Should we break up to save our relationship?

When a relationship hits the rocks, the issue of breaking up or getting divorced becomes one of the solutions to consider, and for some people the main solution. There is also the question of whether a short, possibly temporary break up might be the way to bring the relationship or marriage back together when you’re not really sure why the connection is getting weaker. In this episode, I answer a question from a viewer about whether it’s worth taking the risk that a break up will be permanent.

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Full transcript (unedited)

welcome back to brojo online and today we’re going to be doing another ask dan anything question today’s question is in response to a video i did some time ago about whether or not you should break up with someone how to figure out if you should stay with someone or break up with them based on feeling attraction for other people and other matters and the person’s asked this i’m going to read it out

in the video you said that if someone is in a relationship but the connection is weak or broken for a long time and the person struggles with attraction for other people they should break up the relationship and that will see if the connection is still happening you said that this is a good way to determine that my question is this do you feel that a breakup decision can sometimes or oftentimes be irreconcilable isn’t it the case that a real breakup often cannot be undone that is if i’m in a good relationship and i don’t feel the connection but there are many many good things about the relationship and i’m not sure about breaking up and if i genuine and if i break up to genuinely test the connection we had i might never be able to get the relationship back even if i do feel there was a good connection in other words i would throw away something good that might have just needed more work cool excellent question because breaking up with someone is serious deal there are people who throw away great relationships because of their insecurities and there are people who stay in crappy relationships also because of their insecurities and because we don’t get any [ __ ] training you know this is one of the things that we don’t get anything in school about name one class you had in school about how to maintain a healthy relationship how how long were school from the age of five to like 18 not a single hour is dedicated to how to maintain a healthy relationship why because who would teach it who knows [ __ ] nobody right except for me no but that’s the problem isn’t that we don’t know when we should break up with someone that seems like something we should know doesn’t it so i’m going to try and help you with that this particular person directly to you if that’s the state as you say the connection is weak and broken for a long time and you struggle with attraction for other people uh yes i think you should break up it sounds like a recipe for a good breakup a proper helpful healthy breakup but let’s go more general i’m going to start with calling out the main thing right from the beginning you can’t break up a good relationship with a breakup what i mean by that is if you really are in a good healthy relationship and you’re having some troubles and you’re wondering if you should split up if you do break up you’ll get back together okay if you’re in a really good healthy relationship if you are the best fit for each other that you could possibly hope to imagine it will take a little bit of dating for you to realize holy [ __ ] that person was actually the one what am i doing and you’ll come back together this of course rarely happens why does it not happen very often well partly because people aren’t brave enough to test to break up until it’s too late and the relationships gone sour but also because if you really have a good relationship odds are you’re not even going to be considering a breakup the very fact that it comes up as an option is a huge red flag you’re not going to be thinking about leaving someone who you have a deep healthy connection with if you are thinking about it then you don’t have a good connection with them it might be that they’re a good person still they can still be a good person and it might be that you have a lot of fun together or you have a lot of good memories together but that doesn’t mean you have a great connection that’s perfect for a relationship you might have some insecurities that need to be worked out first they might have some well you both do probably or there’s some other friction like yeah you’re all you match well on paper but there’s just not the spark there that’s missing now i want to say in any normal relationship you will get minor impulses desires for freedom that’s normal i’m not talking about those they come and go very quickly they never last more than minutes hours at most but when you’re considering breaking up with someone for days and weeks and months then yeah you’re not in a good relationship doesn’t mean you’re not with a good person it’s not in a good relationship the thing the two of you created together doesn’t work it can be what’s really neat is that you need to go do some inner work one of the most classic problems that people bring into a relationship is a difficult attachment style there’s a book called attached i’ll try link it below in the notes but i seriously recommend anybody who isn’t enjoying healthy relationships reads and it talks about anxious and avoidant attachment styles and this is what comes from childhood trauma that nearly all of us have if you’re coming into a relationship with one of these attachment styles rather than secure attachment style it’s going to be very difficult for you guys to build a healthy connection one of you will be running away one of you will be too clingy there’ll be a person putting a lot to work and a person trying to back off you can’t get a healthy connection with that kind of setup so odds are that’s the kind of work that needs to be done it can only be done first off by breaking up you don’t do it in the relationship unless you both perfectly work at it at the same time you know like you see a couple’s therapist and you’re both really doing the work together to an equal level any imbalance in that it’s not going to work i do have to point out though that we live in modern times a throwaway culture we’re so uncomfortable with discomfort you know from millennials and younger i’m a millennial i guess and younger we have a big problem with discomfort if something’s even a little bit icky we’re just like [ __ ] this ditch it you know if life gives you lemons [ __ ] the lemons and bail with that kind of mentality so we think i had an argument with my partner it’s done you know this person lives a bit far away can’t be bothered we’re really kind of lazy weak and fragile as a you know batch of humans coming through psychologically speaking now generations before us were actually too far the other way they’ll put up with anything no matter how terrible it is and so they stay in awful marriages that they should have got divorced 40 years ago and so on obviously there’s a healthy balance in the middle where you know the amount of stuff you should tolerate and endure and work through before you know it’s too much so understand just because something’s a bit uncomfortable doesn’t mean you should break up just because you’re having a slightly rough patch or just because not everything’s exactly perfectly the way you want it like maybe they’re not exactly as hot as you want your partner to be or maybe they’re not into all the same things as you this doesn’t mean you should break up you might have other reasons for breaking up but these aren’t reasons however having to like three big arguments every day for months and months doesn’t mean you should stay together that’s too much friction okay that’s too much conflict too much discomfort so you really need to get good in general at life is knowing the difference between a temporary solvable problem and a long term irreconcilable difference you know for example i’ve seen people who will break up because they don’t like each other’s in-laws that’s actually a temporary solvable problem i mean you might always dislike the in-laws but it doesn’t always have to be an issue right you might learn to work with them or you just avoid them it’s fine and i’ve seen people stay together for long-term problems like one person wants children and the other person doesn’t and they stay together you should not be staying together if you have a difference of opinion on a topic that huge my wife’s catholic and i’m an atheist we can live with there forever it’s not actually a problem right but if she said we have to raise our kid as catholic that would be a problem right she hasn’t said that you’ve got to be able to look at the issue you’re facing guys this is just a temporary thing that’s come up and there’s lots of good signs to say that we’ll get through this or am i looking at the consequence or the symptom of a long-term problem now the problem is a lot of long-term problems look temporary what i give you as a rule of thumb is if you have a problem that lasts more than a month break up a problem that causes you real pain i don’t mean like oh she never does the dishes i mean something keeps you awake at night something you fight over something that no matter how often you talk about it there’s no movement on it something promises are made and broken the behavior never changes four weeks plus of that then either the problems unsolvable or you don’t currently have the capabilities to solve it in that case i recommend breaking up because what breaking up will do is give you perspective if you break up and straight away both of you think we broke up over that that’s so stupid and let’s go get some therapy that wasn’t worth breaking up over well now you know it wasn’t a big problem and there’s something you want to work on together but if you break up and one or both of you feels relief and the absence of that problem is like a huge like burden off your chest then you probably should have broken up when you do break up as a technique or a tactic to test the strength of a relationship it can’t be actually like we’ll break up for a week and get back together it’s like it has to be it’s over and only a deep love and desire to keep our relationship going will bring us back together to undo this decision it does it can’t have a deadline on it you are officially single once you break up free to do whatever you want and you should act on that if you guys can come back together after that then you’re probably good to go like i said right from the beginning if you’re even considering breaking up to this level then you’re probably not right for each other at least at this time to finish off we have to address the actual starting place of this problem so if you’re already in a relationship where you’re considering breaking up or you feel great urged to break up it’s already too late the damage was done quite some time ago it was actually done in the dating period my theory hypothesis really for why there is such a high divorce rate in the western world particularly in the united st

