Do you know the feeling of being trapped, just like the walls surrounding you are getting closer and closer? Not too long and they will crush you. Just like being caught in quicksand – every effort to free yourself results in you sinking deeper into it. Somehow you don't know where this is coming from, you only feel that you are helpless to break free.
Does this sound familiar?
You might be a victim of the relationship trap.
The Relationship Trap
Are you discontent with your relationship? Do you want to break out of it, but don't know how – and maybe you are even afraid of it?
The survey that I conducted brought to light that many of you have exactly this problem: How do I break out of a relationship that I don't want, that doesn't make me happy?
As you know, this site is about surviving break ups and having healthy relationships. But my main concern is your wellbeing!
My most important goal is to lead you down a path towards happiness, towards your real self – if this means that you have to break free from your current relationship, so be it.
So, this article is about how to free yourself from a relationship that is not good for you. I will help you to decide and accomplish a change.
Who Wants to Get Out?
There are 2 common situations for relationship traps.
Case # 1:
Kevin wants to live a life of a playboy. He is young, wants to live and enjoy lots of new experiences. He is life-hungry.
Unfortunately, it somehow doesn't work out as he planned. Every time he meets a nice new girl, he ends up being sucked into a long-term relationship, apparently against his will.
After some time the girl breaks up with him, and the whole process starts again from the beginning.
Welcome to the vicious cycle.
Case # 2:
Susan feels as though she has no air to breathe. Her relationship of three years leaves her with no room to develop. There is nothing happening anymore, everything is always the same.
She wanted to do so many things, she has so many unfulfilled needs – but her partner doesn't understand her, there is no more communication and no emotional bond.
She thinks that she wants to escape, yet she doesn't want to miss the comfort and safety of this relationship. And she would never find another partner again, or so she thinks.
The Way Out Of An Unhealthy Relationship
These are the two common situations: you didn't really want a relationship and now you're caught in it, or you are discontent with the one you have.
Maybe you recognize yourself in one of them, or maybe you're a combination or variation of them.
Either way, the solution to this is the same: know what you want, realize your current situation, evaluate how you can change it and just do it – despite all the unpleasant consequences.
Sounds pretty easy, huh?
I think that we all know that it actually isn't, right?
It will get easier, if we cut the problem into smaller pieces. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my needs?
- Are my needs fulfilled in my current relationship?
- Do I want to work on the relationship or break up?
- How do I break up?
Number 3 seems to be the toughest.
Are You Really Trapped?
In order to find out whether you're really trapped and discontent with your relationship, let's go through all the questions together.
1. What are my Needs?
Take a moment of quiet, sit down and relax. Then write down all the needs and wants you have in general, and especially in the relationship you're in.
So, Kevin would write down:
I have the need…
- to have new sexual experiences
- to meet lots of new girls
- to be independent
- to be successful
The most important task for Kevin would be to figure out what he really wants, (despite the fact that everyone can be a “Ladies Man”, not everybody honestly wants to be one).
Susan would most probably write down:
- to be free
- to evolve
- to communicate with my partner
- to have an emotional bond with my partner
Now it's your turn, write them down! Remember to be honest with yourself.
This is an important step, so take your time.
After the list is ready, let it age for a week.
2. Are my Needs fulfilled in my current Relationship?
This should not be so difficult if you honestly wrote down your needs. Just go down the list and make it clear to yourself as to how many needs you are sacrificing for your relationship or not.
This is very often an eye-opener.
What happens now is that many realize how unhappy they really are. Their relationship is preventing them from evolving or fulfilling their elementary emotional needs.
Or, they realize that the reason for their unhappiness is not actually caused by their relationship, but some other personal issues they're suffering from.
Here again: take your time and be honest with yourself.
3. Do I want to work on the Relationship or Break Up?
Now you have to decide: should I stay or should I go?
Base your decision on the insights you gained from going through the above list of needs.
I would always advise you to decide to first try and work on your relationships.
Read my article about how to avoid and resolve conflicts. This is something every couple should know. It's a good start.
Second, you have to talk about your problems, dismissing them will only result in getting them insolvable. Make your mutual needs a priority and work out a compromise. If this works out, then you have made an important step towards a fulfilling relationship.
If not, proceed to step four.
4. How do I break up?
Please read my article on how to break up gracefully for making this decision – this will help you a lot. I describe the whole process step-by-step.
A wrong and unhealthy relationship can heavily diminish your life-quality. You then have only two options: to make it better or to free yourself from it.
This article has given you the tools to evaluate the quality of your relationship, so you can decide what further course of action you need to take.
If you don't want to be in a relationship, then don't let anybody force you into staying in one. Be honest here – to your partner and to yourself.
Always keep in mind: your needs and wishes are very important. It's your life and it's short.
Make the best out of it.