where the relationship is going and you want to know if your life would improve if you were apart then a break up may be the answer.

Break ups are never easy especially when time, love, hopes, and dreams have been invested. There comes a point in most of our lives (usually around our mid to late 20’s) where we are unsure of what we want. We’re still trying to figure out what’s best for us. If we’re in a relationship we wonder if we want to progress to the next level with our partner and really commit to the relationship or do we want to move on because maybe there’s something better for us.

I’ve learned that for any relationship to work we have to first look at ourselves and improve those things within ourselves that may be a hindrance in our personal growth. You need to work on the things that prevent you from having successful romantic relationships. We all have faults, but let’s not let our baggage from our past relationships affect our future relationships. Look at yourself in the mirror. If you break up with your partner without really looking at yourself in the mirror, you could be on your way to duplicating your love problems in your future relationships.

Remember: You are the common denominator in all your relationship problems. Wherever you go, your pesky repeated issues go until you shed a blazing light of insight upon them.

I recently read an article on cnn.com that  made some very valid points. It said that a healthy relationship can become an individual’s greatest asset when it comes to succeeding in almost all aspects of life. It can provide security, trust, support and many other positive things that are needed for maturity on a mental, emotional even physical scale. However, when we’re in unhealthy relationships it can also negatively effect on our lives. We can’t eat, focus, work, or do any of our normal day to day activities because we’re either sad, depressed or both. Many people find themselves lost in a world of utter confusion and chaos when they remain in unproductive relationships.

Do you find yourself asking if your relationship is going to survive because of all the arguing and fighting that never seems to improve? Or are you constantly in pain when your partner hurts you and neglects you even though you’ve spoken to them about your past insecurities?

People stay in bad relationships longer than they should because fear of the pain of dating seems scarier than the pain of a bad relationship. People prefer to cling to the familiar even when it’s painful rather than stretching themselves with the hope of expanding their happiness.

Here are some insights to having a healthy relationship:

Communicate. Communication is the most important factor in any successful relationship. Your partner isn’t a mind reader and can’t tell what’s bothering you unless you talk about it. If something is bothering you, speak up! Your love life is only as strong as your open communication.

Give each other room to breathe. It is perfectly healthy to have time apart. Give each other enough space. The best relationship is one that does not foster too much independence or too much dependence, but exists in the healthy interdependence zone.

Are there deal breakers you’re just realizing you have? Are these true deal breakers, like: “He’s a cheater,” “He’s a liar,” “He hits me,” “He’s a gambler,” “He’s a jobless mooch,” “He doesn’t want to have children and I do” or “He has an addiction he’s not dealing with.” If your partner has a real deal breaker, that is a good reason to leave the relationship. Understand that no matter how much love you put into a person until they are able to love themselves enough to stop these self-destructive behaviors they will never be able to love you the way you deserve to be loved. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t put energy into arguing or complaining about things that really have no significance. This causes unnecessary conflict. Remember nobody is perfect.

Lastly, Aristotle believed there are 3 kinds of relationships and only one brings true happiness.  There’s a relationship of pleasure quickly summed up as sex-mates not fulfilling in the long run. Then, the relationship of utility where partners use one another for beauty, money or status, which are also not fulfilling for the long haul. The final type is the relationship of shared virtue. You understood each other and you want to help each other grow into your best possible selves. Aristotle deemed these partners soul mates or “soul-nurturing mates.” He believed being with someone who helped you grow into your best possible self was not only what long-term happily-ever-after love was all about, but also what a long-term happily-ever-after life was all about.

For this reason, you must recognize that it’s appropriate for a love relationship to have some challenges within it to help you to grow.  American Author Leo Buscaglia once said “A great deterrent to love is found in anyone who fears change, for growing, learning, experiencing is change. Change is inevitable.” Are you and your partner in a relationship of shared virtue where the challenges can be wonderful growth opportunities? Not every challenge or obstacle is a bad one. They may be roadblocks put in your path to help you learn a lesson. The task is making sure you heed the lesson it is designed to teach you so that you can hopefully grow from the experience and come out tougher and stronger.

What are your thoughts on breaking up and making up?

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7 thoughts on “Breakup to Makeup: When Should You Stay, When Should You Go?

  1. nathaliec24 says:

    I definitely needed to read this, as I am going through the whole “breakup-makeup-breakup-makeup- wait, what are we now” …. your points make sense for people of all ages. I wish more people would admit half of this. Thanks!

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