Are you needing answers in your relationship? This is what you should be questioning.
Considering leaving a relationship is never easy. As Lysn psychologist, Noosha Anzab explains, the monkey mind of swinging from the “should I leave” or “should I stay” branch can result in confusion, feeling overwhelmed, stress, nervousness and a tinge of sadness. However, if you're equipped with the right tools and advice, making a decison won't be as daunting. Here, Noosha reveals seven things you need to consider:
Is the relationship founded on trust and commitment?
The two basic things we often forget to really value in a relationship is trust and commitment. When thinking of trust, most people associate that to loyalty – but that’s not the case here. You should always explore trust by considering if the relationship can provide a safe pair of hands. Can you trust them with your vulnerabilities just as much as your strengths? Are they committed and reliable? Is their commitment trustworthy and is there an equal footing where you both contribute 50/50 to the commitment in the first place?
Are we invested in each other's lives?
Learning about the other person's world is so important in order to be able to bring two people together rather than apart. Knowing each other’s worlds, trials, tribulations and successes can mean relationships can really flourish, and from there you can really start to see respect, admiration and affection bloom. However, if you find you're turning away from one another, if respect is eroded and distaste is seeping in – that could be a telltale sign that it's not working.
Do we communicate as well as we should?
If communication is at a standstill and you’re constantly in a state of conflict that is starting to impede on other aspects of your life, it might be worthwhile to consider leaving. Staying in a relationship that is toxic, or is constantly in a state of conflict and is starting to really tarnish your perspective of the other person can never be a good thing. It’s important to consider seeing a therapist and give it a fair go at improving this before calling the quits.
Do they support my goals?
Successful relationships see two people help realise their hopes and aspirations. They encourage each other to grow, to be resilient and a partner’s influence is usually well accepted. In some cases, we can end up in relationships, whether it be with parents, siblings, partners or friends – that simply don’t help us unlock our potential – in fact, they prevent us from reaching our dreams.
Do we value the same things?
Any healthy relationship allows for concepts, words or actions to come to life. It’s here that mutual meaning is often developed and really honed in on. If there is no meaning that’s shared, or you’re on two completely different pages and there is no sense of reciprocity or collaboration, then I’d be getting curious as to why it’s worthwhile to stay. When values, understandings and the essences of any connections between people are one-sided, it could make it extremely difficult for individuals to feel safe and sound within their relationship and can actually erode all the other things necessary for a relationship to flourish such as trust, commitment and communication.
Are we just co-dependent?
Whilst sometimes co-dependency presents itself as reliance or an abundance of love, it can be a trap and an extremely taxing one at that. Whenever there is emotional co-dependency in a relationship, there is often an erosion of the ability to self-sooth. Whilst it may seem black and white to consider co-dependency in deciding to leave any relationship, it often isn’t. Co-dependency always has some added features that come along with, it such as dysfunctional communication, lack of boundaries, reactivity and even obsessions. It’s important to pay attention to whether the co-dependency enables the other person to be irresponsible or underachieving in the relationship or not.
If nothing changes...
If you’ve given your relationship your best shot, tried things such as managing conflict or open communication, couples therapy and you’re still in the same position, then considering leaving should be a viable option. In relationships, the onus is never on one person to carry the other and if you find yourself carrying the burden of being responsible for your relationship, and that the relationship is impacting your physical and psychological health, then it’s really worthwhile to consider leaving.
As selfish as it may sound, in a relationship, you’ve always got to preserve your wellbeing first. This simply means considering yourself in the equation when making decisions, considering your values, morals and interests and preserving your identity.