Category: ending a relationship

The Difference Between Hard Work and Struggle in Relationship

I was once involved with someone who was quite lovely, and who wanted a much different sort of relationship than I did.  Our conflicting desires made the relationship unsustainable and rather painful. Unfortunately, we did not communicate to each other what we wanted our relationship to be until we were both too deeply hooked by […]


When Loss Hits Us Unprepared

Yesterday, I wrote about pruning the roses for spring, something I willingly do on my own terms.  Sometimes in spring, plants get pruned on the weather’s terms. Things get ripped brutally apart from the weight of a heavy snowstorm, and you are left with broken plants, trees, bushes. You were excited about the potential fruit […]


You Invested Energy into It, but That Doesn’t Mean You Should Keep It

Yesterday, I cut back two of my largest rosebushes for spring.  It always seems impossible that the roses can survive such pruning, but every year, they grow back even better than the year before.  I planted these roses when they were in one-gallon pots and each about a foot tall, and they’ve grown into massive […]


Breaking Free from Hopeful Illusion: The April Fool’s Edition

In the comic strip “Peanuts” the character Lucy is a bully, and perhaps her most famous mean trick is the football swipe: She tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold the football for him, then swipes it away at the last minute and he falls. I hated this story line as a child. I got frustrated […]


Swallowing the Conflict to “Keep the Peace.”

Conflict is messy.  Not many of us are skilled at it.  Sometimes, it is tempting to try bypass it altogether to “keep the peace.”  I’m not talking about choosing a battle because a particular issue is not a big deal.  I’m talking about when someone crosses a line and you feel violated but decide to […]


Learning from our “Failures”

The other day, I ended a frustrating long term relationship with my raspberry patch. For about eight years, I tried many things to make the patch bear fruit. Every year, it would flower abundantly, bees would pollinate the flowers, and then the flowers would shrivel up and die. Every year, I would get my hopes […]


Ending a Relationship by Using the Silent Treatment

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to look at the key phrases people use to find this website. A surprising amount of searches follow some form of “Should I break up using the Silent Treatment?”  It is as if the searcher is hoping that if they ignore their partner, the relationship will magically go away.  […]


Scapegoating Others for Our Emotional Situations

Yesterday, my daughter was in a terrible mood.  She didn’t eat enough, and she skipped her nap.  The littlest things would trigger the biggest tantrums.  Whoever happened to step on the landmine of her bad mood was the person she thought was causing the bad mood.  For a three-year-old, this makes perfect sense.  Screaming from […]


When to Give an Ultimatum

I’ve written before about why ultimatums rarely work in relationships.   Relationship ultimatums tend to go along the lines of “Change your behavior, or I leave.”  Most of these ultimatums don’t work because the person issuing the ultimatum isn’t ready to follow through with the threat to end the relationship; however, there are times when an […]


Communicating Your Intentions in Relationships

The way a person drives speaks volumes about they way communicate. Today, for example, I was at a four-way stop sign. There was a car stopped at the same time, directly across from me. The driver started to move forward without flashing a turn signal, so I assumed that she, like me, was going to […]


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