While there are moments in most relationships where one or both partners silently question their desire, perpetual uncertainty can take a toll on one’s psyche. With divorce being more commonplace, many are now permitting themselves to ask the questions, “am I happy?” “Is this the life I want to live?” “Are you (still) my person?”
Ideally, partners grow and change together throughout the course of time, however, that’s not always the case. Some can find themselves faced with a version of their partner they hardly recognize, or perhaps one that’s unfortunately too familiar. There can be many reasons why one experiences ambivalence, and sitting with it is often the hardest part. Cozying up to the fear of ending a relationship is never easy, nor comfortable, nor good for getting a full night’s rest. It provokes hard questions to be asked and the seeker is then thrust on a quest to answer. There are often many outside pressures such as friends, family, and children which cause one to question their own experience and fear the unknown. Partners can sometimes feel the ambivalence which can then provoke fear, anger, and sadness. Worries surrounding children often take center stage as a valid excuse to ignore nagging feelings.
Ambivalence can often be the most agonizing part of this journey as it gnaws at one’s heart. Many hope that arriving to a decision will bring relief, which it can, but it may also bring with it a host of other painful emotions as some choose to stay, and others choose to go.
As Chris Stapleton sang, “And the hard roads are the ones worth choosin’.”
Let us help you explore that hard road together. We provide both individual relationship exploration as well as group therapy for Relationship Ambivalence.
Dr. Emily A. Kerr is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of EK Counseling, LLC,a Denver therapy practice. With over thirteen years of experience treating individuals and couples, she brings her candor, humor, and motivation to each session. She specializes in eating disorders, body image struggles, sexuality and gender, life transitions, general anxiety, and building self-esteem. If you are struggling to make a transition, or you just need extra support to create lasting lifestyle changes, please call to schedule an appointment.