When to break up – part 3

In this post, we will continue with questions 21 to 30 to find out whether you should leave or stay. Only go through these if the first 10 questions and the second 10 questions did not indicate clearly that you should leave. Remember, if one answer indicates you should leave, its value in answering your question takes precedence above your answers to all other questions! (For more detail on how to use this diagnostic tool, refer to the break-up guidelines)



21 – Do you feel as if you and your partner have an essential commonality that is of value to your life, on a matter that makes you feel good and satisfied you share the same view, despite all differences between the two of you? (For example, even though a father and mother always feel as if they live two different lives next to each other rather than a shared life with one another, they may both value spending time with the children and love the other for sharing that value.)

If “yes” – stay if there are no other indications you should leave.



22 – If you consider the situation that will result after leaving, as based on all available information and thus on more realistic expectations, does it make leaving appear impossible, difficult or unpleasant? (Things to consider are: where will you live after? Can you afford it? Can you get from there to your work and back? How much money do you have for yourself after leaving? How realistic is it that you will meet new people? Is it likely you will feel lonely? Can you handle being alone? What influence will being single have on your work performance? Will the friends you think you have be there for you? Will your family support you morally, practically and financially if needed? Will you get shared custody, no custody or entire custody of your child(ren), and have you tried imagining if you will be able to live like that, and manage with emotional and practical consequences thereof?

If “yes” – stay, provided none of the other questions indicate you should leave. The answer to this question can shed a new perspective on issues that would otherwise motivate you to leave. So in the light of this, reconsider any other questions, and see if your answer still indicates you should leave before you actually decide to leave.



23 –  If you consider the situation that will result after leaving as based on all available information and thus on more realistic expectations, does it make leaving appear less difficult than you first thought, and does leaving now appear to be a more attractive option? Now does staying seem like a bad idea? (Things to take into consideration are the same as for item 22.)

If “yes” – leave.



24 – Does your partner make you feel like a nobody, a loser, an idiot, a crazy person or a failed wannabe who can’t change anything about that, in relation to something which is of major importance to you? If the complaint is that you are always tired, and you know it is true, and you don’t really have an urge to be considered as an indestructible superhero that never gets tired, than that’s okay. However, if you feel like the complaint is about your whole person (for example, when you get the “you are ALWAYS…” comment habitually thrown at you) , or if your partner makes you feel you do not have the ability to achieve your dream or makes you feel you are really bad at something you really like being good at, then the answer is “yes”.

If “yes” – leave.


If you feel like you should apologize for who you are, rather than for something you did, you are with the wrong person.


25 – Based on the bad feelings about yourself your partner tends to elicit through words and/or deeds, are you trying to reduce contact with her/him?

If “yes” – leave. You may have continued to live with such a partner up to now, simply because (a) the derogatory comments about you have become part of your life, so they feel normal; because (2) you know there are some things that aren’t perfect about you and could be better, so you believe the comments are somehow justified; because (3) you now habitually dissociate from your own feelings in order to prevent feeling hurt, and because ($) you are in denial of what is happening, simply because you want to be loved by that person.

Hedgehog rolled up.jpg

If you only feel safe when you roll up into a ball rather than in the arms of your loved one, then you need someone else who can make you feel really loved.


26 – Does your partner value you? Is (s)he is there on the moment that really matters? Does (s)he make you feel (s)he has empathy for you? Does (s)he support you in things you like to do, and does this makes a big positive difference for you?

If “yes” – stay.


27 – Would you feel like you miss something crucial in your life if your partner wouldn’t be there anymore? (This is not about the admiration you have for your partner’s functional use for you or prestige, but for the emotional value. Imagine how you’d feel if day in day out, every year of your life you wouldn’t have your partner anymore.)

If “no” – leave.


Just think of the things you will not miss


28 – Do you feel sadness or emotional pain caused to you by your partner in the past has become less strong? (A way in which your partner broke your trust can be anything, not only having an affair, but something as making jokes of your efforts you do to impress him/her and his/her colleagues, friends or other people that matter; it can be that you made a big life decision together, but only on certain conditions and after you found out the other is not keeping to his/her promise in living up to those conditions; it can be your partner used the savings you have collected for a goal very important to your life; it can be your partner is not emotionally supportive when you needed him/her most. It doesn’t matter whether it is something no-one would be able to forgive, or whether it feels to your partner that you just have an obsessive urge to keep feeling upset over something forgivable. What matters is whether your feelings show any healing.)

If “no” – leave.

However, if there is some change for the better in your feelings over the course of time, your relationship can still recover. So, how to tell? If in the first month you manage to talk with your partner in a relatively normal fashion over unrelated things. After the first month, the thought of what happened hurts a little less – the wound is slightly smaller. After a year, you are able to listen to your partner if (s)he talks about it from her/his perspective, without getting too upset and you can get back to your habitual life from before the event. After five years: if you can talk openly about what it meant, productively and without avoiding deal with the wound and what caused the hurtful behavior in order to draw a lesson. What you want to see is whether a (usually slow) healing process is taking place at all, or whether it just remains an open wound for eternity.

man crying

It doesn’t matter whether other people think you should not feel so hurt by what has happened, that you should just let go, or that such a thing does even matter. Feelings are real, and others cannot feel what you feel.


29 – Is there a capacity to forgive? Did the person that got hurt truly forgive, and did the one who caused the hurt do something to repent and show remorse? Can the hurt one let go of the anger and sadness and fear of it repeating? Is the hurt one someone who easily forgives smaller incidents? Does the one who caused the hurt truly feel sorry? (To see if the one who caused the hurt truly feels sorry rather than just says so to stop the talk about this topic, (s)he needs to be able to show (s)he understands the impact of what has been done, of why you feel hurt and sad, and that (s)he would feel equally hurt and sad when it would happen to her/him.

If “no” – leave. If you can’t find the way to forgiveness, you can’t find the way to each other.

batman revenge

If you are out for revenge because you cannot forgive, it is time to walk out.


30 – Do arguments or negotiations lead to a productive solution that at least partially meets your needs? (Even when arguments are heated, if they lead to an acceptable compromise, it is a good sign.)

If “no” – leave. If your partner makes big decisions without informing you or giving you any voice in it (often saying it’s her/his right to do what (s)he want, and telling you that you are just as much allowed to do what you want); if promises aren’t kept; if your communication turns into a formal, emotionally distant interaction; if you feel negotiating to reach a compromise costs really a lot of effort because one of you is too angry to really listen, or too afraid of getting the worst deal, or too afraid of conflict due to past experience, or too afraid expecting your partner threatening to end the relationship you – that means your needs will never be met.

argumenting girlfriend

If you recognize yourself in this man, it’s because you have got nothing to say in your own relationship. Leave that b*tch



Haven’t got your definite answer yet? Continue with the final part!


2 thoughts on “When to break up – part 3

  1. Pingback: When to break up – part 2 | braineggs

  2. Pingback: When to break up – guidelines | braineggs

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