How do I know when to let go or to fight for my relationship?

Many of us understand the importance of fighting for our relationship, especially where there are kids involved. We may do this in a number of ways - by being persistant in trying to encourage our partner to talk about things that are worrying them, by letting them know what we need in order to stay in the relationship, for example. We may also fight for our relationship in less direct ways - by choosing to avoid getting into conflict about issues that may not be possible to resolve, or by choosing to accept differences and flaws, for example. Sometimes, though, we need to let go of our relationship, or at least - let go of trying to direct our partner to stay in a relationship that is not what they want. It's tempting to hold on as tightly as possible, to promise to change, to be the person who can meet all their needs from here on (however, this is really about OUR needs, not theirs). Sometimes this may be the change that needs to happen - when I change and take responsibility for what needs to be different in the relationship, my partner's feelings may change. Other times, though, change is not possible. Perhaps too much has happened, that my partner simply cannot get over - it's a case of "too little, too late". Other times it may not be about blaming anyone or anything - one person has changed, wants different things in life from the other (this is especially likely when a couple has got together at a young age, and there is still so much figuring out to do about who each person is and what they want). It may not seem at all intuitive or even satisfactory, but sometimes letting go is the most powerful thing we can do for our relationship. It can mean we at least separate well, without animosity, so we can still relate well to each other (especially important where there are children involved). Sometimes it may even mean that the relationship can be rekindled. From a 'letting go' space, we have a different perspective from which we can look at what has gone wrong and make the necessary changes, sometimes changes that need to be done individually rather than together. We can then come back together as different people, and create a new relationship that fits our current needs and aspirations.

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