Regarding terminating a long-term relationship


Long-term partnerships, such as marriage, are especially difficult because of the complexities involved. Your personal connections have the power to either lift you up or pull you down.

The question is, what if you fall someplace in between?

For example, let's say you and your partner have a relationship that's around 7 out of 10. Should you remain in the relationship, making a lifelong commitment to it? So, should you stay or should you seek something that may become even better?

This is what ambivalence feels like. You're unsure about everything. Is what you have well enough? If so, why waste time and energy searching for something better that you may never discover? Or, maybe, you're putting yourself through a lot of stress because you're afraid of meeting a long-term partner who will make your life better. It's a hard decision.

Thanks to a great book, it's possible to get over your feelings of indecision in romantic relationships. Mira Kirshenbaum has written a book titled Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to stay and it is available now. This book, which I read a long time ago, had a profound impact on how I see long-term partnerships now.

To begin, the book shows readers the incorrect path to take when making this choice. Making a decision by weighing the benefits and drawbacks of remaining or leaving is the incorrect approach. It goes without saying that everyone does it this way.

While weighing the advantages and disadvantages may appear reasonable, it fails to provide you with the relevant data you need to make an informed choice. In any relationship, there will be advantages and disadvantages, so how can you tell whether yours is doomed or just acceptable or even wonderful? The disadvantages urge you to leave, while the advantages encourage you to remain.

What about the future of your partnership if you have to anticipate future benefits and drawbacks? Who's to tell whether or not your issues are short-term or long-term?

The balance-scale method should be abandoned in favor of a diagnostic approach, according to Kirshenbaum. Instead of attempting to put your relationship on a scale, figure out where it stands.

This will provide you with the knowledge you need to make well-informed decisions and understand why you're making them. If you're unsure about anything, it's a sign that your romance is in trouble. As a result, figuring out the disease's exact nature seems like a good place to start.

The author provides a set of 36 yes/no questions to ask oneself in order to conduct a relationship diagnostic. There are many pages of explanation for each question. To be honest, the diagnostic process takes up the vast majority of the book.

Each inquiry is like going through a wringer in your relationship. The following question will be asked if you've made it through the filter. If you don't make it through the screening process, your relationship should come to an end.

The suggestion that you should remain together can only be obtained by navigating through all 36 criteria. It is recommended that you leave if you are bothered by even one of the filters.

Even though it may seem difficult, passing most of these filters will be a piece of cake for you. I predict that just about a third of the questions will need considerable thinking.

Most likely, filters like "Does your spouse beat you?" will not stop you. In other words, are you in danger of being abandoned by your partner? The process went well. Unless that's the case, you don't need a book to know that things are bad in your relationship.

According to the author's findings, couples who had a state of ambivalence about one of the 36 issues were more likely to remain together than those who had made a choice.

After then, the author kept tabs on how those connections evolved over time. Years later, does the individual who made the decision on whether to remain or go still believe s/he made the right one?

What would have happened if the couple had remained together? Would their relationship have improved or deteriorated into resentment? And if they divorced, did they discover a new love or did they harbor regrets about their split forever?

This idea appealed to me because it seemed like turning back the hands of time to discover what could have happened. Because the suggestions are based on the author's observations and professional judgment, I don't suggest following them blindly.

However, all of her findings seemed reasonable to me and held no shocks. I doubt you'll be shocked to learn that dating a drug user almost always ends in heartbreak.

On the other hand, what about a partnership with someone you don't admire? What if you and your partner are in a far-off relationship? Alternatively, how about becoming involved with someone who's an absolute workaholic and earns ten times more than you do? Why do you think relationships work out better when the pair remains together rather than when they split up?

According to Kirshenbaum, when a break-up is advised, it's because most couples who decided to remain together were miserable, whereas most couples who departed were happier as a result.

When making a choice to remain or go, consider your own long-term happiness as well as your own personal satisfaction, not your (ex-) partners.

This book is a must-read if you're torn between wanting to leave and staying in a situation. Most of the filters won't bother you, but there will be a few that make you stop and ponder.

Even if you don't know whether your relationship is healthy, I highly suggest this book for those who already have one and want to improve it. In order to avoid a break-up, you'll need this book to help you identify your relationship's weak spots.

The following are my descriptions of the book's diagnostic points, not the author's actual words:

Would you be glad to finally be able to quit your relationship if God or another supernatural entity informed you it was OK to go? If your shared religious beliefs are the only thing keeping you together, it's time to call it quits.

Stop torturing yourself with negative thoughts and choose to be happy instead. Even if you're physically together but not emotionally, you're not fooling any heavenly beings or anybody else around you by doing this. Take off, leaving hypocrisy behind.

In your current relationship, do you have the ability to meet your demands without too much difficulty? The more work it takes to fulfill your wants, the worse the relationship is for you. Leave now.

