If you are asking yourself whether or not you should leave your relationship, that in itself should be a red flag. But breaking up isn’t so simple, especially if you have kids. Asking your friends for advice might leave you even more baffled. So, instead of bending your friends’ ears for advice you probably won’t take anyway, here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re considering breaking up with your guy:
Do you love him?
Is he fulfilling your expectations in terms of what you want in a partner?
Do you enjoy the time you spend together?
Is this he dependable and trustworthy?
Do you see yourself happily growing old with him?
Of course, no one is going to fulfill all of your needs and it’s unrealistic to believe the perfect partner even exists. But answering the above questions is a good start. Keep in mind that lust eventually fades away and what is left is love and care—or nothing at all. You should also be aware that your spouse cannot take on all the roles in your life, nor should he; he can’t simultaneously be lover, husband, best friend, and parent to you.
Following are some considerations that may help you make the decision to stay or leave your current relationship.
BAD REASONS TO STAY
- Guilt: Would you want someone to stay with you out of pity? Of course not! So, don’t stay because you’re afraid of hurting him.
- Fear: Once you get out of a bad relationship, you discover it’s not that bad, after all! The problem is that we often anticipate and fear being lonely. Turn to friends and family for support, and you will be fine.
- Money: Money is an issue, especially if you have children and if you happen to be a stay-at-home mom. Nevertheless, there are ways to get by, especially if you are able to end the relationship amicably. You should file for child support if you need it. There is also help out there for single moms, until you get back on your feet.
GOOD REASONS TO STAY
- Tough Times: You or your spouse are going through a rough patch, got laid off, had a death in the family, or any other event that could cloud your better judgment. Wait it out and, when you are over your grief, reevaluate the situation.
- Love: You love and respect each other but may be experiencing the 7-year itch. Perhaps counseling would help. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Most people go to therapy when their relationship is beyond repair.
- Trust & Friendship: If you trust your partner and have a good friendship, maybe it’s time to revisit your sex life, and find ways to spark it up.
- Family: Children can put a huge strain on any relationship. The first few years of parenthood are tough on the couple. If you make it through those, you may establish an even stronger bond than you had before.
BAD REASONS TO LEAVE
- Office Flirtation: Oftentimes spending time with someone at work can make you forget that your real life partner is at home. You’d be better off seeking marriage counseling.
- Boredom: Relationships should never be taken for granted. They are a partnership, and both parties need to be invested in keeping the flame alive. Make it a point to remember how the courtship days went and try to recreate that.
- Online Flirtation: It’s so easy to be lured into false online intimacy with a stranger. Instead, go talk to your sweetie or try to keep in touch with him by e-mail or text throughout the day.
GOOD REASONS TO LEAVE
- Loss of Interest: You don’t talk about how your day was, your hopes, expectations, longings or difficulties. You don’t really care to, either.
- Loss of Trust: He has killed your trust in one way or another, and once that goes, it’s hard to get back. Can you fully trust him again?
- Loss of Respect: You frequently insult, ridicule or show contempt for each other. He belittles you in public.
- Affairs: Obviously something is missing at home.
- Loss of Attraction: You avoid sex with him but fantasize often about having sex with anybody else.
- The thought of going home makes you feel scared or sick. He abuses you mentally, emotionally or physically. Get out, fast.
When gauging your relationship, try to take the perspective of an outsider. What would you tell a friend in your circumstances? Tap into your intuition, and follow your gut.
You may follow Laura Carbonell on Twitter @Lauralcb.