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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

There are many reasons why relationships come to an end. Perhaps you married too young, maybe there is emotional or physical abuse, or your significant other has a drug or alcohol problem. Maybe infidelity has occurred causing you to question if you should end the relationship? Or perhaps you can't agree on future goals or money issues.

Whatever the reason, once you find yourself contemplating ending the relationship, it is important to know the signs that you want or need to leave:

  • You are the victim of abuse.

  • One of you cheats on the other.

  • Your spouse is overly controlling.

  • You no longer trust your partner.

  • You have tried but your spouse makes no effort to improve the relationship.

  • There is a lack of mutual respect.

  • You are happier spending time away from your partner.

  • There is a lack of intimacy.

  • You find yourself continually talking trash on your partner.

  • You don't support or listen to each other.

  • There is no compromising on needs and wants.

  • There is constant turmoil and fighting.

  • You want very different things for your future.

When one or more of these signs occur you may be left asking yourself whether you should stay in the relationship or end it. Ending a relationship is complicated. There are often so many factors to consider, such as finances, living arrangements, and the impact on children, pets and couple friends.

It can be a very stressful time while you are deciding what to do. I recommend discussing with a therapist and also pursuing couples therapy if your partner is willing. If he/she refuses to go, or couples therapy doesn't work in solving your issues it may indeed be time to consider ending the relationship.

When considering ending any relationship it is important to remember that your brain wants to keep you safe and away from any perceived danger. Staying can feel much safer than leaving, as there is an element of uncertainty that goes along with that choice. But this can also keep you stuck in a bad relationship a lot longer than you should be in it too. Show yourself some compassion and forgive yourself for your part in the failure of the relationship.

It may be likely that your limiting beliefs around what you are worthy of can impact your decision to leave a bad relationship too. What are you telling yourself about being single again? Things like, "All the good ones are taken," or, "I am terrible at picking partners," can really impact the courage needed to make a choice to change your circumstances. When you are able to change those limited beliefs is when you will have a better chance of changing your life for the better.

Empowering yourself with knowledge is key before deciding to end a relationship. See an attorney and/or a therapist, work through any doubts or questions you may have. Research housing, work out a budget so that you know what you are able to afford and replace any bad habits you have with better ones. Exercise, eat healthy food and practice self-care as you go through this knowledge-gaining period so that you will be able to have some certainty around your decision making and have the confidence to know when to leave.

Studies have shown that people who "settled" in their relationship are just as lonely and unhappy as single people, so if you're scared of being lonely, that is never a good reason to stay!

It takes a lot of courage to give up your sense of connection, certainty and identity, so you will need to really dig deep and focus on yourself and what decision is best for you and your ultimate happiness. Even when you know that leaving is the right choice it can still be very difficult to act upon that decision. Once you can reframe your thoughts from "I should leave" to "I must leave" you will gain the inner strength needed to make the move.

If you're still not sure if you should leave your relationship and you need a coaching session, please reach out for a free 30 minute session to learn how I can help.

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