Updated: Sep 8
Am I in the right relationship? Is my marriage worth fighting for? Are we ever going to be in love again? I love my partner, but I don’t feel that feeling anymore. I love my partner, but our sex is lacking. I love my partner but I’m not in love.
So … should I stay I should I go? Should we split up or stay together?
Should I stay or should I go?
This dilemma haunts a good many people, in long-term marriages as well as brand-new or budding relationships. It’s genuinely unsettling when you don’t feel secure about the future of your relationship.
Whereas this dilemma shows up in many varieties, one common example was presented by a woman Sonika coached this week. She said, “Well, I love my husband, we’re a great team, we’re really good with our kids and family, we support each other, we’re good friends …. BUT … I’m not in love; I don’t feel that feeling, I don’t feel the passion anymore”.
We hear this story from both men and women, young and old, in new relationships or thirty-year marriages.
Listen to the full podcast episode here ... (Episode 13 on the podcast).
Doubt and questions
When this doubt is present for you, it comes with a host of other questions, such as …
Should we split up?
Could I do better elsewhere?
Can I live without the passion?
Why doesn’t he/she love me in that way anymore?
Why can’t he/she just …?
What’s wrong with me that I can’t make it work? What’s wrong with my partner, or our relationship?
It’s not supposed to be this hard, is it?
Will I ever feel alive again?
Am I wasting my time, spinning my wheels, in this relationship?
Should I just “cut my losses” now and start rebuilding?
Having these kinds of questions banging around in your head creates anxiety, stress, and a sense of “unsettledness”. It’s natural for us to want to eliminate those questions and get them answered asap!
However, this presents a new problem. When your relationship isn’t working the way you want it to, you’re missing a certain feeling. Call it in-love, passion, zest, aliveness, it goes by many names. Bottom line, you’re missing a feeling. How you try and fix that is by thinking your way to an answer.
In other words, you get “in your head” about it, trying to figure it out. But when you “get in your head”, you also pull away from your partner. When you’re haunted by “should I stay or should I go”, you compromise your own commitment, in effect jumping from one side of the fence to now sitting squarely ON the fence. And as we all know, sitting on the fence is painful.
Plus, the doubt created by these questions creates an energetic and emotional “leak” in your relationship, which to both parties feels like lessened commitment, which again compromise the trust you’ve built together.
Get a Free Trial to our “Mini-Workshops” A mini-workshop is a short how-to course that focuses on one specific relationship issue at a time. Each course includes step-by-step instruction and insight, and you get practical tools to try out on the spot. Instead of trying to deal with every problem in your relationship, you focus on how to rebuild trust, how to revive your intimacy, how to communicate more constructively, how to enjoy more sex and affection, or how to stay in love. And that’s just some of the available topics. Click the link here and sign up for a free trial (no strings attached), then dig in to the topic you most need help with.
Listen to the entire podcast to get the full picture.
The Intimacy-Passion Spectrum
So what is it we’re looking for you when you begin to wonder if you should look outside your current relationship?
This aspect is very elegantly covered by the renowned couples therapist Esther Perel who talks about the two concurrent, but opposing, needs we have in relationship. Think of them as being on opposite ends of a spectrum, which on end has Intimacy, and on the opposite end, Passion. We need both, but they work against one another. In a brand-new, just-fallen-in-love kind of relationship, there’s lots of passion. Passion is fueled by newness, uncertainty, risk, danger, adventure, and the unknown. But there’s not yet a lot of intimacy, which is fueled by honesty, familiarity, routine, safety, closeness, and predictability.
In the example I mentioned in the beginning, the woman has boatloads of intimacy, safety, and predictability, but longs for more passion, risk, edginess, and spontaneity. But you can easily imagine that if she decides to leave her marriage (which she still might), she’ll be freed up to pursue newness with someone else, but will have lost, partly or wholly, all the intimacy, familiarity, and safety she’s built with her husband over many years.
What to do?
What to do then? Well, there’s more in the podcast itself, but here’s a couple of really good questions to ask yourself, which will often open up new actions and insights for you:
How would I were totally committed and I didn’t even have the option to leave?
How would I be if I knew you were the one for me?
What would I do or say if I knew we were going to be together forever?
Those questions help you plug the energetic and emotional “leaks”, which is a faster way to get the clarity you seek. Whether the outcome eventually will be you staying or leaving, jumping in fully gets you the clarity faster.
We have a sort of rule of thumb about this question, Should I stay or should I go?
If you’re not ready to move out tomorrow, and if the questions are still rattling around in your head, you’re not done yet. Until you’re ready to walk out, be in all the way. You can trust the answer to present itself in due time.
You can always reach out to us for coaching support.
LoveWorks: We believe relationships are meant to be an empowering, fun, passionate, safe place to grow, love, and learn. Where we get to be more of who we are, not less. We know it’s not always easy, but it can definitely be easier! With our unique and practical approach to relationship, you learn how to resolve conflicts quickly and enjoy fulfilling intimacy for the rest of your life. To learn more or contact us, visit www.loveworkssolution.com.