When it comes to your relationship, have you been lowkey wondering if you should stay or go?
In the past year, so much has changed for all of us, including couples. If you cohabitate, the amount of time you spend together might have expanded exponentially. Sheltering in place, working and/or schooling from home, plus limited contact with people outside of your household all-day, every day can put a strain on even the healthiest relationships.
If you are struggling and wondering if it’s time to call it quits, just know, you’re not alone. I have heard from many people in the same boat who are unhappy and undecided.
In this week’s episode, I’m going to give you some tools to help you look beneath the surface for the answers you need. No matter what comes up, this process is designed to honor your relationship, your investment in it, and ultimately, yourself!
Should you stay or should you go? Click below to get on the path to clarity!
Recurring thoughts about getting out of your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you should end it. But it does mean something needs your attention and focus. Pain and frustration are good indicators that something needs to change.
In every relationship, each person is responsible for exactly 50%. You might feel some resistance to this, especially if you’ve experienced infidelity or betrayal and you are not the one who behaved badly. Your 50% includes not only the things you do but also how you react and respond.
If you’re stuck in indecision right now, it’s time to get a clear snapshot of your relationship. It is possible to feel frustrated and dissatisfied without it necessarily being hopeless.
Take a Relationship Inventory
I’ve included the full relationship inventory inside this week’s downloadable guide, but here are some questions to get you started:
> Do you trust your partner and feel emotionally safe?
> Do you still want to tell your partner the things that are important to you? Are they still your confidante?
> Do you remember the last time you had fun or laughed together? When was the last time it was easy?
> Do you spend more time thinking about past good times than being in the present in your relationship? Do you feel like you are romancing a time when things were better?
> Are you at a tipping point in the relationship? Is there more joy than pain? Or more pain than joy?
In my estimation as a psychotherapist, the question isn’t always, “should you stay or should you go.” Instead, it might come down to:
“If you stay, can this relationship be re-imagined, restored, or re-negotiated?”
If the answer is yes, or even, maybe, there are things you can do to take responsibility for your 50% of the relationship or, as I like to say, to clean up your side of the street.
Please note: If you are in an unsafe situation and fear that leaving would incite retaliation or violence in any way, please seek professional help to craft a safe exit strategy. Your safety is of the utmost importance. Click here for a list of resources including live help 24/7.
What does your gut say, deep down? When you are alone, quiet, and able to tune into your innermost self, ask: should I stay or go? What is your first response?
Sometimes, our deep knowing can be masked with confusion or an intense feeling of being conflicted, especially if your partner hasn’t done anything “wrong.” You may feel horrible at the thought of hurting them or ill-equipped to have the conversation.
It is common to feel like you need a “good enough” reason to end a relationship but know this: how you feel is good enough. It’s possible to love someone and also know the relationship has run its course.
Remember, whatever you discover, you don’t have to do anything right away. You can take your time and make changes when you are ready.
Cleaning Up Your Side of the Street (or Your 50%)
Here are my suggestions on things you can do to take responsibility for your part of the relationship.
- Uncover Your Love Blueprint
Our family of origin, community, and the culture we grew up in influence the way we will experience love. This collection of experiences, beliefs, and ideas is what I call your “downloaded” love blueprint.
This includes but isn’t limited to how you think people in love should behave, how worthy you believe you are of love, and how much you value yourself.
Inside the guide, I’ve given you some questions to give you some insight into your internal paradigm around romantic relationships, partnerships, and where you might have experienced a similar relationship dynamic before. Be sure to download it here.
- Better Communication
Effective communication skills are a foundational component of healthy, functional relationships. Learn about your personal communication style and as much as you can about conflict resolution, non-violent communication, and language for boundary setting.
When you don’t have the skills to communicate, your partner might make assumptions, and often “get it wrong.” Over time, this ineffective communication dance can create resentment. You might assume that the other person’s behavior is intentional, that they are simply selfish, withholding, or cold when maybe they honestly just don’t know how you feel or what your preferences are.
- Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Do you know what is and what isn’t ok with you? Are you resentful and even bitter at this point? Knowing your preferences, desires, needs, and deal-breakers AND how to communicate them transparently to your partner (and anyone else in your life for that matter) is more important than ever right now.
When you set boundaries and positively assert yourself by regularly sharing your preferences, desires, and limits, you lay the foundation for reciprocal behavior inside your relationship. The good news is, it is never too late to learn this skill.
Inside this week’s guide, I am sharing my complete list of strategic questions to help you get more clarity and a better understanding of what needs to change in your relationship dynamic, plus more resources on what you can do whether you stay or go!
2020 was a year like no other and a lot of relationships took a hit. But, when you know better, you can do better. No matter what you uncover through this process, I am holding sacred space for your clarity and rooting for you!
Thank you for being committed to living your most love-filled, authentic life, and as always, take care of you.