Getting Started

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  • Is my marriage is worth saving?
  • What will be the ramifications if I leave?
  • Will the children be harmed?
  • Will I survive financially?
  • How deeply will the divorce alter our lives?

All relationships have their ups and downs and it’s normal to experience some ambivalence: wanting to leave but not wanting to let go of a comfortable lifestyle, being unhappy with some aspects of your relationship but fearful of what lies ahead.

Many couples find ways to resolve their conflicts while some people decide to “tough it out” and hold on to an unhealthy or destructive relationship. Others discover that the relationship has simply run its natural course and it is time to move on.

If you are stuck in uncertainty, you will only end up becoming comfortable with discomfort.  So, if you are questioning whether to stay or go, here are some important points to consider as you prepare to attack that ambivalence.

Unrealistic expectations

People who leave a marriage hoping to find a more satisfying life with a new mate often find a whole new set of problems, or worse – the same old ones. Sure, you can experience some temporary relief – until you start bickering over who gets what. And if you have kids, conflict can escalate around parenting schedules or any number of child-rearing issues.

Before you leave, ask yourself if you are being honest about your own role in the marriage difficulties.  Whether you are the one to leave or are left, both people often experience a sense of failure and personal loss.

The income that supported one household now has to support two and your standard of living can drop significantly. You may just have to tighten up your belts drastically – for a while at least.

If you believe that “marriage is forever” ask yourself if you are still the same person now as you were 5, 10 years ago? Not likely and neither is your mate. People and life situations change. That’s what is supposed to happen and relationships can end simply because they have fulfilled their purpose. Believe in commitment. Remember, marriage is about love and support, not about controlling and imprisoning.


Are you moving away from an unhealthy relationship out of fear, guilt, apathy or avoiding responsibility? If you are leaving for misguided reasons, your goals are not likely to be met through divorce

What about the kids?

No, kids will not be doomed to a lifetime of delinquency or emotional problems simply because their parents got divorced.

It is the conflict between parents and the unhealthy tug-o-war games with kids caught in the middle that are the major causes of childhood behavioural problems.

When parents get their act together, most kids get through this time just fine.


Fear of the unknown can be so daunting that people prefer to numb out to make life more bearable. Perhaps you fear retaliation from your partner; or that you won’t get to see the kids.

No one wants to willingly give up a comfortable life style but is this enough reason to stay if your heart and spirit are dying?

Chances are, you have faced life-changing challenges in the past and you are still here.  Sure, maybe you are faced with trying to develop or upgrade job skills or educational levels in order to support yourself but believe in yourself – you can handle it.

Each day you spend in an unhappy, loveless relationship is one less day spent in a life that could bring you fulfillment, passion, comfort and happiness.

It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.

John Rohn (Author and Speaker)

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