Do you and your spouse appear to genuinely like one another? You don't belong together if you don't like each other.

Do you have a special attraction to your spouse sexually? 4thThere's no sense in sticking around if the chemistry isn't there.

When it becomes tough to remain in a relationship, do you feel your spouse is reluctant or unable to change? Intentions aren't nearly as important as results. The only way to make your spouse stop behaving in an unpleasant manner is for him/her to change permanently.

For instance, "I'll be gone in 30 days if you don't stop smoking." Trying to put up with the unbearable can only lead to diminished self-esteem and a perception that you were a better person in the past.

When you gaze into your partner's eyes, do you see yourself? Metaphorically speaking, if you don't have a deep connection to your spouse, you should go elsewhere.

Do you and your spouse have respect for one another?

If the answer is yes, does your spouse play a significant role in your life? If your spouse doesn't provide much value to your life and you have nothing to lose by splitting up, go ahead and do it. While doing it alone may save you money in the long run, finding a resource to help you out will be a huge help.

Is there a history of forgiving in your relationship? If you can't let go of your grudges and forgive each other, love will fade away. Leave now.

A dead relationship is one that isn't enjoyable to be in. Leave now.

What are your hopes and ambitions for your future together, as a couple? Some things are very wrong if you don't intend to spend your future together. It's time to take off.

A partnership should enrich your life, not diminish it, as these questions demonstrate. You should, at the very least, be happier in the relationship than you are on your own.

In many cases, a difficult divorce with complex child custody arrangements may nevertheless lead to long-term happiness even if a break-up leads to it, whereas remaining in a failed relationship almost certainly precludes it.

Some of the diagnostic criteria, such as advising leaving even if you think it's salvageable, may sound harsh. To have a relationship, you need to put in some work and be fully committed on both ends. It's too heavy to be carried by one person.

A miracle rescue (like turning around an abusive relationship) is possible, but most efforts of this kind fail, and even if they succeed, it may be at such a great cost that the effort was ultimately not worth it.

Instead of spending all your energy trying to save a relationship that's bringing you down, you might be considerably happy in a new one (or living alone). Giving yourself to someone who is more open to what you have to give and who appreciates you for it will do you better than keeping it to yourself?

Spending more time arguing than sharing love with your partner is a sign that you should leave your relationship and go for one that offers more mutual benefits for less effort on both ends.

Use these diagnostic questions in other human interactions, such as those with your supervisor and coworkers, to see if you learn anything new. Maybe you don't have to worry about sexual attraction... but there's mutual respect, enjoyment, common objectives, acceptable conduct, and having your needs fulfilled, to name just a few of them.

All of the requirements are met perfectly.

A relationship should enrich your life, not diminish it, as these questions demonstrate. It's important that you are at least as content in your relationship as you were before you entered it.

In many cases, messy divorce with complex child custody arrangements can still lead to long-term happiness even if a break-up leads to it while remaining in a failed relationship almost certainly prevents it.

Some of the diagnostic points, such as recommending leaving even if you think it's salvageable, may seem harsh. A relationship, on the other hand, necessitates the participation and dedication of both partners. It's too heavy to be carried by one person.

In spite of your best efforts, such attempts are almost always doomed to fail. Even if you succeed, the cost may be so great that you come to regret the time and energy you put into them in the first place.

The time you spend trying to save a relationship that makes you unhappy could be better spent finding a new partner (or just living alone). When it comes to giving yourself away, it's much better to find someone who appreciates you for who you are and who is open to receiving what you have to offer.

Spending more time fighting than sharing love with your partner is a sign that you should end your relationship and look for one that offers more mutual rewards for less effort.

These diagnostic questions can also be applied to other kinds of human relationships, such as those with your boss and coworkers. It's okay if you don't care about sexual attraction... but you should care about things like respect for the other person, enjoyment, common goals, tolerable behavior, and having your basic needs met.

All of these factors are relevant in romantic relationships centered on work. I'd say it's a bad sign if your boss avoids you when you bring up the subject of your future with the business.

Don't mix up whether or not you should end your current relationship with how you might find a new partner. Both are important considerations. This relationship should be over as soon as it becomes clear.

When you're single again, you'll be able to (re)learn the skills you need to find a new partner. While you're still in a relationship, it's difficult to gauge your chances of finding love again.

For starters, while you're still in a relationship, people will perceive you as unavailable, and you won't be in a position to know where you stand until you're free of that.

Your relationship may be too good to end even if the diagnosis is correct. Depending on how long you live in that situation, it may or may not change. All the variables are out of your hands.

If nothing else, you'll have a method for figuring out if you can commit to your relationship right now or if it's time to end it.

In any relationship, make the decision to pursue your own happiness as a bare minimum.

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