The struggle between the pain of staying in your relationship and anticipating the pain of leaving can make you feel crazy. You flip flop back and forth…feeling happy and in love some days and on others, so miserable you want to crawl in bed and hide.

Your head feels like you are spinning in circles trying to answer the question, “Should I stay…or should I leave?”

Here’s some of the things that might be happening in your relationship:

  • You feel like you are not important to your partner. Yet some days you feel like you are.
  • Your partner is not emotionally available to you.  You feel shut out and neglected.
  • You don’t feel respected. Your partner says or does mean or abusive things to you while at other times he showers you with attention.
  • Your partner has, or is, cheating on you, but you still love him.

While I can’t tell you if you should stay or leave your current relationship, you can reach a place where you feel good about your choice—even if it hurts. 

If you are constantly feeling that you are not a priority, that he disregards your feelings or disrespects you, then ask yourself if you are verbalizing what you need. Women tend to be people pleasers and don’t stand up for themselves. Other’s fail to do it because they feel insecure. If this man loves you, you should feel confident enough to say what you want and need from the relationship.

If he decides at the last minute to go out with the guys and he knows you’ve been making him a nice meal, it is not out of line to say, “No, I cooked a nice dinner and I’d like for you to spend some time with me instead of going out with the boys tonight.” He may not know what you want and need until you tell him. Men aren’t mind readers. However, if he shrugs it off and heads out for a night with the guys, then you know he doesn’t respect you.

While it’s tempting to lose your temper and say, that’s it, I’m out of here, it puts you in a vulnerable position, because you haven’t fully thought about your feelings and how leaving the relationship will affect you emotionally. And this is how many women find themselves going back to the unhealthy relationship. If the answer is to leave – take the time to position yourself for success by identifying a support system. Your support system are people you can trust and rely on for emotional support. Leaving can be a tough journey especially if you share a home or children are involved.

Having a plan for transition allows you to emerge from the relationship stronger and more confident than if you just left as a spur of the moment decision. However, let me make one thing clear, if you are in a relationship where there is abuse, don’t delay your decision to leave – seek assistance from shelters and other programs for battered women.

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I would love to hear your comments below! What advice would you give a friend who was contemplating leaving their relationship?

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