When to leave a Relationship: Separation and Divorce


Sad CoupleLet’s face it. Relationships can be tricky. They can be really hard. But how do you know when it’s time to leave?

There are no easy and straightforward answers to this question. What’s a sure sign for one person may not be for another. Sometimes people absolutely know when the time has come while others deliberate at length. Going to a therapist to try to move past the troubles or to help you make a decision whether to stay or leave can help.

The questions below may also give you some clarity:

  • What was your relationship like when it worked? What did each of you do that made you feel connected with one another?
  • What have your closest friends or family members noticed you doing that helped nurture your relationship?
  • Are there any times now when your relationship works, even in the smallest of ways? If so, what is it about your relationship that does work? What are you doing to help things go the way you want?
  • Supposing there are some things that work in your relationship, what is something else that you could do that would help move your relationship in the right direction, even in the smallest of ways?
  • When there have been troubles in your relationship, what have you tried to do to make things better? What else?
  • Was there anything that you used to do that worked that you could do again?
  • On a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 being the worst things have been in your relationship and 10 being the best, where are things now? What are each of you doing that puts them where they are on that scale?
  • What is something small you could imagine doing over the next few days that would help move things in the right direction–not so that they would be at a 10, but so that they would be .5 or 1 point further up the scale?

When to leave a relationship is not an easy decision. Anyone who has gone through it knows it’s not something that is taken lightly, especially when there are kids involved. Suppose your relationship and your life were going exactly the way you wanted them to, what would be different?

Answering these questions may help you decide whether to continue working on the relationship or to leave.