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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Relationships: Are You Too Afraid to Leave an Unhappy Relationship?

For many people in unhappy relationships, the thought of dealing with the pain of a breakup seems overwhelming. As a result, many people remain in unhappy relationships because they're too afraid of what they anticipate will be unrelenting emotional pain. This fear often causes them to rationalize that "the devil that I know is better than the devil that I don't know" so rather than considering that they could find happiness with someone else in the future, they remain emotionally paralyzed in relationships that, from an emotional perspective, have really ended a long time ago.


Many people remain in unhappy relationships out of fear of being alone
Fear of Leaving the Relationship
Of course, every relationship has its ups and downs, and you're not always going to be happy every moment of your relationship. Many relationships go through rough patches that can be worked out with time and effort. For many of these relationships, if the issues can't be worked out within the couple, they can be worked out in couples or marriage counseling.

But I'm not referring to relationships with average problems that can be worked through. I'm referring to relationships where either one or both people really know that it's over, but they're too afraid to leave and face an unknown future. Aside from being too afraid to deal what they anticipate will be overwhelming emotional pain, these people fear that they won't meet anyone else and they'll be alone and lonely for the rest of their lives.

Often, when people have remained in unhappy relationships for a while, they begin to lose their sense of self confidence. They might feel unattractive or socially inept and that no one else could be interested in them.

When people remain in relationships that have ended in all but name only, they often feel resentment towards their partners as well as towards themselves for feeling so stuck. This only makes their problems worse.

Infidelity Before Ending the Relationship
Some people begin to search for other potential partners before they end their current relationship because they're so fearful of being alone. Adding infidelity to these problems is a sure recipe for disaster.

Rather than suffering alone and remaining stuck indefinitely in an unhappy relationship that you know in your heart is over, you could seek help from a licensed psychotherapist who has expertise in this area. A licensed psychotherapist, who has helped others to overcome this problem, can help you to overcome your ambivalence so that you can make a decision to either stay or go rather than remaining paralyzed with fear. A licensed psychotherapist can also help you to navigate through the emotional upheaval of the breakup. With professional help, you can learn to cope with the crisis and, eventually, to thrive in your life.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist who works with individual adults and couples.  I have helped many individuals and couples overcome problems in their relationships, including dealing with the emotional upheaval of a breakup.

I have found that, in many cases, clients discover that the emotional fallout of a breakup, while painful, is not always as unbearable as many people anticipate, and being able to make a decision without paralyzing fear can be freeing.

To find out more about me, visit my websiteJosephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

Also see my article:  Relationships: Should You Stay or Should You Go


Photo Credit:  Photopin


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