Understanding and Overcoming Relationship Ambivalence

Relationship Ambivalence

Have you ever been in one of those incredibly muddled relationships where you weren’t sure whether to stay together or not? You’re aware of them, right?

Welcome to relationship ambivalence, one of the most annoying characteristics of love relationships (also known as relational ambivalence).

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Feeling insecure, shaky, or uncertain in a relationship is referred to as relationship ambivalence in romantic partnerships. This arises from conflicting emotions that might confine us and make it seem as though we are powerless to free ourselves.

It may be caused by a relationship that has fast highs and lows, or it could be due to someone’s fear of passing up greater possibilities outside of the relationship.

According to Nazanin Moali, Ph.D., a therapist,

These breakups and make-ups can become [compulsive] for many people with insecure attachment patterns.”

Although a part of us can recognise unhealthy relationships, the depth of the feelings might keep us hooked.

We must make a firm decision about whether to stay or leave when we are embroiled in emotionally charged romantic relationships. This is crucial for both our overall sanity and personal development.

1. Open up on how the relationship is affecting you

Your spouse probably has a lot of relationship baggage. It is therefore more appropriate to tell them how their acts and behaviours affect you. You might discuss how these have worsened your feelings of rejection and unlove.

Although it can be dangerous, this is one potential remedy for relationship ambivalence. Talking about your issue would make them realise what has hurt you and they may correct them too. To strengthen your relationship even further, you might seek professional advice

2. End the relationship if you feel trapped

Ironically, the only practical way to temporarily eliminate the possibility of leaving is to reassure yourself that you are not obligated to stay. Therefore, letting go of separation and divorce anxieties is a crucial part in overcoming ambivalence.

Strong societal and familial factors imply that marriages are intended to be lifelong commitments of that it’s been a really long time of you guys being together so you must continue. Many people experience humiliation, failure, and dread when they decide to dissolve a marriage.

It would take a different post (or book!) to fully explain the political and specifically patriarchal foundations of this, but for our purposes, we can say that internalising the rule that marriage must continue forever prepares us to spend years in the ambivalence trap.

We are left with the paralysing idea that I’m not happy in it, but I can’t be happy out of it when we think that there are no positive results from terminating a relationship. And you really need to get out of this.

3. Identify the changes you can make

You must concentrate on what you can do differently in order to see what something different could resemble. Stop acting out your part in the current cycles.

There is no guarantee that altering your strategy will result in the change in your partner that you have always desired, but that is not the goal. Focusing on ourselves, our actions, and automatic reactions is the only way to go over ambivalence; not because it might be the last solution to changing our relationship.

You get to carry that development into the next relationship you have, whether it is with your present partner, with yourself, or with someone else. It takes putting your own growth first and waiting to see what happens in order to break out of ambivalence cycles.

4. Explore your attachment style and past relationships

No matter how healthy a commitment may be, ambivalence may still be brought on, claims Moali.

In certain circumstances, feeling conflicted could be advantageous because it denotes the discomfort of growth.

It’s crucial that we don’t downplay our feelings. Working through challenging feelings enables us to have long-term corrective experiences.

Do you want to make this relationship work? Ask yourself. Because it’s important, You can investigate this choice if you do wish to work on it. Emotions act as our internal compass, therefore understanding our ambivalence might be helpful, according to Moali.

They can offer a wealth of insightful information and point us in the proper path, whether it be toward development or a breakup, if we make an effort to understand them holistically. Both claims are true.

5. Avoid grief avoidance

It’s vital to remember that whether you decide to stay together or not, you shouldn’t anticipate your relationship to be destroyed as a result of your decision to stop it. Regardless, there is loss.

If you stay, you forfeit the future opportunities that would be lost if you let go. If you let go, you lose the relationships and family dynamics that make up your current status quo as well as your dreams and ambitions for the future. Grief does not indicate that you are making a poor decision. It indicates that you are leading a human existence.

Multiple studies have shown that ambivalent relationship effect is significantly and uniformly negative, and that “ambivalent relationships not only are less effective at helping individuals cope with stress but also may be sources of stress themselves.”


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