In some relationships, there comes a point where you must decide if you should leave or stay. A few of the causes may be you are drifting apart, your boundaries are not being respected, or even infidelity. How do you make that kind of decision? What is important when trying to determine if you can resolve your issues or not? Below is a list of question you should use as a starting point if you are at this crossroads.
Here is what you need to ask:
Do YOU want to be with your partner still?
Not for kids, or money issues, or anything else. If there was nothing else holding you in the relationship, would you stay solely for the desire to be with your partner? Is there a certain level of unconditional love for them?
Are you willing to own your part?
I know everyone really hates to hear this, but somehow you played a role in getting to this point. Sometimes the role is that you simply turned a blind eye to the issue until it got completely out of hand. You have to be willing to think about your part and if you are willing to take ownership.
If you are willing to be accountable to save your relationship, that is wonderful. But are they? The sad truth is, sometimes only one person is willing to fight to make a relationship work. It takes both partners. Sure you could stay even if they refuse to try, but would you ever be happy knowing you are willing to be all in and they never will be?
Are you both willing to take the steps to make your relationship stronger from this point forward?
If not, this point will come again. Not only do you both have to be accountable, you both have to actually make the changes. Words are important, but actions are the only real thing that can save a relationship. Just talking about what led to the issues will not prevent them from happening again. You have to take action on the problem.
Are you capable of not caring what other people think?
Even if you have kept very quiet about your relationship issues, people are likely aware to some point. People love to guess. And gawk. And gossip. You will have to be able to stand by your partner in spite of all of this. For some people, that’s too much to bear.
What actions have been taken for a resolution?
Have either one of you tried to address your concerns openly and honestly? Issued apologies? Asked the other person what they need from the relationship? If you cannot go to one another to begin the resolution, then you have a big communication barrier to work on before anything else. Once the communication opens up, be prepared that there are likely more issues than just the one you were initially intending to address.
If things only change in a small way will that be enough for you to stay?
Because most people only change to an extent. It is unlikely that they will be drastically different. Hopefully you still love them for all the reasons you initially did and you are not looking for extreme changes. If however, that is not the case and you are looking for a dramatic change in your relationship dynamics, you need to consider that you may end up disappointed.
Gut feeling — can you move forward?
This is a yes or no. An evaluation on if you yourself believe you could make it past whatever has caused this point to come. No contingencies. Just a basic question. Ultimately, deep down you probably have the answer on whether you should continue in this relationship or not. We have a way of fulfilling what we believe the future holds. If you go into a resolution harboring doubt, the outcome will generally end unfavorably.
- Take a deep breath. You have to make a big relationship decision. Make sure you are practicing good self-care. You will get no where no matter which way you go with your decision if you are not taking care of your needs first.
- Find a source of strength. Again, no matter if you are making your relationship work or choosing to move on, it will be incredibly difficult and trying at times. Whether you find your strength in friends, family, faith, or anything else, harness that source of strength to remind you good times are coming again.
- Decide if you want to move forward with or without outside assistance. Depending on your circumstances, it may be helpful to seek out a coach/counselor/mediator or a combination.
This list is meant for some of the less life-altering concerns that cause relationships to hit a breaking point. Things like one-time cheating or someone deciding to make big life changes without their partners input. If you are in a relationship affected by habitual cheating, addiction, abuse, or anything of that magnitude, please consider seeking specific individual guidance. Those things are far more complex to begin to address. You can still start with these questions, but I would strongly recommend additionally seeking out someone who specializes in your particular concern(s) to assist you.