This is a conclusion that may take years to reach and highlights issues in a relationship that may have been lingering for a very long time. Sometimes, people don’t have the guts to leave, as they feel that the process is just too difficult, and they don’t always want to have to face the problems this decision will bring them. There is often an element of guilt that things should have worked out hence the common ‘It’s not you, it’s me’. And actually, the problem comes from both parties, it’s just that one of them has identified it and feels bad about it.
Obviously, this is a general overview of the topic and it is important to understand that every situation will have its own particular characteristics but on the whole, some of the principles below will apply to all.
To put it bluntly, if you are unhappy in a relationship, unless you decide to tackle the problems, you are unlikely to lead a happy life and will grow to resent each other. End of. So it is far better to be honest with yourself and face the situation.
First of all, it is important to establish what’s not working anymore as opposed to just voicing unhelpful generalisations. Some of what you see as a problem might actually be a response to your own behaviour. Your partner may not even realise they are doing something that you are deeply unhappy about.
Whichever way this is going to go, you need to talk. Yes, it’s obvious but you would be amazed how many people skip that important step. They will assume they know what the other has to say and have the conversations in their own heads, but never actually sit somebody down and tell them they are unhappy. And that’s purely because they don’t want to upset the balance. ‘Maybe it’s just me? I will try and work it out myself’ is a common statement.
Unfortunately, what people don’t realise is that the moment they do that, they have in fact started the grieving process. They will go through all of the emotions associated with the loss of a relationship without even realising it. This is why the decision to leave often comes as a shock for the partner who was totally oblivious to what was going on. The person leaving the relationship will often be seen to move on very quickly, leading to all sorts of assumptions that they must have been cheating and often, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that their grieving started ages ago and as they reach their decision, complete the process.
In most cases, just the pure fact you are asking yourself if you should leave is the beginning of a downwards spiral and indicate the issues are deeply rooted. Trying to work at them without voicing the fact you are doing so often leads to only one outcome.
So be honest with them. They deserve it! And so do you… Burying your head in the sand will just make it all the more painful and complicated. Quite simply, it isn’t fair on anyone.
Staying in an unhappy relationship eventually leads to more hurt for all involved. I guess it is worth remembering that commitment, whether you are married or not, takes some work from both parties. The vows that you take or the mortgage that you sign together are only the beginning of the journey. The key is to ‘renew those vows’ on a daily basis and not take the other person for granted. It all seems so obvious but we all need to be reminded regularly so we don’t end up in a situation where we have to ask ourselves ‘is it time to leave’?