The agony of indecision. Not bad enough to leave not good enough to stay. Some people contemplate the decision to leave their partner for many years.
Anxiety is at it’s height when you do not know what to do. Life is only half lived. You put other things on hold – holidays, work promotions, DIY, hobbies, time with friends – everything is dealt with in a half-hearted manner whilst you ponder whether you should end your relationship. You don’t know what to do so you do nothing – you start to drift through life and everything becomes mediocre. No joy, no contentment, no pleasure, no hope, no fun.
Then perhaps you turn to distractions – an affair, alcohol, gambling, drugs, shopping, food – any addictive habit to give instant satisfaction and relief from the agony of indecision. Then eventually the decision is made – it’s either too late to leave -may as well live out our last years together in semi misery or the misery of indecision becomes so bad you decide leaving is the only way to escape. You want to make the right decision but in the end the decision is made through procrastination.
If you trawl the Internet you will find long lists of what you should consider in order to make the right decision.
Is your partner abusive? If yes – leave.
Can you afford to leave? If no – stay.
Do you love your partner? If yes stay but what if the partner you love is abusive? Leave.
Are you religious? Stay.
Have you both stopped trying? Go to counselling.
These practical decisions are not helpful. You know the answers but you are not sure if you are making the right decision. The only wrong decision is no decision because of the limbo it traps you in. There is a saying – Put up or shut up. Somehow all such sayings are based on wisdom that is inescapable.
When weighing up any decision in life remember there are three different options.
- What you want to do.
- What you should do.
- What you must do.
If you live your life through should – you may well stay for the sake of the children. If your should is to be grateful that someone married you in the first place – you will stay married.
If your must is to avoid disappointing your parents you will stay married. If your must is to be a good catholic you will stay married.
Confusing the wants, shoulds and musts is how people get stuck. What if you don’t know what you want? You just think you don’t know by the way – it is the shoulds and the musts that are getting in the way.
Here is a simply way to work out exactly what you want.
Imagine you won the lottery – millions and millions – no matter how rich you are you win more than your total net worth. What would you want to do with the money? Don’t think about it – your first instinctive answer is the key – be truthful with yourself – you don’t need to impress anyone.
A. Split it with your partner and go your separate ways.
B. Share it with your partner and use it to rebuild your lives together.
C. Hide it from your partner.
Your first answer will tell you whether you want to divorce or not – and what type of divorce you can expect. Next you simply need to decide whether you are going to do what you want or live by your shoulds and musts. By the way you can change your musts but it takes effort.
Once you make the decision – live with it. If you decide to give your life together a chance – set a deadline for things to improve – and put your best effort into improving them. If you decide you cannot leave even though you want to then make your best effort to make the most of the situation – after all it is your life. Live it the best you can…