Three questions you need to answer

  1. Does the relationship give you more joy or pain?


  2. Do you feel loved and appreciated in this relationship?
  3. Will your life be better in five years because this person is in your life?

A large majority of the relationships that people fight to hold on to are toxic and dysfunctional, but because they are fearful of their future relationship prospects, they hold on to a relationship that is hurting them mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. For their own personal growth and relationship health it would make more sense for them to run hollering and screaming from these toxic relationships, rather than trying to hold on to them.  Yet so many people stay and the reasons for staying are plentiful:  the marriage vows the children, the finances, what the neighbors might say, their religion, fear of being alone, etc., etc., etc.

A major reason is because, ending a relationship can be one of the most painful emotional occurrences a person has to experience.  Breaking up means giving on the dream of happily ever after and the possibility of an empty place at the table for awhile.    There is no denying that breaking up can be painful, but  it can also be cathartic, liberating and transformative. During a difficult break-up a person’s mind and soul are usually open and raw.  That state of openness presents a perfect opportunity to stop, listen and learn about the decisions, personal history and patterns that formed the backdrop for the relationship as well as its demise. This is a time when people will be vulnerable, introspective and in search for solutions and remedies to stop their pain.  During this period they are more willing to examine their behaviors and choices.  This willingness can produce a reflectiveness  that can open their minds and important relationship lessons can be learned.


Many relationship pitfalls can be revealed and many previous choices will be clearer at this time.  If the insights and lessons learned through the break-up are heeded a break-up can be a life changing break through, that can change one’s life, momentum and trajectory.  It can also provide an opportunity to critically and logically look at what went wrong and how to make personal adjustments, which will better prepare you for the next relationship and help you avoid the pitfalls from the last. When you look at the decisions made in the relationship, you may discover that you have given yourself away too cheaply.

When to leave a relationship is a personal decision that each individual has to make for themselves, but oftentimes couples stay together and make each other miserable and teach their children that misery is an acceptable way to live.  Life is very short and unpredictable, if you have tried everything and you can’t come up with reasons to stay other than you fear of the unknown then it may be time to break-up with your lover.