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Questions to Ask Before Ending a Relationship

2/21/09

Questions to Ask Before Ending a Relationship

Questioning yourself, the situation, and the future outcome of a break up are the things you should have in mind when considering ending a relationship. Writing out answers to some of the following questions may be a useful tool for determining if your relationship is at an end. Engaging in this activity may also help you to open a dialogue with the other person so you can repair the relationship.

Does my partner abuse me physically or mentally?

If the answer to this question is yes, leave the abusive relationship and get counseling immediately. Personal safety is not something that one should compromise for anyone.

Do I wish things could be worked out?

If you still have any sense that you would like to stay in the relationship, this may not be the time to end it. Seek out solutions instead. Even if things do not work out in the end, you will know that you really tried. This can make walking away less painful.

Do we take time to enjoy one another's company?

Many times a relationship begins to fail when a couple no longer spends time doing the things they enjoyed early in the relationship. Mortgages, kids, and careers can make a couple forget about movies, day trips, and sexual intimacy. If you have not made some time to be together, you should do so. Creating opportunities to remember why you liked each other in the first place can rekindle some of those dying embers into passionate flames.

Do we really communicate?

It is important for people to understand one another in order to communicate effectively. If either or both of you is nagging or tuning one another out, effective communication is not taking place. When a one or both members of a couple is not talking or listening effectively, it can do great harm to the trust in a relationship. If a couple wishes to create a healthy relationship, the parties need to learn to listen and speak to one another in a way that works. Sometimes counselors can help couples who have communication problems.

Do we still share common goals?

Many couples grow apart and develop different goals for their lives and the relationship. Some couples experience problems if they enter the relationship without discussing certain things because they did not see trouble coming. This does not have to be the undoing of a couple if the partners can communicate and compromise. Often goals about finances, careers, living situations, and relationship roles can be worked out.

Have I talked with my partner about the real problems in our relationship?

So often, people drift apart and forget how to identify and work on situations with communication and compromise. Instead of working towards resolutions for the real problems, couples fight about toilet seats and toothpaste caps out of frustration for unrelated and unresolved issues.

Are we able to forgive one another?

There is nothing more destructive to a relationship that holding a grudge. If you or your partner is unable to forgive one another for past transgressions, you will not be able to continue a relationship together.

Have we sought counseling to try to reconcile our differences?

If talking about your feelings only leads you to destructive arguing, seek out counseling from a professional who can coach you in the art of effective communication. A good counselor will help identify the underlying problems and offer solutions and exercises that will help you find resolution.

Has trust been broken?

This is a tough one. Maybe one of you cheated. There are no impossible situations. Even trust issues can be healed. But that means both of you have to have work together to build that trust again. Counseling may be in order.

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