Are you about to leave a bad relationship or splitting?

splittingAre you about to leave a bad relationship or splitting?  Do you change your mind about ending your relationship? Do you want to leave  one minute and other times you want to stay? Do you feel your partner causes you to feel worthless or not good enough? Are they capable of making you feel this way or are they bringing up underlying feelings within you? Are they responsible for how you feel or are they triggering you?
So, how do we really know if we want to end a bad relationship or splitting? We can feel our partner causes us to feel a particular way, so we can blame them for mistreating us, to protect against unwanted feelings within ourselves. Psychological splitting can distort the way we see ourselves and others. Splitting occurs when we see ourselves or others as either “all good” (loving) or “all bad” (mean). A healthy person can see the good and bad traits at the same time.
Often, a person does not understand if they are upset because they’re being mistreated or splitting. When splitting, individuals can feel happy in love one minute, and then all of a sudden want to end their relationship.
Splitting defends against bad feelings, so we blame others for causing us to feel this way. When we are triggered to feeling bad about ourselves, we project these feelings on to the person who triggers us. We can accuse our partner for rejecting us (all bad), instead of the parent. We blame our partner for how we feel, disowning where the feelings originated from.
A person who does not return a message, might be projected to be uncaring, when he may have been too busy and not had a chance to respond. The more we project our past wounds onto partners, we repeat the pattern of feeling this way. Splitting allows us to feel good temporarily, so we do not have to feel bad.
 A woman may feel good on a date with a man, seeing the person as all good (charming, fun). She may be ignoring the warning signs that he was controlling, by not seeing the bad aspects of him. In splitting, the more you see the good in others, the more you avoid the bad traits in a person, often not seeing signs of abuse.


A woman meets a guy who makes her feel happy (good), but then denies that he is seeing other women and not wanting a relationship (bad). She feels smitten and feels upset when he cuts her off instantly.

Splitting can cause one to deny abuse because they project the good aspects about themselves onto others, while retain feeling bad about themselves. So they trust others and not themselves,  putting faith in abusive partners to take care of them. It also protects against seeing the bad aspects of a person, to avoid abandonment. It can cause them to stay in abusive relationships and not take care of themselves. Often splitting occurs because they  want to feel loved, so they deny negative  aspects of that person.
As children, to feel loved, they protected the image of the good parent by repressing the bad treatment, and they continue this pattern of splitting in adult relationships. Many individuals with borderline personality disorder use splitting to defend against bad feelings.

 Are you splitting or being mistreated in your relationship?

If you are in relationship with someone with narcissistic personality disorder  then this can cause you to become mistreated, when  deciding to leave an abusive relationship. However, splitting can feel impulsive, rather than having reasonable grounds for how you feel.
  • Ask yourself; is there sufficient evidence to justify your feelings?
  • Are the feelings too much, causing  you to react to discharge them? Some, send aggressive texts or end the relationship in the heat of the moment.
  • Do you alternate between leaving and staying in the relationship, based on how are feeling on a given day? These could suggest splitting.
  • Whereas, being mistreated is when someone violates you, lies, cheats, gaslights you, controls you or intimates. Is your partner behaving in a way to hurt you?  Is their behavior inappropriate (addictions, affairs, abuse, lies, etc}. If so, you have grounds to address these issues or leave the relationship.
  • Are your feelings disproportionate to the situation? If your feelings do not match the situation, you could be splitting.
  • Do you often feel you put your foot in it when you’ve reacted about something?
  • Do you feel the same way across different partners, which could suggest a pattern of splitting? Are these feelings derived from your past? Do you feel so bad that you have to project them on to your partner, when you are triggered?
  • Do you feel good and then want to end the relationship, forgetting all the good aspects about the person? If the feeling passes, you’re most likely to be splitting.
  • Does it feel like you’re trying to defend against overwhelming emotions, by breaking up in the heat of the moment, rather than choosing to leave when you’ve made an informed decision?
  • Do you switch from feeling good, then feeling bad about your  partner?  Is it just a feeling or can you identify the actual events that hurt you? How much of this pain is caused by your partner and how much belongs to your past?
When we can determine what feelings are within us and what feelings are caused by others, then we can be clearer and assist to make an informed decision, if you’re wanting to end a bad relationship.

Splitting can cause you to end a relationship that feels bad

Avoid reacting in the heat of the moment; stop and think clearly, wait until you understand your feelings before expressing yourself. Mention that you would like discuss things when its calm.

If you’re uncertain as to whether you’re projecting, ask your partner curious questions to check if your feelings have any grounds, rather than blame or make accusations based on your feelings.

Never react when triggered, take some space to calm down. Splitting can cause you to drive love ones away, when they feel accused of things they haven’t done. When one is splitting, it is hard see the impact on loved ones.

There are some careful considerations before deciding to leave a bad relationship. Its a good idea to not blame others, for how we feel, if the feelings belong to our past. Instead, we could let others know when we are triggered, so they can be aware. It is best to wait until the emotions are processed before discussing them. By being more in touch with our feelings allows us to express them in a way that builds understanding and connection.

Nancy Carbone provides counselling in Melbourne and relationship counselling.  You can follow her at, Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn,

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