How to Keep Going When Your Relationship Isn’t

In our current situation, more couples are spending larger quantities of time with one another than ever before. Of course, this can go one of two ways. The opportunity to spend more quality time together can increase meaningful connection and closeness. Or…that increase in time together may have you wanting to pull out your hair, or even worse, it can exacerbate unhealthy dynamics in your relationship. There is a reason that divorce rates are expected to climb in the wake of this pandemic.

So, where does your relationship fall on this spectrum? If you’re lucky enough to find yourself feeling closer to your partner, congratulations. Truly connecting with one another through real conversation and closeness builds intimacy and strengthens a relationship. These are trying times, to say the least, so forming a stronger bond as a result of this hardship can be a beautiful silver lining in all of this.

But, what do you do if your relationship is unraveling, you’re starting to see that it’s unhealthy or it’s over, but you are still in limbo? If you find yourself in this category, let’s talk about some ways that you can best utilize this period. This is a unique time, which lends a rare opportunity to slow down a bit, observe and reflect.

The following 3 things can help you move forward in your life, even if you’re feeling stuck in your relationship.

This is asking you to do something that is not easy, but it is an extremely powerful practice that will serve you well in all areas of your life. Observe from a distance. In this context, go ahead and try to separate yourself from your relationship and just look at it as an outsider would. Is there love between you two? What is the communication style? Is there respect for one another? Do you share the same values? Go ahead and journal about your observations if it is safe for you to do so. This is not a time to place blame or judgment, just simply observe from afar.

Use this time to connect with your inner self. Think about the things that you love to do, but that you have let go of or for which you simply don’t make the time. When do you feel the most yourself? What nourishes you? What makes you feel happy? What can you wake up and look forward to doing? Make a list to remind yourself of what keeps you in tune with your inner self.

When we are young, we daydream without judgment. Somewhere along the line, we lose that to practicality. Take this time to give yourself permission to dream about your future. What would be ideal? Logistics aside, what do you really and ultimately want? What appeals to you? What do you want your life to look like in 5, 10, 20 years? Write this down.

Don’t be surprised if you get going with some of these things and they inspire you to think about or evaluate other areas of your life. This is a good thing! Just because you may have to physically stay put, for the time being, does not mean that you have to stay mentally stagnant.

Stay tuned for the next blog post; Working from Home with Your Partner: Coping with Too Much Togetherness!

Want to learn more about a healthy relationship? Check out Avery’s course, Healthy Relationships 101.

Want to schedule time with Avery? Click here!

XO – Avery Neal

Avery Neal, PhD is a practicing psychotherapist, international author and speaker. In 2012 she opened Women’s Therapy Clinic, which offers psychiatric and counseling support to women. She specializes in depression and anxiety at all stages in a woman’s life.

Dr. Neal is the author of, If He’s So Great, Why Do I Feel So Bad?: Recognizing and Overcoming Subtle Abuse, which has been translated and published in twelve languages. Her articles and interviews have been published by, American Counseling Association, Counseling Today, BookTrib, Best Self Magazine, Hitched Magazine, Bustle, POPSUGAR and PKWY Magazine, and her courses have been taken by over 18,000 people worldwide. The International Association of HealthCare Professionals nominated her as one of the top psychologists in Houston.