Deciding to end a relationship can have enormous implications. If you are married, have children, own a home, and share finances, leaving your partner can be very complicated and will affect everyone in the family. It is important to make such a decision thoughtfully and for the right reasons.
Relationship Warning Signs
Fortunately, most relationships can be saved. But there are serious relationship issues that need immediate concern, such as abuse and betrayal.
Abuse can be emotional, psychological, and/or physical. Violence and drug or alcohol addiction need individual therapy immediately. Emotional abuse can come in the form of being extremely jealous without cause, verbally putting you down, or sharing personal secrets with others.
Betrayal can come in the form of sexual infidelity, financial infidelity, and even breaking promises. Isolation from your family and friends is a serious warning sign.
These behaviors are very serious and potentially dangerous to you. If you are in a relationship with someone who treats you in any of these ways, you need to get help right away – for your sake and the health of your children.
How Can I be Sure to Make a Good Decision About My Relationship?
Take your time making any important decisions such as whether to end an important relationship. Even though you may feel confused and indecisive, it is important to recognize that this situation requires a deliberate and careful decision making process.
Stress can make it harder to decide what to do. If you are questioning your relationship and have problems with money, are stressed at work, or the kids are acting up, deciding what to do becomes even more difficult. It’s important to take your time and resist the temptation to make a fast decision that may later turn out to be the wrong thing for you.
- Making relationship decisions calls for both instinct and logic. It’s important to trust your gut, but don’t lose track of reason.
- Consider the immediate and long-term implications of each option (staying or leaving), including the impact of each on other people in your life.
- Look at the issues from different points of view.
- Consider the worst- and best-case scenarios, as well as, the possibilities in between.
- Most importantly, give your relationship every chance to get back on track before you call it quits. Ask yourself if you have really tried everything. If you have, and it still isn’t working, it may be time to move on.
I feel embarrassed and afraid. I need help deciding.
Involving a few trusted friends in your decision-making process can help you avoid the tendency to rush into a decision and hurry to get it over with. Consulting others helps you step back from the situation and see it in a broader context. While it is more difficult and time-consuming, getting the advice and support of others can help you reach a better decision about whether to end the relationship. This is true for decisions about relationships or any other kind of decision.
You may decide to work with a professional counselor or therapist during this process. This is strongly advised if you are in an abusive relationship. A licensed, experienced professional can help you sort out the issues, help you see things you may not be aware of, and give you feedback on how you are seeing things.
Involving an objective outsider can be a smart move, because you can feel free to say everything that is on your mind without worrying about offending someone you care about or being judged for your thoughts and feelings.
Finally, if you decide that the relationship should end, minimize the chances for emotional fallout by planning how, where, and when you will deliver the news. When making such an important change in your life, it is better to set aside spontaneity in favor of being slow, deliberate, and certain.