Ask yourself: Why are you holding on to a troubled relationship so tightly?
It's not easy to decide when enough is enough and walk away. It's especially hard when you've invested a lot of time and deep emotions are involved.
There's a saying that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It can be really hard to discern who is worth holding on to and when it’s appropriate to just let go.
There will come a time in your troubled relationship when you will find yourself asking, "How much more frustration, worry or sadness am I prepared to take in order to keep this relationship going?"
It's not easy to end a difficult relationship if it's been big part of your life. And honestly, these relationships are always a big part of your life because they're full of drama and require so much of your constant attention.
It's not uncommon to find yourself caught in the trap of "wishful hoping," which keeps you more focused on the future and avoiding the truth of the present. We've all been there; making excuses for bad behavior and rationalizing against all odds how things are bound to get better.
You may have been working on yourself for years and found, much to your frustration, that it has helped you, but it hasn't changed your partner's behavior at all. That's another trap because the fact is it's not your business to try to change anyone else. But then you discover you're spending most of your time and energy trying to do just that!
You have to ask yourself why you're holding on to a troubled relationship so tightly. How is this relationship serving you? There must be some benefit you're receiving or you wouldn't be putting up with the discomfort and the pain. Sometimes ,the benefit is that you have an excuse not to take responsibility for your own life (being a victim) because you're distracted with your "relationship problem."
Also, you have to know that the biggest reason you hold on long after you should let go is fear. You're afraid to be alone or afraid there will be no one else who will want you. But fear will be your jailor and will color every aspect of your life. Living with fear is the same as being in a state of constant stress. It will negatively affect your mind and body.
To know whether to leave a troubled relationship you have to ask yourself some tough questions: Are you staying in the relationship hoping your partner will change? Have you lost a part of yourself by denying what you want and need just to keep the relationship going? Is the relationship getting better and stronger with time or is it getting more chaotic and difficult?
If the answer to any of these is "yes", you should consider leaving. You may be responsible for creating the relationships in your life, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer in a relationship if it is no longer working for you. As Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better."
You can be in a healthy relationship, one where you and your partner get along as equals. One where you're both doing the work needed to keep love and respect your first priority.
More relationship advice for women from YourTango:
This article was originally published at It's Never Too Late to Marry . Reprinted with permission from the author.