by Jacqueline Muller, LCSW-R
There is a big difference between a relationship and an entanglement. Relationships refer to the ability to relate fluidly in a way that is meaningful to both/all parties. More often than not people think they are in a relationship, however they find themselves identifying with being in something that feels more like and entanglement. According to The Edge an entanglement “is a bond that forms between two particles/people. This unusual bond remains so strong that even if these two particles become separated and are thousands of miles apart (or really, any amount of distance), they remain inextricably linked.” An entanglement can be amazing, if mutually rewarding, however for the sake of this article, let’s talk about negative entanglements that can and do happen in relationships and are not always something that feels good. These entanglements are the feeling of being stuck that leaves one feeling like they are trapped. What’s supposed to be loving becomes lonely and the end result is a lack of relating and a battle of the wills that no one wants.
You can begin to tell the difference between a relationship and a negative entanglement by checking in on how you feel. Do you feel loved and cared for? Do you feel understood? Do you feel safe? Do you enjoy the company of the other person? And does that feeling appear mutual? Does someone have to be right all the time? Does the involvement feel easy? If you’ve answered NO to any of these questions you may be in an entanglement.
There’s hope and here’s what you do. Assess if there is any issues with addictions or domestic violence. If yes, do not stop, GO, your safety and sanity depend on it. Once in a safe situations seek support to help you dis-entangle from this situation in a healthy way so you can be more objective. More often than not relationships with active addiction or domestic violence are not able to be healthy and mediation is not possible till those issues are safely assessed. If there is domestic violence call Jackie Muller for additional support and/or a trained counselor is waiting to answer your questions, Safe Horizons 1.800.621.HOPE (4673)
If there is no addiction or domestic violence, and assuming all parties want resolution, have a professional counselor or mediator help you navigate through the sticky areas to find ways that are mutually more effective to improve communication and live the life and relationship you dream about. Mediation allows all parties to feel validated and/or find a peaceful way to admit that you need to move on together or on separate paths. No one starts a relationship thinking of leaving it, and if the relationship is more harm than good, more strife than support, more lonely than loving, it’s time to seek help. First and foremost having a loving relationship with yourself it key to living a happy and healthy life and the first step to cultivating that relationship is to take care of yourself and create healthy boundaries of respect and love for you.
For more resources on relationships, mediation, and communication strategies, call Jackie Muller, LCSW-R at 845-702-1042 or follow us on Facebook