Are you wondering, “Should I stay or leave this relationship?”
Are you uncertain about bringing your partner to couples therapy?
Your own personal therapy, without your partner, may help you figure out whether or not to try to save your relationship and if so, how.
When you feel alone and frustrated after a disagreement, a sense of hopelessness can become overwhelming.
Ambivalence about your relationship goes hand in hand with distance from your partner.
When you spend time and energy weighing the pros and cons of staying in your relationship, you will stay stuck ‘on the fence’ while the emotional distance keeps growing and your relationship will suffer.
You may now feel that your partner is not the same person you married. It no longer feels like a partnership of equals, sharing in your efforts to manage your family life. The problem often grows out of the unequal division of labour and responsibilities. It can also be the consequence of other deeper problems.
Is your Partner Self Absorbed?
He may be the most charming man one could imagine, accomplished, handsome and charismatic. Yet at other times he is cocky, self-absorbed, full of himself and conceited. Think of Mr. Big in Sex and the City or Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.
She may be the best dressed woman at your child’s parent-teacher night – looking like a model on the cover of the latest women’s fashion magazine. She dominates the floor with her opinions and assigns duties to others. She has it all, and if you don’t think so, she will be sure to let you know. She is like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. She is like Lucy in the Charlie Brown comic Peanuts.
Are you in a One-Way Relationship?
If it feels like you do all the giving and your partner does most of the taking, then perhaps your partner’s difficult personality could be called narcissistic. Here is a brief list of typical traits of a narcissist:
- Approval Seeking
- Emotionally detached
The degree of narcissism ranges from overt to covert to healthy. Your own personal counselling or psychotherapy can help you learn how to cope and learn what can change and what will likely remain the same. With this knowledge and insight, you can decide whether you want to stay or not.
If you feel like you are in a fog, we can help you become clearer about what to do.
Here are a few questions that help many people examine their dilemma about whether to stay or not:
- Think about when things between you and your partner were at their best. Would you say now that things during your ‘best times’ were really very good between you? (Rekindling the connection that has been lost is more likely to happen than trying to create a connection that was not there at the beginning)
- In spite of your problems, do you and your partner have at least one positive, pleasurable activity or interest that you currently share as a couple and look forward to sharing in the future; something you do together that you both enjoy and gives you a feeling of closeness for a while – besides your children?
- Stepping back from any temporary anger or disappointment, do you genuinely like your partner, and does your partner seem to like you?
- Do you and your partner want to touch or hold each other and make efforts to do so?
- Whatever was done that caused hurt or a feeling of betrayal, do you have the sense that the pain and damage has lessened with time?
- Is there a demonstrated capacity within your relationship for genuine forgiveness?
- Do you currently share goals and dreams for your life together?
The decision to stay or leave is far too important to make alone.
- The decision to end a marriage or a long-term relationship is a very difficult and complicated decision to make. This is especially true when you have children.
- An objective professional who has seen many couples struggle and knows what problems can be resolved and those that cannot, can help you sort out your feelings and make a wise decision.
How Jane Decided to Stay or Leave
Jane came with her husband Doug to see Allan in couples therapy. They had been together for 24 years and had two teenagers. In Allan’s individual meetings with each of them after the first joint session, it became obvious that they had two very different agendas. Doug was really disinterested in working on their marriage and was involved with another woman in an emotionally-close friendship. That relationship developed through their mutual interest to a new religion and its activities that Jane had no interest in. That did not matter to Doug.
In her session, Jane recounted how Doug had swept her off her feet when they met at university, but his erratic behaviour began to show when they moved in together. She became tolerant of his moods and behaviour but never felt emotionally close, intimate or secure. She continued to find him intellectually fascinating and acknowledged that she was naively optimistic that maybe someday he might change and they would be emotionally close. He was a very successful executive, making a very good living so it was possible for her to work part-time and devote more time to their children and her other interests. Her very content lifestyle and dedication to raising her children made it possible for her to overlook and even deny the emotional void in her marriage and her own loneliness.
