Is your marriage worth saving? Many times couples or individuals come into counseling with this very question at hand. Looking straight at me, hoping I will provide them with a definite and concrete answer of yes or no. Often these same individuals have been contemplating each scenario over and over for years. Here is the answer to the question…
Should I stay or Should I go? The question only you can answer. It’s a decision that not only can change the course of your life but others as well.
Things To Ponder Before You Give Up On Your Marriage
The pressure of making the “right” decision can be daunting. It’s hard to put a definitive answer on something that is based so much on emotion and years of ups and downs. Add a few children and finances in the mix, and the decision can be paralyzing, often individuals feel “stuck” in this stage.
Some days and weeks can influence a different answer that feels right that day, depending on the circumstances.
But what do you do when you feel you are backed in the corner and the time has come to make “the decision.” Below is a tool I verbally walk through with my clients when we are looking at their task to decide and allows them to feel more confident in their final decision.
How Do You Value Yourself and Your Marriage?
So where do we start?
We start by working through how you currently value your marriage.
On what scale are you able to say,
“I’m happy with my marriage today” or “I’m unhappy in this relationship?”
Then we do the same scale on yourself.
“I’m happy with my own self-love” or “I’m unhappy with my lack of self-love?”
Are you surprised at all with your initial responses? Let’s move on.
Are You Making Healthy Decisions In Other Areas of Your Life?
It is important that we make sure we have the healthiest version of a person trying to work on the marriage. It would be hard for you to say I’m happy in my marriage, if you were drinking more than you would like, feel like your parenting is out of control, are not having fun with friends and hobbies, overweight, sleep deprived…you get the picture.
Many times bettering the way you treat yourself, can change the direction of your relationship to make it a more satisfying one.
However, sometimes people intentionally work to grow on themselves to become healthier, yet find that they are still unhappy in their marriage. This can be due to the other person not willing to work on becoming healthier themselves, or feeling insecure or intimidated with their spouse now being a healthier person.
What Type of Partner Do You Want? What Do You Have? And What Kind Of Partner Are You?
You want to also be sure you aren’t in the vicious and dissatisfying cycle of looking to the other person to “make you happy.” If one partner is looking at the other to provide their happiness, this is a definite direction for an unhappy relationship. The dependency and invertible let down will catch up to the couple and makes the decision process a risky one.
A healthy marriage needs two healthy people. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Your relationship is not exempt from this fact.
Partners should learn to focus on their own needs vs. constantly focusing on how to meet their partners’, or how their partners aren’t meeting theirs. The truth is we cannot make other people as happy as we can make ourselves, and we need two healthy people to make a happy and healthy marriage.
A marriage is always worth saving if both people feel it is worth saving, and they show that feeling through their choices in the relationship. When both parties are hard at work the answer is clearer. However, I encourage all individuals in this position to do the hard work on yourself first, then approach the relationship decision next.
This is a tried and true approach in feeling more peace with whatever decision you land on. If you would like a guide or support in this work or process, I would love to work with you. Private Remote Therapy Sessions are convenient for your schedule, where ever you may be. In the meantime, I wish you the best and happy self-care!