it’s that people got together on dishonest terms in the first place see there’s this thing i call the honeymoon period it lasts three to six months usually closer to three months where two people are keeping up an act as they get to know each other and then after three months of kind of being in a committed relationship they can kind of let go of the performance and relax back into being themselves and this is usually a shock for the other person you know i i work with guys almost primarily and so they do all the stuff at the start that they wouldn’t usually do let’s say taking a girl out for dinner when they don’t usually go to restaurants or showing an interest in all these hiking and outdoor activities when they’ve never done that before or pretending to be interested in all the stuff that she’s into even though you’ve never even looked into it before or just mostly being more positive than you actually are putting on this positive performance you give a false impression you set a bad precedent and then after three months you can’t be bothered keeping up the act anymore or you feel safe so you start letting your real self come through and the other person’s shocked by this change like you used to be this and now you’re there like we used to go and do all this stuff and now you just play video games so actually he always played video games he just temporarily did some [ __ ] while he was trying to make you like him this is the bit that is where the problem occurs if you’re breaking up later it’s because of this if this doesn’t occur you don’t have a breakup later because you never get together if you’re very honest at the start with someone during the dating period just be you with your natural energy levels your full range of emotions your actual interests and your disinterest and you let them see you just raw and nothing added nothing manufactured and they like that then you’ve got a really good chance of a long-term relationship that doesn’t break up especially if it you know only if it’s reciprocal so if you are both just being you as if you’re with your best friend that you don’t need to impress and you start like that and you both like each other you never have to worry about the kind of show falling apart in three or six months he’ll be like yeah this is exactly what i expected and he stayed the same brilliant that’s what i signed up for so when you get something that you didn’t sign up for that the resentment builds and breaks up the relationship that the connection gets hurt when you realize that you signed up for something that was fake and now you’re getting the real thing even if the real thing’s good it’s usually not more impressive than the act and so it feels like a letdown like a disappointment you’re getting less than you might have actually been okay with that if it had started like that right and this is where some relationships can reconcile you break up and you realize no i do like the real him it’s just i had to get my head around it because he put on this [ __ ] and you both talk to each other about it yeah i was faking it yeah me too i was being a people pleaser i was being too positive this is who i really am that’s what i’m really into and you start over again you’ve got a chance if you’re watching this i recommend you check out my powerful honesty course on udemy there’s a link below and that’ll give you all the tools you need and the courage you need to build a confident honest connection right from the first time you meet someone so you never actually have to worry about breaking up either your powerful honesty will push them away because they don’t like you or you being honest is exactly what they like and it will always be effortless for you to be in this relationship either way you never have to worry about a breakup


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