A few days ago, I wrote to our email list about the idea of marriage, sharing some different perspectives we’ve published recently. Today, I want to share a few reflections about when to leave a relationship.
The reality is that marriage isn’t always a happy time. Sometimes, people end up marrying the wrong person. Or they marry the right person but at some point find that it’s time to leave the marriage.
The decision to stay or to leave a relationship is one of the most consequential decisions one can make. Probably right now there are millions of people consumed by the decision, unsure of what to do.
It’s interesting to note that we are more free to leave relationships now than in the past. There used to be many more external sanctions from religion and society if one left a relationship.
Psychologists even used to explain that children would be traumatized if the parents split up. Yet this isn’t necessarily the case.
Here’s what the shaman Rudá Iandê says about the impact that parents splitting up has on children:
“Facing reality from an early age can be much more beneficial for children than living under the shadow of a lie for many years. Children absorb the spite, lack of love and contentment in the relationships of their parents. They unconsciously associate the heaviness of their relationship with love. When they grow up, they reproduce the same kinds of relationships in their lives because that’s the only thing they know. That’s their reference point.”
These days, we are feeling more freedom to choose to stay in our relationships or choose to leave. Ultimately, we’re realizing that we have a lot more power to decide than we may have in the past.
Therefore, I want to share a few questions to ask yourself about your relationship to get you thinking about whether you should stay or leave:
- Do I feel loved and supported in this relationship?
- Does this relationship make me feel strong and bring out the best in me?
- Am I having to sacrifice my sense of self to keep the relationship intact?
- Do we share the same values about what’s important in life?
- Do we support each other in achieving our goals?
- Are we both respectful and honest with the other?
- Am I learning and growing in the relationship?
- Am I in love with the person in front of me or an idealized version I’ve created in my mind?
I’m not suggesting anyone should leave a relationship on a whim. Commitment is a virtue. No relationship will ever be perfect. Personally, I’d rather be in a relationship with someone whose flaws I recognize and embrace.
However, we need to remove the stigma many people face when leaving a relationship. It’s not a failure to leave someone behind. We all grow in different ways, and sometimes the relationship isn’t supporting us any longer.
If you’re looking for support in deciding how to face up to the decision on whether to stay or whether to leave a relationship, please do check out our free masterclass with Rudá Iandê. It’s only playing for a limited time.
Please let me know your reactions in the comments below.