Should You Stay or Go?

Let the counselors at the OC Relationship Center help you work through the bumps on the relationship roadSo, you have been in a committed relationship for many years, you’re bored and have considered ending the relationship and moving on with your life.  When determining whether to stay or go, you really need to ask yourself several things before pulling the plug.  Why did you enter into the relationship in the first place?  Are you looking for love?  Do you need financial security?  Is your goal to raise a family together?  Is your relationship more of a partnership?  Do you stay because being with your partner is familiar?  Do you think you don’t deserve better?  None of these reasons are wrong, but if you are considering leaving the relationship, it’s important to know why you’re there in the first place.

Remember, all relationships hit rough spots; some can be fixed and some cannot.  Life is full of choices.  We can decide where to live, where to work, and who to marry.   So, just as we can move if we don’t like where we live, or changes job if we don’t like where we work, is it just as simple to change who we love if we feel we have chosen incorrectly?  Well, actually, it is easy to get out of a marriage; probably too easy.

People who suddenly become unhappy with their spouses or partners nearly always start thinking about how much happier they would be if they were with someone else.  Is the grass always greener on the other side?  Definitely not.  Would the grass be greener if I married my high school sweetheart?  Definitely not.  Would the grass appear to be greener with somebody else right now since I don’t feel particularly happy with my current partner?  Absolutely.  Should I go?  No one can make that decision for us and before you do, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • You made a commitment and (if you are married) took a vow to remain with your spouse forever.
  • Finding someone else may make the grass appear to be greener on the other side because of the hormones felt during the beginning of an attraction. Remember, those feelings are more lust than love.
  • Every relationship has problems and issues that need to, and usually can, be worked through.

Consider that basically, there are only a few types of problems.  You need to know the type of problem you are having and whether you can work through it (or if you’re willing to work through it).  There are one-time problems that are easily solved; cyclical problems that will never go away, such as emotional needs; deal-breaker issues when one partner can’t live with something; and wounding problems that will cause one partner to disengage over time.

If your relationship is fairly new, you are probably still in the lusting stage.  If things have already gone awry so early in the relationship, you should probably go.  You haven’t even hit the “love” stage yet and if there are already problems in the “lust” stage, this relationship may not be meant for the long term.  If you have moved in with your partner, you may be noticing traits you’ve never seen before.  Maybe your significant other talks down to you and treats you like a child.  Maybe there is always an argument about every little decision, such as the color of curtains or the type of dish detergent you use.

There are a lot of things you may not know about your partner until you move forward, in time, with your relationship.  However, it’s good to know these things before you commit to a long-term relationship.  Being attracted to somebody, physically, is a different ball game than committing to them for life, especially if you find they are picky, selfish, and have no respect or regard for you and your preferences.  Small issues can be resolved with improved communication skills; however, it is foolish to think you can change somebody’s core beliefs and values.  Never stay with somebody if you only have great sexual chemistry and nothing else.  Sexual chemistry is a good thing; however, if you cannot trust this person as well, how will your future be down the road several years from now?

Consider the following things before making your decision to stay or to go.

  1. Do you and your partner communicate to resolve conflicts, or do you just ignore disagreements?
  2. Think about the consequences that come with ending your relationship.  If your partner has ever told you, “Don’t even think about leaving me,” or anything similar to that, plan your exit before telling your partner you are leaving.
  3. Imagine your life without your partner.  Does that give you a sense of relief or a sense of sadness?
  4. Have you remained true to yourself or have you given up everything you possibly could give up to keep your partner happy without receiving anything from your partner that you need?

Once you have considered all there is when choosing to stay or to go, you will ultimately have to listen to your heart and rely on your judgment.  If you are stuck in trying to decide whether you should stay or go, call the Relationship Center of Orange County to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals.  Being able to openly express your feelings to someone who has no stock in your relationship can be an eye-opening experience.  Call today at 949-393-8662 or use our online calendar to schedule your appointment. You deserve a great love life!

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