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Relationships: "Should I Stay, or Should I Leave?"

By Dr. Margaret Paul
February 19, 2021



Are you struggling with whether to stay in a relationship or leave? It might not be the right time to make this decision.



relationships, ending a relationshipHeather asked the following question:

"My boyfriend and I are on a two-month break, and during this time I realized that I have been trying to fix my boyfriend so that he would be the loving adult to me. I have been abandoning myself for five years, first by not taking loving care of myself when a substance addiction was revealed, then by pushing him to go to an addiction therapist and a 12-step program, and now Inner Bonding. All so I could control his indulgent behavior and get the love I need from him. I’m trying to decide if I should stay or leave. My inner conversations are not yet kind and compassionate towards myself and I am not feeling very supported. I just keep hearing a harsh voice telling me to leave. How to I decide what’s loving to me?"

Since Heather has been abandoning herself, she can't know the answer to whether she should stay or leave until she has practiced Inner Bonding long enough to develop her loving adult self.

 

How to Know When to Leave

She may be making the assumption that leaving is what is loving to her, but this might not be true. The time to leave is when she is taking loving care of herself, no longer trying to fix him, and no longer needy of his love to feel good about herself.

The fact that her inner conversations are not loving and kind toward herself indicates that her wounded self is doing the dialoguing – not her loving adult. This means that she is not yet practicing Inner Bonding, because with Inner Bonding it is our loving adult who compassionately asks the questions. Right now, Heather’s controlling wounded self seems to be in charge, which is why she cannot come to what is true and loving for herself.

She won’t feel supported until she is able to connect with her spiritual guidance so that she can dialogue as a loving adult.

 

Let go of the Outcome and Focus on the Process

The first thing Heather needs to do is let go of trying to decide whether to stay or leave, and instead focus on her intent. Until she shifts her intent from controlling him - and controlling her own feelings, to loving herself and then sharing her love with him, she won’t know whether staying or leaving the relationship is in her highest good.

Heather needs to let go of the outcome and focus on the process of Inner Bonding, of learning to be a loving adult with her inner child.

If she leaves the relationship before doing her inner healing work, she will likely take her self-abandoning behavior with her and create the same problems in her next relationship. Unless there is physical or emotional abuse in a relationship, it’s usually best to stay and do your inner work, before deciding to leave.

Once she is able to function as a loving adult, she will be able to know whether staying in this relationship is in her highest good. The relationship may improve, due to her growth, or it may worsen. In either case, the answer will be obvious.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.

Image by Sophie Janotta from Pixabay



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