There are many things to consider when you are trying to decide whether to continue to put energy into the relationship that you have, to make it better and stay together. Outside of physical or emotional abuse (which is an entirely different scenario) there can be different factors that bring you to this point:
- Some couples don’t yet have the skills that go into healthy mutual support and conflict resolution.
- Sometimes, questions about the future of the relationship arise when your partner (or you) has had an affair.
- Other times, the grind of a particularly challenging life circumstance, such as the illness of a child, has brought your relationship to a very negative place.
Regardless of what brought you to asking yourself about whether you want to stay in this relationship, the path that you choose is up to you and should be based on what you have decided is the best one for you to take. It doesn’t matter what other people think. For some, breaking up is the best way to go. Others decide to work hard to try to put the pieces of their relationship back together. And, for those who do try, some will, ultimately, be unable to make it work while others will indeed find their way back to a healthier, rewarding relationship.
Drs. John and Julie Gottman are highly regarded psychologists who have spent decades doing research and working with couples. They are regarded as being among the top in their field. There are therapists (myself not included, as I don’t do couples work) that are specifically trained in this framework, although there are other types of couples counseling that can be very helpful too. Their website has a ton of free information on it. Below, I’m listing two places on their website that you might want to start, if you are contemplating whether you should leave your relationship. BUT, I want to emphasize that while the information on the other end of these links is based on research, there are always exceptions. So, if it paints a very negative picture for you, and you still want to try to turn things around, go for it! (Especially if you feel that you have gotten to this place because of the wear and tear from significant life challenges that you, as a couple, have had to face.) But, in all situations, if you felt the need to read this article here today, I do strongly recommend that you find a good therapist that has specific training in working with couples to help you through the process.
- Love Quiz: Is It Time to Leave Your Relationship? A research based tool that they have developed to analyze whether the negativity in your relationship has possibly gotten to the point of being really hard to come back from, if not the point of “no return.”
- Learning to Love Again After an Affair A page on their website geared specifically towards discussing options and providing other links to help a person consider things from different perspectives.
No matter what you decide, good luck. Either choice is likely to be difficult, but ultimately you can get to a better place for you when you take charge of your decisions and work towards your goals.