How do you know if you should leave your long term relationship?
This post is going to be 2 parts, but very simple. On occasion I am asked the question,
“How do I know if I should leave?”
When you read other posts on this subject, you’ll find lot’s of different opinions about what you should weigh when it comes to staying or leaving a relationship. Just to be clear here, I am only going to be addressing those of you who are in long-term relationships. You’re either married (or basically married,) and have developed a life together. Included in this can also be couples who are thinking about the term. This post is not for anyone who just started dating.
Anyway, when I get asked this question by people who I know my response is always the same.
So for the first part of this post here is my response:
“Leave when you feel like you did every thing you could to make it work.”
If you get to the point when you can say to yourself, “I did every thing I could and can leave now knowing that nothing would have worked, ” then leaving won’t feel as painful.
Here are some example questions you can ask yourself to discover if you did everything you could to make things work.
- Did you try seeing a couples therapist?
- Did you work on the things your partner asked you to?
- Did you communicate? I mean REALLY communicate your needs? Did you make them hear you? Did you tell them either, “I think I’m falling out of love with you and I’m very close to not wanting this anymore,” or “I feel so distant and lonely I don’t know if I can keep staying like this.”
- Did you actively take steps every day to put your relationship first (at the top of your mind,) before career, and other daily routine tasks (not including children?)
If you can say yes to all of these and you still have feelings of wanting to leave, then now you can go without regrets that you could have done something differently to prevent this.
Now, for the second part of this post.
I want you to forget about everything I said in part 1 if:
- You’re partner is physically abusive
- You’re partner is emotionally abusive
- You feel life your safety is compromised in any way when you are around your partner
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then no doubt, you should leave. You should not continue to try and “do everything you can to make it work.” No relationship is worth giving up your safety. If you are currently in an abusive relationship of any kind and are struggling to leave I will end this with some information and phone numbers you can call for help.
- The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline (1-866) 723-3014
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800) 799-7233
- A Women’s Place (Bucks County) (800) 220- 8226
- Laurel House (Montgomery County) (1-800) 642-3150
- Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County (610) 565-4590
- Domestic Violence Center of Chester County (888) 711-6270
FYI: If you are not in the Philadelphia area, I was able to google “domestic violence center” then the area and immediately found resources.