OH! Magazine - Australian Version December 2018 - Page 8

( EMOTIONAL FITNESS ) 5 REASONS RELATIONSHIPS END BADLY Emotional fitness expert Heidi di Santo explains the most common reasons relationships end badly. lose relationships are important for your mental health because when they work well, they provide you with a sanctuary to retreat from the harsh realities of the world. They’re a place where you’re able to remove your mask and be you. Ideally they’ll offer safety, security, love and acceptance so that you can rest and recharge and prepare yourself to face the world once more. C Unfortunately many people find themselves in relationships that do the exact opposite. They add to their burdens rather than reduce them. So if you don’t feel free to be the ‘real you’ in your close relationships, then it’s time to make change. If you’re tiptoeing around your partner out of fear or if you’re controlling and dominating your partner in anyway, alarm bells should ring because this isn’t healthy! Only when connections are based on equality, truth and respect, will they nurture you in the ways you desire and deserve. So how do you know whether your relationships are going to help or hinder you? Learning to recognise the early warning signs so that you can make change for the better (or end a relationship earlier) is where your power lies. So here are five common reasons why relationships end badly. 1. A strong, blaming, dishonest or dominant ego A strong ego is often the cause of relationships ending badly. You see, for two people to work through their issues, 8 OH! MAGAZINE ( DECEMBER 2018 ) both parties must be willing to ‘look within’ as well as outside. Unfortunately, some people have so much ‘unresolved stuff’ inside, that they engage in behaviour that is abusive or disrespectful towards others (whether it be knowingly or unknowingly); meaning, they take their problems out on others rather than looking within. They harm important relationships by engaging in controlling, aggressive and dominating behaviour because they can’t accept their own inner pain, and they avoid feeling vulnerable by projecting their problems onto others. Whenever anything goes wrong in a relationship, it’s important to realise that there are always two (or more) parties contributing to the issue. And when one person wants to blame the other person entirely, problems will arise because this is victim behaviour. It’s only when both parties are willing to accept responsibility for ‘their part’ in the conflict that issues can be resolved. Operating from a ‘me’ or an ‘I’ perspective is dangerous in relationships, because it prevents you from truly seeing the other person and treating them with respect and equality. In relationships the ‘I’ need to become the ‘we’, but this can only happen when individuals learn to truly empathise with others so they can see other perspectives to situations. People with strong egos often tell untruths in order to protect their image and this makes it very difficult connect with them authentically. 2. Turning away from one another and disconnecting too early In times of crisis or problems, many people turn away from the relationship as opposed to towards it. Examples include starting affairs and bitching and complaining about partners to other people. Ultimately this is disrespectful behaviour that will eventually lead to a relationship breakdown. For relationships to stand the test of time, both parties need to stay engaged with a willingness to ‘work things out’. Unfortunately many relationships end because people disconnect too early. It’s very easy to turn your back on problems and walk away; it’s much harder to stay engaged and sort things out. Staying ‘open hearted’ involves getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, and trying to understand the other person’s perspective (as opposed to judging it) so that things can be worked out. The truth is that a relationship isn’t truly over until all issues have been worked through and resolved. Sometimes this is impossible because of the ‘strong ego’ mentioned earlier. Unless both parties are willing to accept responsibility for their part in problems, conflict won’t be resolved. Sadly many people walk away from relationships with unresolved ‘stuff’ only to repeat the same mistakes in their next relationships. And this pattern will keep repeating itself until the individual finally looks within, accepts responsibility for their part of the issue, and ultimately