A lot of my work is with people who want to fix a relationship in difficulty- & for a lot of people & in a lot of situations that is very do-able & the relationship is worth saving.
But I’ve also worked with people who are struggling to leave an abusive situation- men & women both. Some relationships are better let go. Some are corrosive & toxic & exhaust you & get you down. When emotional blackmail is involved the relationship can pull you both down. And when children are involved the situation can be even more damaging & difficult to manage for all involved.
Unfortunately, some people are abusive – physically &/or emotionally. It is sometimes hard to be clear-when you are on the receiving end of abuse & in the thick of it-whether a relationship is worth saving or not.
So how do you know?
Signs that you should go
1) The basis of a healthy relationship is friendship & respect. In the best relationships people are gentle with each other. Love shouldn’t hurt. It shouldn’t make you feel bad. It shouldn’t drain your energy & make you sad.
2) The other person has to want to be in the relationship as much as you do. This may seem obvious, but if the person you are involved with is not committed to the relationship or is clearly saying that they don’t want to be in a relationship with you- & in this actions speak as loudly as words-there is no future in pursuing it-you will only get hurt.
3) Pay attention to how you feel- what is your “gut instinct” telling you? If you don’t want to think about it- that is not a good sign. If someone is treating you badly & repeatedly hurting you it may be time to say goodbye. There are some very damaged people out there, who just hurt those around them. We all need to look after ourselves & keep ourselves safe from harm. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to walk away.
4) It is not your job to “fix” your partner. If they need & (most importantly) want “fixing” then there are professionals aplenty who can help them with that. But you can’t. That is not a partner’s role. Be clear about that.
5) Is there too much drama? Sometimes people get addicted to the excitement & intensity of drama. Conflict followed by kissing & making up can be exciting & for some couples this passionate pattern can work long-term. But for most people this is an exhausting way to live (& in some cases where it becomes abusive it can be damaging and dangerous).
So, if you are not sure whether to stay or whether to go, check with your gut (our emotions are there to guide us)! Is this relationship adding to your happiness or taking from it? Does it make you feel good or does it hurt you & make you feel bad? That’s the bottom line. If you don’t look after yourself, who will?