The Relationship Dilemma, Should I Stay or Should I Go?

How do I know when it is time to leave a relationship?

I found this quandary to be one of the top reasons that drive people to do therapy and or coaching.

Most of us strive to find the perfect life partner; one who is safe, loving, caring and as I call it “has your back” no matter what.  This statement translates differently to every person based on their individual and specific needs.

In romantic love and at the beginning of the relationship, it is magical. You have chemistry and electricity flowing through your body. You believe that you may have found “the one” whom of course is your idealized mate.

Your idealized mate is someone that will have perfect attunement with you, track your every need and care when you are hurting all the time.

Now if any of you have been in one or two relationships before you may have noticed that this idealism is a recipe for disappointment because in reality, most people cannot sustain being perfectly attuned all the time.

According to Dr. Harville Hendricks creator of “Imago Therapy,” he states that romantic love can last anywhere from 2 minutes to 7 years.

Once disappointment sets in it gets collapsed with any disappointment that you have experienced throughout your life. This occurs on a unconscious level of course.

At this point as Eckhart Tolle has coined the term, you are in a “pain-body flare-up” aka “an amygdala hijack”.
Now the object of your desire is seen as the source of your disappointment and pain, and they eventually lose love deposits in your eyes.

At first, you may try to communicate to them how they have failed you hoping that they will understand and fix the behavior and assuage your pain-body, so you can feel safe and relaxed once again and bask in the blissful intoxication of romantic love, until the next disappointment.

The next disappointment and those following add to the collection of evidence, and now you start analyzing and creating interpretations and moralistic value judgments about your partner without taking the time to uncover the root of this painful cycle.

Sound familiar?

What is the root cause of the painful cycle of disappointment?

DisappointmentSome of the common causes are unfulfilled expectations that you projected onto your partner, which connects to your idealized image of what you would like them to be or what they “should be.”

What is missing from this automatic and painful cycle is objectivity on your part of seeing that two people may have different needs in those moments and also they may not understand what translates to you, in how to show care.

What adds insult to injury is when you speak unconsciously from your disappointment, there may be elements of shame, blame, and judgments in what you are communicating. When this happens what you get from this loving partner is reactivity as opposed to sensitivity.

So now getting back to the title and focus of this blog; when do I know if it is time to end the relationship?

There is a quote that resonates for me regarding this topic.

“People come into our lives for a season a reason or a lifetime.”
Unknown (click here to read more)

The decision to continue or end a relationship is, of course, a decision that only you can make although many of us receive opinions and advise from well-meaning friends.

When making this decision, here are some useful points.

  • Ask yourself if you really want the relationship to end or is it that you want to find a way to feel understood and cared for again.
  • What would you have to deal with if you did give up the relationship? (fears, sadness, or emptiness, etc.)
  • Are you ready and willing to deal with these feelings?
  • Another question to ask yourself is to go deep inside and ask if this relationship feeds and serves your highest and authentic self, or does it feed your fears?

One of the most important questions that I ask my clients when dealing with this topic or any for that matter is:

 “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

Usually, the first answer you come up with is your authentic truth and decision.

However, even when you arrive at your answer, it is only the first step.
The rest is now dealing with all of those fears and feelings that you have been avoiding.

Here is where having an insightful coach or therapist that can support you through your challenging journey is incredibly useful.

If you are struggling in your relationship and or can relate to anything that is covered in this blog feel free to contact me or click below for a complimentary 15- minute consultation and see if I am a match for you. 

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