10 Things You Need To Ask Yourself If You Are Considering Whether To Stay In or Leave a Relationship
Whether you've been in your relationship for 2 months, 2 years or 20 years, we don't have to tell you that making the decision to stay in or leave a relationship is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make.
We've both also made this decision ourselves in our previous relationships, so we know how difficult it can be.
In our relationship coaching practice and workshops, we've guided hundreds of people through a conscious decision-making process of whether to stay and work to make their relationship better or whether to leave their relationship with grace.
In this article, we're offering ten powerful, thought-provoking questions that you need to deeply consider if you are in this situation.
We invite you to take some time to reflect on these questions and write out your responses without censoring or judging them.
If your partner is willing and you feel like you can ask, invite him/her to answer these questions as well, and then compare your answers.
If you are trying to make the decision of whether to stay in or leave the relationship by yourself, your answers to these questions will give you a lot of insight into what decision is best for you.
Why am I considering leaving this relationship?
When things get tough, most everyone has had the thought roll through their minds at some time or another that maybe they might be better off without their partner. Although this question seems obvious, reflecting on it will shed light on how deep your pain is in this relationship.
What is the real reason you are considering leaving this relationship?
There's always a reason underneath what you say is the problem. This question is not to trivialize your answers to the first question but rather to ask you to delve deeper. For example, if Susie had been asked this question about her previous marriage, she would have answered the first question with &Mac246; "We no longer have the same interests, the passion has gone out of the marriage and we seem to be leading separate lives." After going deeper, she would have said, "I realize I will never get the love that I want in this relationship."
What are the most important things you need to consider in order to make this decision?
You might want to consider housing for you and your children, financial concerns, health concerns, or other life circumstances. An example of this may be: "If I leave (or stay in) this relationship, I won't be able to attend college and that is an important goal of mine."
How will the other people in my life be affected if I stay or leave and can I deal with that?
We never know how others will be affected when we make a decision of this magnitude. While we need to consider how this decision will impact them, the ultimate, conscious choice should be ours and ours alone.
If children are involved, will they be able to see a better example of love in action if you stay or if you leave?
Considering how staying in or leaving a relationship affects the children is usually a major consideration for anyone in this situation. We feel that this is an important question to answer to help you focus on the current and future welfare of your children.
Are there any commitments or agreements you will be breaking if you decide to leave this relationship and how do you feel about that?
A marriage commitment is an obvious example of this. Examining your beliefs, including religious beliefs, about commitments is an important consideration as you make your way to your decision.
How important is love to you compared to other things in your life?
We're asking you to look at your values when you answer this question. For example: If you are considering leaving, is having the love you want more important to you than keeping your current lifestyle or home?
Is there any chance the two of you will be able to heal the issues surrounding this relationship?
Ask yourself if both of you are willing to do what is necessary to break down the walls and heal what is happening between the two of you.
How have you changed since you entered into this relationship and how have your wants, needs, and desire for what you want in a relationship changed?
Taking an honest look at how you have changed will help you to see if your partner is the kind of person you want to be in a relationship with today.
What is the biggest payoff if you were to stay in this relationship and what is the payoff if you were to leave?
Honestly considering what you would be getting out of each of these scenarios will help you to determine what is right for you.
If you are considering whether to stay in or leave a relationship, these 10 questions are a good way to begin to focus your thoughts. If you are interested in delving deeper into this question, you'll find many more questions, insights and personal stories in our book "Should you stay or Should you go?" To find out more about this book visit our web site at http://www.stayorgo.com.
Susie and Otto Collins are married, relationship coaches and authors of books and courses on relationships which include "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No More Jealousy," "Creating Relationship Trust," "Attracting Your Perfect Partner" "Communication Magic," and "Instant Relationship Breakthroughs." To get their free weekly online Love and Relationship newsletter which is read by thousands, visit www.collinspartners.com
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