Reasons We Stay
Some of the reasons we stay in relationships when we feel in our hearts that its over.
If we are really honest with ourselves, deep in our hearts we may know if the relationship isn’t working. One of the dangers is that we attempt to ignore these feelings and bury them pretending everything is fine. This may be because we are afraid of the consequences of verbalising our feelings.
- Security – both financial and personal security (having somewhere to live) feelings of uncertainty. We may be very anxious about what will happen to us, where will we go, how will we support ourselves.
- Fear of change – everything will be different, feelings of anxiety, how will things be, how will I get through this transition.
- Accountability – responsible for your own choices, success and happiness, feeling vulnerable. You may have to get a job to support yourself and your children. You will be taking care of paying the bills, and being responsible for all aspects of your life.
- Fear of breaking up the family – staying together for the kids is not a good enough reason to stay together if your heart wants to leave, feelings of shame or embarrassment, of letting the family down. There may be the fear that the family will side with your partner. Sad because now more than ever you need the support to get through this phase – you both do.
- Breaking the vows “till death do us part” , the guilt of ending something you vowed to in a church.
- Fear of being alone, the social stigma associated with divorce. Sadly one in three marriages end in divorce. Wouldn’t it be great if society did not judge this as a failure considering one in three has experienced something similar.
- Habit – being together has become a habit even if you don’t love each other – the feelings of despair considering changing after all this time, perhaps you feel you are too old to change now, so may as well just make the most of it.
- Don’t know how to tell your partner you feel its over. It is a difficult conversation to have, however the feelings won’t go away – you may feel numb and anxious at the thought of it, however trust your hearts knowing.
- Fear of rejection of family and friends, experiencing confusion as some of your family and friends may feel the need to take sides. This is not necessary as both of you are hurting, you need to be surrounded by loving, supportive people right now, now those in judgment.
- Fear of safety of self or children (eg domestic violence situation) please contact support in these situations.
If your heart feels it is not right for you to stay, then you must listen to your heart, explore your options, be open to and ask for support, feeling the feelings associated with the end of a relationship, be kind to yourself as you heal through this process and begin to rebuild a life for yourself. Remember your partner is hurting also be kind and compassionate as they also untangle and come to terms with an uncertain future. Its not necessarily anyones fault. Sometimes we simply grow apart or at different rates, our priorities have changed. Even if one of you did something that became a deal breaker – consider what you can learn from that – eg. when one party has an affair, often if you are honest there were issues in the relationship prior to the affair. Taking the time to be open and honest with yourself will result in learning, growth and healing the areas within you that don’t bring the best out in yourself or others. It may be possible you have another relationship in the future – do you and your potential partner a favour and heal as much as possible before then.
In the Resources Section there is a list of services available to offer assistance and support in the challenges of ending a relationship and the beginning to build a new life for yourself. Its difficult to know who these services are and where to find them, particularly when we are in a highly emotional state. These are by no means all the services available, yet they will be a start and if they are not able to help I’m sure they can recommend other services.
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