Has your relationship expired?

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Couples Counseling

Has your relationship expired?

What does it mean to be in an expired relationship? Does relationships expire and if they do, how would one know? The answer is yes, relationships do expire. Relationships do not come with a visible expiration date, like a container of milk does. One has to know that if their relationship is sour or spoiled, then like a container of milk, it’s time to throw it out. Off course this is much easier said than done and unlike a container of expired milk, relationships are much, much, more complicated.

Definition of an Expired Relationship…
One of the best analogy that I can come up with for defining an expired relationship, is thinking of it in terms of a library book. Have you even taken a book out of a library and forgot to return it on the due date? If you continue to hold unto that book that a very long time, eventually it will cost you a lot more to return it, than what it may be worth. Therefore, instead of returning the book, you may decide to just keep it. Since the longer you kept it, the more it accumulated cost. The cheaper option would be to hold onto it. This may be a book that you love, but since you have already read it, it’s pretty useless to you now. One day however, you may decide to just throw it out, since you have no real use for it, and realize that it’s only taking up unnecessary space.

An expired relationship is a relationship that you are in, but you are completely unhappy in it, but yet you feel like you cannot throw it away. You may say to yourself, if I stay a little bit longer maybe he/she will change, so you continue to invest more time. As a Singles therapist, I see this phenomenon quite often. It’s very frustrating for the individuals who are in it. Even though they are aware of the problems in the relationship, they are usually struggling with the how and what, to fix the relationship. They seem to be in relationships that are long overdue, but are hanging in there until either one partner leaves or says that it’s over. Walking away seems impossible and out of the question for them.

Perfect you…

You may be trying your best to be the perfect partner and yet your efforts seem to be in vain. What you are actually doing, is staying in a “relationship that has expired”. Walking away seems impossible and probably the most difficult thing that you will ever have to do. Your “love” for the individual seems to be the only reason that you are still in the relationship. That’s very understandable, however you have to learn how to love enough to let go. Yes, that too is much easier said than done, but just because you are in a relationship with someone, that does not mean that you are with the right someone for you.

Time is or can be one of the greatest negotiator for staying in most relationships. What may seem as wasted time to one individual, can be seem as a learning experience to another, since all of life experiences can be looked at as learning experiences. Think about it from this perspective. If you have wasted five years with someone and it’s not working out, why would you want to waste more time with that individual? Why would you be willing to waste five years and one more day with this individual. Your relationship is expired.

Cause off…

Low self esteem, low self worth and value are usually at the base of the source for individuals that are having a difficult time leaving relationships that are obviously not working for them. The fear of being “single’ and “alone” are at the heart of many of these individuals. The stigma of the unhappy, single, lonely, bitter woman takes over and most women are terrified of that image. Society has perpetuated this phenomenon, so that women are staying in relationships that they know is not worth it. They compromise their standards and values in these types of relationships. The fear of the unknown keeps them from moving forward and can be terrifying for them. I’ve had women say to me ” but why won’t he change, he says he loves me”. The bottom line to this question is, that you cannot make anyone change, if they do not want too. No matter how hard you try to be the best partner that you can be.

You are only responsible for yourself and your own actions and choices that you make, if you already know that your relationship is not working out, then it’s time for you to sit down and ask yourself the “hard questions”. Which can go something like this. Do I love me, Is this what I deserve, why am I afraid of not being in this relationship? If you were to dig deep enough you will find the truth to your questions. You cannot blame the other person for your happiness, you and only you are responsible for your own happiness. You have no one to blame but yourself. I know that this may sound harsh, but the truth will and does hurt.

In conclusion…

Nothing in life is guaranteed, so what do you have to lose, by walking away from an unhappy relationship. How many more years are you willing to put in to try to make it work. If it has not been working for years, why would it magically work now? If you are in a relationship that you think has expired, do yourself a favor and get help figuring out why you are still in it, if you cannot do it on your own. The truth is there for you to explore. Don’t allow the fear of the unknown to prevent you from living the life that you rightly deserve. Happiness is a choice.