The Cross road..

Should I stay in my relationship? Or

Should I leave?

So many of us struggle to answer this question. It is a daunting question and one that often feels like there is not a clear or easy answer. Let’s look at what you should consider before making a decision about staying, or leaving your relationship.

Many people try to way up the pro’s and con’s of staying in a relationship. Doing so can feel like an endless and pointless exercise. Depending on the day and your mood, this list could lean one way or the other without ever indicating a clear direction. By taking the time to think about the key points below, and answering yes or no to some simple questions, you will be able to get a feel for whether you want to stay in your relationship and whether you should go.

Some of the key points consider:

1. Does your partner respect you? Do you respect your partner?

2. Have you allowed time for hurts to heal? Does your relationship have the capacity for forgiveness?

3. Is there a power imbalance? Does your partner make you feel humiliated? Are you able to get even your smallest needs met?

4. Has your partner crossed an important boundary of yours?

5. Is the relationship abusive? Mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually or financially?

6. Was the relationship ever really good? If not, it is unlikely to ever will be.

7. Are you both capable of change? And willing to change?

8. What is the state of your friendship? Do you actually like your partner, and does she/he actually like you?

9. Despite everything, have you still got more to give? Can you walk away saying to yourself “I tried everything” or, are you depleted?


Your thoughts on questions like these will give you a greater insight into the decision you need to make.

Before you make a decision about the future of your relationship, you should never make any life-altering decision from a place of anger. Your anger may feel very justifiable and it is so important to appropriately express our feelings, but beneath the anger often lays deeper emotions, such as fear, sadness or pain. Take the time to try and get in touch with your more vulnerable feelings. It can feel risky expressing our vulnerability with our partners, but it is at least worth a try.

When two people are able to communicate their vulnerable side to each other, so much becomes revealed and true learning and connection can take place. If your partner is the “right” partner, they’ll listen and care when you reveal your vulnerable side. If they don’t, you may have your answer on if you should stay or go.

So, if you feel like you are in limbo and unsure of whether to stay or go, focus on the few important issues. If you decide to stay, commit to that and making the changes needed. If you decide to go, don’t prolong the inevitable. If you can’t make the relationship work, give yourself and your partner respect and leave the relationship.

Hailee Walker is a registered counsellor who specialises in relationship and separation counselling. She works with individuals and couples across the nation to help build heathy relationships and mend troubled ones.


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