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Taking a Break in a Relationship: When it Is and Isn’t a Good Idea

Taking a Break in a Relationship: When it Is and Isn’t a Good Idea

Sometimes, when a couple is going through a hard time and they find it difficult to leave each other, they both decide to take a break from the relationship. A break from all the responsibilities of the relationship, a break from all the fighting and arguing, a break from the commitment, a break from feeling like they need to take care of their partner.

Taking a break in a relationship does not necessarily mean a breakup. But in a lot of cases, it ends up in a breakup as one of the partner realizes the relationship is not worth saving.

When you take a break, you are putting your relationship through an ultimate test. You are trying to see what life would be like without your partner and without the relationship.

In this article, we will explore when it is a good idea to take a break and when it isn’t.

It’s a good idea to take a break if you are fighting a lot and can’t seem to stop.

If you and your partner can’t stop fighting about a certain topic and it seems the argument is never ending, it might be a good idea to take a break.

Staying away from each other might help you understand their perspective and figure out if it’s compatible with you.

It’s not the same as taking a break after a big fight. If you want to take a break because of fighting, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Make sure it’s because you are genuinely concerned about the fighting and disagreement and you want to come to a reasonable conclusion by taking some space and time apart.

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If you want to do it just to gain the upper hand in the fight, you are not doing it for the right reasons and it’s likely to blow up on your face.

It’s a good idea to take a break if you are having doubts about commitment.

In a lot of relationships, major commitments like moving in together or marriage can be daunting for one or both of the partners. If you are having cold feet, it might be a good idea to take a break from each other and figure out if this relationship is something you truly want.

Staying away from each other might help you figure out how important your partner is to you and if they are worth committing to.

On the flip side, if you are not really ready for this type of commitment or if your partner is not right for you, a break will also help clear your mind and it will give you the strength to breakup with your partner if you are sure they are not the right person for you.

There will often be times when a break will not give you a clear answer. You may feel like your partner is right for you, but you are not ready for a commitment.

If that’s the case, you can discuss your predicament with your partner and if they agree, you can both decide to take things slow instead of making a commitment right away.

It’s a good idea to take a break if your partner cheated on you and you need time to make a decision.

Cheating, emotionally or physically, is a huge deal breaker for a lot of people. But often, it’s very hard to leave your boyfriend or girlfriend after they cheated. It’s especially true if you are very attached to each other and you feel that your relationship with your partner is very special.

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If your partner cheated on you, it might be a good idea and take some time to figure out if it’s worth it to try and save the relationship. Let your partner know that you want some space and time to think and you don’t want them to contact you for a while.

As you are away from your partner, try to look at it from a neutral perspective. Sure your relationship is special but will it be possible to rebuild the trust after this huge betrayal? Here are a few things to think about:[1]

  • Are they remorseful? Do they show remorse about their act? Do they understand how much they’ve hurt you?
  • Are they honest? Have they been completely honest about the level of cheating? Or are they giving you bits of truth here and there (Commonly known as trickle truth[2])?
  • Do they understand what it will take to rebuild the trust? Do you understand what it will take rebuild the trust? It’s going to be very challenging unless both of you are willing to work hard on saving the relationship.
  • Is your relationship truly worth saving? Was it really that good in the first place? Or perhaps it’s time to let go of this relationship and focus on moving on?

It might take you a while to get your thoughts in order. It’s important you don’t rush into a decision. If your partner keeps contacting you during this time, just keep reminding them that you need more time and you have not made a decision yet.

It’s a good idea to take a break if you are not satisfied in the relationship for a long time.

A break can help you figure out what exactly is the reason you are feeling unsatisfied in the relationship and if anything can be done to change it. If you take a break for this reason, it’s important that you be honest with your partner about it.

If you have been unsatisfied in the relationship for a long time, there’s a good chance this break will result in a breakup and your partner needs to be aware of that.

It’s NOT a good idea to take a break if you just want to win a fight or have the upper hand.

It’s never a good idea to ask your partner to take a break because you want to get the upper hand in an argument or you want to show your partner that you might break up.

The fact is, most breaks usually end up in a breakup. And if you are deciding to take a break, there’s a good chance you will breakup.

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If you try to use a break as a manipulation tactic to gain power over your partner, you may find yourself in a breakup that you never really wanted.

It’s NOT a good idea to take a break if you plan on sleeping with someone else.

A lot of people think of a break as an opportunity to sleep with someone else. It’s usually someone they have been interested in a while and they feel the break will give them a free pass to sleep with that person.

If that’s you, think again. If you sleep with someone else during a break, there’s a very good chance your partner will resent you for it. You will most likely have huge fights about this for years to come and your partner may never be able to get over it.

Depending on how well both of you defined the terms of the break, you may not have done something “technically” wrong. But your partner will resent you nonetheless if they were not expecting it.

Most people cannot get over the thought of their partner being in bed with someone else. Especially when they were at home crying their eyes out missing you.

If you are not ready for a monogamous relationship, you will be better off breaking up with them and satisfying your sense of sexual adventures while you are single.

Don’t use a break as an opportunity to have your cake and eat it to. As we all know, it’s not possible.

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It’s NOT a good idea to take a break if the issue can be solved by communication and/or therapy.

Most of the issues in a relationship can be solved by proper communication or couples’ therapy.

A break is not always the right solution for all the problems in a relationship. Ask yourself if you have tried communicating with your partner in a calm manner and if you have tried understanding their point of view.

If not, you may want to look into couples’ therapy to help both of you understand each other more. If a break is required, the therapist will most likely recommend it.

Final thoughts

Taking a break in a relationship doesn’t mean ending a relationship. Like what it says, it’s a break only. A break that helps you and your partner to have room for reflecting your thoughts and emotions; and for thinking your future with or without your partner.

Featured photo credit: Almos Bechtold via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] ExBack Permanently: My Girlfriend Cheated on Me – What Should I Do?
[2] Infidelity Help: Trickle-Truth

More by this author

Kevin Thompson

A breakup and relationship expert who writes about reconciliation and becoming a better person

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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