Deciding Should I Stay or Leave?

This question represents about 85% of why couples seek out counseling. My heart goes out to the client coming into my office with this painful struggle, but I also get energetic because I know, no matter what they ultimately decide, they are smack in the middle of a personal growth spurt. There is some fuel to get past stagnation, even if it has been going on for years and ultimately barely budges forward.

The decision is typically associated with a number of complicated and competing variables. Have you struggled with any of these?

  • I love him/her and I’m unhappy.
  • I want to leave sometimes but can’t imagine my life without my partner.
  • I can’t tell if it’s my partner or me that can’t be happy.
  • My personal happiness vs. my children’s well-being.
  • My personal state of mind vs. my partner’s mental stability.
  • Maybe I just can’t be happy.
  • I can’t tell if I love being together or if I love him/her.
  • Living on one income vs. dual income.
  • Contentment being single vs. security being married.
  • The process of deciding which direction to go with your life is a major process on its own.

We are usually focused on the outcome, however, paying careful attention to the details inherent in the process of deciding are extremely important. If we don’t address these details well, we can be left with ambivalence, self doubt, sometimes even on-going cycles of indecision and confusion.

Looking deeper into the psychological aspects of the process of deciding to Stay or Leave can be a road to freedom. The problems in the relationship itself and the challenging of the decision can point to earlier family or developmental issues that might have gotten overlooked. Sometimes, we haven’t been given the luxury, freedom or training of how to decide what we want by using our intuition, feelings and self-advocacy.

Tuning into how you go about the decision making process, you can ultimately strengthen your “gut” instinct and correct any deficits/negative modeling from earlier in life.

Try on these questions:

What kind of expectations/beliefs do you hold about happiness & life satisfaction?
Did your parents ask for your opinions?
Do you know how to tune into your body when you make decisions?
Are you worried about disappointing people?
Do you assume you will offend someone or someone will be made at you?
Do you think you can harm others if you make a self directed decision?
Did you make fun of your intelligence?
Do you choose?
Do you let others chose, then feel annoyed?

Sound good? Contact me for an initial consultation.
I’m happy to speak with you.

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