I came across this article and recognized some of the dynamics as themes that we see at PeaceTalks on a regular and all too frequent basis. It sometimes helps if an idea about an important decision process comes from a third party so feel free to share this with anyone.
Why You Stayed in That Unhappy
Relationship for Too Long
By Ian Kerner, CNN
Recent studies suggest that people stay in unsatisfying relationships because they’re concerned about hurting their partner’s feelings.
“In my experience, there are most often underlying fears and insecurities that prevent people from moving forward into a life that might be less comfortable but ultimately happier and more authentic. These couples tend to settle into a ‘good enough’ relationship,” sex therapist Holly Richmond said. “But there is almost always a point where it’s obvious that not good enough is truly not good enough, and it causes more harm to the unhappy person to stay than it would to their partner if they left.”
Concerns about children, finances, friends, lifestyle and standing in the community can also influence the decision to stay together. “In my practice, I see clients who stay in relationships because they’re worried they won’t find another partner, while others remain because they don’t want to deprive their children from having the other parent in their day-to-day life,” sex therapist Sari Cooper said.
But staying in an unhappy relationship doesn’t do anyone any favors, sex therapist Kristen Lilla said. “Staying because you don’t want to hurt someone else is selfish because it takes away the other person’s agency to make a decision,” she explained. “You are deciding that your partner will not be OK without you, so you stay with them out of pity.”
These are a few examples of why we make sure that anyone that comes to PeaceTalks has access to a behavioral health professional in case a “need to talk to someone” situation needs some support. We understand the process that determines the decision and your first call might need to be to someone other than a lawyer in order to make an informed decision.