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Uncover your best you.

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Uncover your best you.

Step-by-step self love tools

November 1, 2023

Hey Christina, I feel love in my heart but a lot of doubts in my mind. I don’t know if I want to be in this relationship anymore but at the same time I can’t seem to let go. Is there something I can do to help me figure out if I should stay or if I should go?

– Utterly Confused

Dear Confused,

Should I stay or should I go? This is undeniably one of the toughest decisions to come to terms with. When I was feeling utterly confused and terrified of the looming heartbreak, my therapist asked me one question that helped me see what was most important. My answer to her question started the process of me finding my truth, and ultimately freedom, from the chains of an unhappy and unhealthy relationship.

It was one of those moments where I can remember exactly where I was sitting when I heard, “Is this what you want your life to look five years from now?” This question unveiled what I was not letting myself see. Right then and there, I knew how I felt. I knew I was unhappy. I knew that I did not want my life in love to look like it did. I also knew it was not going to magically become what I had been creating in my head and wishing it to be. I had evidently been hanging on to the potential of what it could be, what I wanted it to be, and what I told myself it was; none of which were true.

I knew what I didn’t want in love, but what did what did I want? It made sense for me to be intentional and clear about what I wanted, as opposed to focusing on what I didn’t want. Our brain has this habitual way of walking through our thoughts, so I knew this would prove to be helpful. 🙂 

I started by capturing what I wanted in a relationship. This was a journal entry describing what I thought a mutually loving relationship looked like, for me. It was detailed and very clear in opposition to the relationship I was in.

After that I wrote down ten words and titled it, ‘My Ten Requirements in Love’. This was ten words that captured my relationship must haves. My intention was to get clear on what I genuinely needed in order to be happy, content, secure, and safe. 

Both of these notes need to speak to what it is you truly want, need, and desire. In capturing these notes, you will have a tool that can be used to run the metrics on your current relationship and any future relationship. While these lists aren’t the end all and be all, they may provide some clarity and support in order to make the best decision for you.

At the end of the day if there is a trauma bond, manipulation, gaslighting, coercive control, a suspected or confirmed affair, and/or narcissistic behaviours present, you will undoubtedly be confused. So if you cycle between doubt and bliss, if you feel unhappy much of the time, if you have disconnected from friends, if your voice feels unimportant, if you cry often, if you are any form of a secret, if you are often hurting and sit in that alone, if you ask for tenderness or understanding again and again … I think it’s safe to say that you are confused for good reason. The only thing that will give clarity is space, and talking it through with a seasoned therapist or coach. It’s damn near impossible to see manipulation for what it is when you are IN it.

I would be remiss not to speak to adultery, because I think it’s safe to say that with an affair comes the question, should I stay or should I go? This is so circumstantial and individual, but what I can say, is that there is a difference in and between:

    • Your partner coming to you and telling you that they very recently stepped out. They are genuinely regretful and hope like hell you are willing to give them an opportunity to mend the hurt.
    • Someone who has repeatedly stepped out and built a house of cards around it.

I have been asked time and time again if relationships can mend after adultery. I think anything is possible when two people are wholeheartedly committed to the repair. One sided effort will not fix the cracks.

Should I stay or should I go is ultimately about what is best for you and your heart. Ending an unhappy, and/or unhealthy relationship is not giving up or being selfish. Listen to your inner voice and trust yourself. This is not about what you’ve done or have chosen … it is all about the questions you are asking here and now. 

Warmly,

Christina

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