When they met again jointly, Allan explained that he could not help them in couples therapy because they didn’t have a common agenda. The husband was unwilling to end his relationship with his female friend. His wife was unwilling to continue to be hurt by his involvement with the other woman and their religion. She wanted him to make a greater commitment to her.
After that session, Jane contacted Allan to ask if she could come on her own. She had confronted Doug about ending his relationship with his female friend which she believed was an emotional affair. Something finally clicked for her when he refused. She was ready to face her reality. She came to see Allan for several sessions as she and Doug began the process of separation and for support afterwards as she adjusted to her new life. In order to move on, Jane needed help to reflect upon her her 24-year relationship. She began to understand Doug’s personality style; why she was frustrated in the relationship, and why she kept trying to make it work for so long. She needed to know and fully understand this before she could grieve the loss of her marriage.
Jane became much happier as she adjusted to her new life. Having a new perspective about her ex-husband, her role in the marriage and feeling the loss of the relationship, she rediscovered her own strengths. She became more confident in her own decisions; enjoying personal activities more. She became closer with her children who were more at peace now that she was content. Parenting their children separately was easier, as communication and coordination became routine. Jane found it was much easier to set boundaries with Doug when she didn’t live with him. While Jane’s life was not always smooth, she came to be absolutely certain she had made a good decision.
This situation illustrates how a person reached a decision with their partner husband in therapy. Many others come on their own to figure out whether to stay or leave.
Have you already left the relationship and you want to rebuild your life now?
Making the transition to being single after a long-term committed relationship or marriage is very difficult. You may be feeling wounded. Your self esteem may be low. You might feel lots of doubts and be critical of yourself and others. Your mood may swing from anger to fear to sadness when you are reminded of your ended relationship. You may run into someone, hear a song, a special day of the year are a few reminders that can bring you down.
We have experience helping people navigate difficult life transitions.
Find out how personal counselling or psychotherapy can bring back your confidence, self-respect and self-esteem.
What You Can Expect From Personal Counselling or Psychotherapy
Most people want to come for counselling or psychotherapy when they have a strong sense that there are problems in their life which they need to address with the help of a professional. Often these times are after a failed or failing relationship and they recognize that they have been caught in repeating unhealthy patterns. Often issues have been developing for years without any successful resolution on their own.
Regular weekly appointments are necessary at the outset to help you feel relief of distress and make immediate changes, build a positive therapeutic relationship and generate hope.
Still have some questions? Call 416 489-5053
Book your FREE 15-minute telephone consultation.
When you book your phone consultation you will receive an email reply to your questions and a link to our online calendar. You can then book a Free Telephone Consultation appointment into our online schedule. If you prefer, you can phone and request a Free Telephone Consultation with the answering service. We want to know a little bit about your situation so we know how we can help.
1. First Two Sessions.
The first two personal counselling or psychotherapy sessions are 60 minutes long. This will give us a chance to learn about your concerns, get some background information and learn about what you would like to accomplish.
2. Subsequent Sessions.
People come to see us either once or twice weekly. Once-weekly sessions are 60 minutes long and twice-weekly sessions are 45 minutes long.
3. Follow-up Therapy Sessions.
We are committed to helping people make lasting change in their lives. We follow-up with you 3 to 6 months after the last regular session.
If you think you could benefit from personal counselling or psychotherapy, please book your free 15 minute phone consultation or for more information call 416 489-5053.
*All anonymous endorsements on this website were given voluntarily by our clients after the completion of their counselling and in keeping with principles of the Code of Ethics and Standards of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
New Insights Counselling has couples therapists/marriage counsellors, family therapists personal counselling and psychotherapy with counselling services in midtown Toronto at Yonge and Eglinton serving North York, Etobicoke, East York, Scarborough and in Newmarket serving Aurora, Bradford, Holland Landing, King City, Schomberg, Stouffville, Richmond Hill, Markham and Uxbridge Ontario.