Yo-Yo Relationships

Yo -Yo relationships, those ‘on again, off again’ relationships are common and leave one or both partners feeling disillusioned, disempowered, angry and depressed. They occur when a dynamic has been created which swings from romance, hope, expressed joint dreams for the future and promises – to criticism, abuse, ridicule and ending of the relationship. Usually, partners each take specific roles, with one person promising the world and destroying trust and promises after making them. The other person feels dejected, angry, fearful and determined to make a new start on their own, but somehow is unable to break free, probably reinforced by remembering the, highly seductive intoxicating makeup period, which is sure to follow. After many cycles, the pattern is predictable with the scars incurred during the negative period being agitated and bruised.

Each person in this type of relationship is responsible for the pattern they have created and until this pattern is identified and evaluated, things will always continue this way. ‘Words are cheap’ when trying to change behaviour. There must be strong intention,the ability and willingness to manage the discomfort that comes from changing behaviour, and some insight into why the abuse pattern ironically suits each person. Without this, it is impossible to change But with the desire and commitment, the yo yo pattern can be broken permanently with the partners either creating a healthier relationship together or with other people.

Couples counselling – what is the key issue?