Relationships: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Couples Counseling, Couples Counseling For One, Healthy Separation and/or Divorce Counseling | Comments Off on Relationships: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

When your relationship is in trouble, it’s hard to know what to do.

It’s not unusual to struggle with whether to stay, and work it out, or to let the relationship go.

Of course, you can always seek the advice of family and friends. There’s never any shortage of opinions there.

But the truth is, the decision is very personal and very difficult. There are no right answers. It’s just a matter of determining what’s right for you and your partner.

So, how do you know what to do next?

Often people will focus excessively on what their partner is, or isn’t doing, to justify ending the relationship. However, the better course of action is to carefully weigh your options, and their consequences, to make an informed decision.

Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you sort through your choices. Take time to really consider your answers, and your feelings, as you respond:

1. What are your partner’s strengths and limitations in the relationship?

2. What are your own strengths and limitations in a relationship?

3. What are the benefits of staying in the relationship?

4. What will you lose or miss by staying in the relationship?

5. What are the benefits of ending the relationship?

6. What will you lose or miss by ending the relationship?

7. What do you think the relationship will be like if you stay together? How is this different from the way it is now?

8. What do you think the relationship will be like if you separate? How is this different from the way it is now?

9. What do you fear will happen if you stay together? How likely is it that these fears will come to pass?

10. What do you fear will happen if you end the relationship? How likely is it that these fears will come to pass?

11. How likely is it that your relationship will improve? Rate your answers from 1 to 10.

1= I feel no hope at all.

10= I feel absolutely sure things can be better between us.

12. How committed are you to being in your relationship at this time? Rate your answers from 1 to 10.

1= I am certain I want out.

10= I am completely committed.

13. How willing are you, at this point, to continue working on your relationship? Rate your answers from 1 to 10.

1= I’m not willing to do anything else.

10= I’ll do whatever it takes to make the relationship work.

Look back at your answers. Do you notice any patterns?

How you answer questions might highlight your relationship direction:

  • Do your answers indicate that you see very little positive about your potential future with your partner? Do your answers indicate you feel you would gain more, and lose less, by ending the relationship?

If you answered questions 11-13 with a very low number, you may need to consider the relationship’s viability. While not a suggestion to end your relationship, there are signs of serious relationship strain that could indicate a poor positive future together.

  • Do your answers indicate a more positive view of a potential future with your partner?  Do your answers indicate you would gain more, and lose less, by staying?

If you answered questions 11-13 with a very high number, the chances of relationship viability are more likely. It may be worth staying together to work things out.

  • Do your answers indicate that your are not clearly leaning one way, or the other, regarding your relationship future?

Now might be the time to seek professional guidance. You  and your partner may benefit from working with a couples therapist to help you gain some insight, direction, and clarity.

Online Therapy Available NowRead More