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According to ‘statistics’ about 1/5th of all people in relationships can’t decide whether to stay or leave. That’s 2 people in every 10 in a relationship are not sure whether they want to stay with their partner. Now every relationship has it’s moments when things are pretty rocky, life, work, kids and unexpected events deal some challenging blows from time to time and many couples manage to work through these times together. However, living every day with the internal struggle going on is not a great place to be and many people, (myself included) spend a few years sorting the why’s, the what if’s, the if only’s as well as the conflict of violating their values around family.
Let’s explore this ‘will I stay or will I leave’ dilemma in more detail.
For me it really was a case of weighing up the pros and cons at the time and attempting to make the decision based on how these balanced out for me – using logic clearly was not the right approach and never one that I would recommend anyone to use, the scales will tip from one to the other on any given day and living in a constant state of ambivalence is mentally and emotionally draining.
Ambivalence in your heart is another matter entirely and goes hand and hand with the distance you will be feeling in your relationship. From my personal experience when you get to this point you no longer want to spend much time with your partner, you talk less and less about important things, both parties end up emotionally detached and the distance between you gets wider and wider.
Here’s the thing!
Your relationship is either too good to leave or too bad to stay, it can never be both and the problem for most people in this situation is not knowing how to really figure out what to do.
Here are some questions to help you get to the heart of the matter, questions for you to ponder that may help you get more clarity and in turn help you reach a decision one way or the other. I would suggest that you write down your answers to each question and come back to them a few days later and see if there is anything you would change or add to your responses.
- Take yourself back to when things were at there best between you. Would you now say that things were really, really good?
- Has there been more than one incidence of physical violence in your relationship?
- Have you already thought about what a course of action that excludes your partner? (In other words have you been mentally preparing to leave?)
- If God or some omniscient being said it was okay to leave, would you feel tremendously relieved and have a strong sense that finally you would end your relationship?
- In spite of your problems do you and your partner have at least one pleasurable activity or interest (besides children) you currently share and look forward to sharing in the future, that you both like and gives a feeling of closeness?
- Are you in a relationship with a power person? If so, then any and all of your needs are a threat to his power. If ever you do get what you want is it such an ordeal that you don’t even feel it was worth all the effort?
- Do you have a basic, recurring feeling of humiliation or invisibility in your relationship?
- Have you gotten to the point when your partner says something that you usually feel it’s more likely that he’s lying than that he’s telling the truth?
- Do you feel willing to give your partner more than you’re giving already, and are you willing to do this the way things are between you now without any expectation of being paid back?
- Do both you and your partner want to touch each other and look forward to touching each other? Things like kissing, hugging, holding hands, cuddling. Taking into consideration that some people are just not the touchy feelie type have you or your partner moved to the point where there is no physical affection?
Ideally for couples going through a difficult time in their relationship couple therapy can be very helpful, however this will only ever be productive if both parties are fully committed to the process and in many cases one of the people involved has already made the decision internally and hasn’t been clearly articulated verbally. Any signs of resistance to this process or other suggestions to work through problems together I would see as red flags.
If you have been struggling to come to terms with an inner discontent for some time and you have reached the threshold and ready now to step over it, if you know there is no going back, then you have reached the tipping point, when you know you are done.
Connect with me by clicking the link below to find out the next steps you need to take before you speak to a lawyer.
Visit our website: https://www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au
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Jenny is an advocate and champion for women rediscovering themselves through the process of divorce.