Counseling or F*ck Off ! : When To Call It Quits

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No one fights hard enough though; I can say this because I’m a young 20-something in this dating world. I see firsthand how inconvenience and hardship will dead a relationship. How the idea of sacrifice and selflessness makes people reconsider commitment. I think our generation needs to work harder to preserve and cultivate healthy relationships.

I had a co-worker at my last job, who got married last year. I asked about his relationship, the standard questions like are you excited? How did you meet? Is she the one? Are you ready to get married? He said something that surprised me. He was attending therapy, as was his fiancée. They also attended couple’s therapy. I asked why, and he stated simply that he wasn’t getting married to get divorced. That any issues or problems had to be resolved before they walked down the aisle. Brilliant! In a society that is reactionary, it was refreshing to talk to someone taking preventive measures to preserve their marriage. Now, imagine if couples were actually open to the idea of therapy? Let me give you a scenario. Say you’re with bae for 4 years. You love bae, but there are issues preventing you from taking the next step. Maybe he has trust issues. Maybe she has unresolved ‘daddy’ issues. You fight, but you always ‘work it out.’ The problems still persist, and are never really resolved.

A few things could happen.

  1. Get married, maybe you stay together. You bring the same problems pre-marriage into your married life. So you live, unhappily ever after.
  2. Maybe infidelity is involved. Maybe you fall out of love. Either way, it ended badly. Now you gotta start from scratch after investing years in a relationship. Whomp.

Now what would have happened if you considered going  to couple’s counseling? Or thought about other ways to deal with the presenting problems, besides covering them up?

  1. Maybe you get married. Things aren’t perfect, because life isn’t perfect. But generally you live a pleasant life, with a better understanding of each other, and more knowledge on how to communicate effectively.
  2. Maybe you break up. But not before you gave it your best shot, and did all you could to fix the problems.

How do you know if it’s worth fixing?

I asked two married couples this question.

‘I would say the grass is always greener on the other side. The honeymoon stage ends but your commitment doesn’t. ask what is it that youre looking for. Why aren’t you getting it and is there a chance you can get if from the person. Also, go back to what connected you to rekindle things. Expect that there will be problems in the relationship. You should make it work because there’s a reason you decided to make the commitment? What was the reason? It doesn’t disappear.’

‘I’d ask them to map/graph their positive and negative interactions and see if their feelings and experience of the relationship line up with the data. I once heard that a relationship has to be 70/30 positive to stand a chance. Find if its worth fighting for first and then tackle on increasing the positive interactions. ‘

Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Regardless of what you’ve been through with each other, if you can look at them and remember; if the thought of them  still stirs something in you’, try one more time.

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My name is Mora Adeyi. I am a social worker, serving mentally ill adults in the Manhattan area. I currently reside in Harlem and have been living in New York for the past four years. In my spare time, I enjoy running, romantic comedies, and traveling. I am a relationship blogger for
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