* Carefully weigh practical and lifestyle (including financial, social, extended family) considerations versus emotional and psychological considerations. Also be sure to fully and fairly explore all areas of your life — including your sex life, your spiritual and religious life, and the impact on your child/ children (if you have any) of staying or leaving your relationship.

Additional Ideas That Might Help You Make Up Your Mind

* Start working with a therapist — individually or jointly (that is, with both you and your partner present), preferably both — who specializes working with relationship issues.

* Consider whether or not you might want to try a trial separation prior to making your split permanent. Actually living through the experience, on a day-to-day basis, of not physically being with your partner, may provide you with valuable intellectual (cognitive) and emotional insights into your situation. Whatever you decide in the end may then be the result of giving yourself the best opportunity to have fewer regrets in the future.

Not infrequently, they end their relationships dysfunctionally and destructively. Again, this is very sad and regrettable — especially since this state of affairs might have been prevented with earlier intervention (that is, with the help of a third party — a competent professional).

You probably have gone over in your mind these opposing considerations. Perhaps at times you are in touch with a desperate need to get yourself out of the limbo of feeling torn, conflicted, and worn out by all your inner doubts (and perhaps obsessions) about what should be the best course of action for you to take. What are you to do when the advantages of staying in the relationship are just as convincing as the advantages of leaving the relationship?

* Read self-help books on relationship issues. One book you may wish to start with is Couple Skills (Second Edition): Making Your Relationship Work (2006), by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, and Kim Paleg.

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I now suggest that you step back from your seemingly opposite choices — your irresolvable dilemma — and consider additional options that you might have before you make your final decisions. Below are some further ideas and strategies for you to think about, or re-consider:

They have become emotionally disengaged, distant, and bitter. They have experienced bitterness, despair, and hopelessness for too long. They may have resorted to engaging in relationship destroying affairs, domestic violence, and/ or alcohol and other drug abuse, etc., and have cut their emotional ties quite thoroughly — sometimes years ago — with one another. At times, they have grown to intensely dislike — or even hate and detest one another.

–By Lawrence Kaufman; 561-302-0568; contact@kaufmancounseling.com; www.kaufmancounseling.com

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Now let’s get back to the central issue of this article: Is it better to stay in your (painfully) imperfect relationship and try your best to make it work, or “make the best of it,” or is it better to face the painful “reality” that your relationship is emotionally over and beyond saving, and it is best to live your life without him/ her? Obviously, there are many trade-offs involved no matter what you decide in the end to do.

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