If you are and your partner are arguing more than usual, or you are starting to spot some red flags that concern you, you may be wondering whether it is time to leave and let go of the relationship. This is never an easy decision, and it’s one that may take some time and thoughtful consideration. There are a few key things to watch out for, which may alert you that it is time to let go.
- You feel like it’s always a struggle. You don’t feel like you can be yourself with your partner anymore. You resist bringing up issues or concerns, because you are afraid of how they will react. You feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to upset them or cause an argument. Even when you aren’t arguing, the mood between you is often tense. You feel like you can never fully relax.
- You feel obligated, not excited, to stay. When you think about leaving your partner, you may feel guilty. You worry that they may struggle without you, especially if they are dealing with an illness, financial stress, lack of a support system, or some other struggle. You may feel like you have to stay for your children or because you’re afraid of what other people will think. When you picture yourself staying, you feel like you are meeting an obligation, not doing something that will make you happy.
- You’re not being respected or valued. Your partner rarely compliments you anymore. In fact, they often put you down or make you feel bad about yourself. They pick at you about little things, and make you feel like you can’t do anything right. Even when you are celebrating an achievement, they either ignore it completely, or find some way to turn it into a negative. They do not respect your boundaries. And they treat you like someone who is less than them, not as an equal.
- Fear is holding you back. You know that you aren’t happy in your current relationship, but you are afraid of the unknown. You may be afraid that you won’t be able to support yourself financially if you leave. You may be afraid of how your partner will react if you choose to leave. And you may be afraid that you will never find love again, and that you’ll be alone forever. When you take an honest look at the reasons you are staying, most are either responsibility, or fear.
- You’re compromising your values and beliefs. Throughout the relationship, you’ve gradually given in (or given up) on things that matter to you. You may have tried to set boundaries and ask for what you want and need, but your partner always found ways to make you feel like you were asking for too much, being unreasonable, or just weren’t worthy of what you were asking. Eventually, you stopped asking completely. You may have started lying about your partner’s behavior to friends and family, to protect them, and also because you are ashamed to admit what has been happening. You realize you have become a very different person than you were when you met your partner.
If you recognize any of the above statements, your relationship is probably not healthy. And it may be time to start the process of moving on. It can be very difficult to leave a relationship after investing your time, effort, and love for so long. And this is a decision no one can make, but you. But, it is important to trust your instincts, and know that you deserve to be loved, respected, and happy. If someone is holding you back from being your full, incredible self – let them go. You deserve better.