If you’re thinking about throwing the towel on your relationship, hold on just a sec. Before making any big moves, you must do a little self-interrogation. And as a certified divorce coach and relationship decision specialist, these are the questions I recommend you ask yourself to help you gain a deeper understanding of whether or not a divorce or breakup is a valid consideration.
Can perspective help a relationship under stress?
In times of stress, it cannot be easy to see things. Our emotions may become heightened, making us feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and irritable. Allowing minor issues or disagreements to escalate into more significant problems can be easy. However, taking a step back and considering the bigger picture is essential.
Reflect on your relationship when things were going well and think about how stress or external factors may affect your current perspective. For example, are your feelings towards your partner a result of their actions or something else? Remember that even in a difficult time, marriages have ups and downs, and it’s essential to put things in perspective and consider if there is an underlying issue or if it’s just a temporary setback.
Are you guilty of casual emotional infidelity?
Are my emotional needs being met by someone else? Unfortunately, casual emotional infidelity creeps into many relationships. Ask yourself if you’re leaning on a co-worker, friend, or someone in your life for emotional connection. It doesn’t have to be someone of the opposite sex; it simply boils down to whether or not there’s a person in your life filling a need that should be served by your significant other. If so, then that’s important to grapple with.
How empowered and inspired are you in this relationship?
As a coach, I also encourage my clients to ask themselves if they feel empowered in their relationship. Are you surrendering your own needs to please your spouse? Are you afraid to tell them “No” because of their reaction? Are decisions difficult for you because you’re scared of the fallout? Look back at the course of your relationship. Have most of the decisions been your spouse’s because you’ve been vetoed, or you haven’t spoken up? Has your spouse often made decisions or plans without you, assuming you’d be okay with it? If you don’t feel empowered by your partner and you’ve explained this to them, then there is a problem in the marriage. If you haven’t, you should. These are essential questions to ask yourself. If your spouse is not empowering you, this can lead to resentment and anger over time.
Do you share the same core values as your partner?
As you contemplate the very essence of your being, do you ever wonder if your partner truly understands and respects the values that make you who you are?
Marriage is a journey of growth and evolution as we learn to live and love together, building a union based on shared beliefs and perspectives. But when your partner seeks to reshape and mold your core values to suit their desires, it feels as though they are trying to change the essence of who you are. Losing a piece of yourself to please someone else is profoundly troubling.
As you look into the mirror, you must ask yourself, are you willing to sacrifice your true self for the sake of this relationship? If the answer is no, you must stand firm in your beliefs and remind your spouse that you need them to accept and love you for who you are and what you stand for at your core.
Is your relationship lacking mutual compromise?
Compromise is a vital component of any intimate relationship, but it must be a mutual exchange in which both partners are comfortable with the outcome. If one partner consistently yields to the other’s desires while neglecting their wants and needs, this can lead to resentment and dissatisfaction.
While making concessions in any relationship is essential, it’s also crucial to ensure that both partners actively participate in the compromise process. When one partner continuously gives up a part of themselves without receiving any compromise in return, it can lead to anger and frustration.
True compromise is only possible when both partners approach it with open hearts, clear intentions, and a willingness to listen and understand the other’s perspective.
Are you and your partner growing and evolving together?
As we go through life, we all change and evolve as people. Our interests, views and priorities can shift, and we strive to become better versions of ourselves. In healthy relationships, couples grow and change together. However, the relationship can become unhealthy when one or both partners hold on to negative habits or unproductive perspectives and are unwilling to change. This is the difference between “weak love” and “strong love.” Weakness can be seen in the form of quick anger or feeling misunderstood.
On the other hand, strong love empowers both partners to grow and change together. If one partner is carrying most of the load and the relationship pulls them down, it is no longer balanced. This is often why marriages fall apart, as the focus shifts or one partner is unwilling to continue growing.
Ultimately, the key to understanding if a divorce or breakup is the right choice, is to be honest about your feelings and the state of your relationship. By evaluating these questions thoroughly, you can gain a deeper understanding of whether or not a divorce or breakup is even an option on the table.
Are you struggling in your relationship or marriage? Have you been through a tough breakup or divorce or have concerns about getting involved again? Are you currently going through a divorce and are confused, overwhelmed and have so many questions? Are you re-coupled, remarried or blending families and have been experiencing challenges in the dynamics of these new chapters? WE CAN HELP!
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS to: firstname.lastname@example.org and one of The EXIT’s divorce and relationship experts, Cindy Stibbard, will provide her insight to help get you on the right track.