Should I stay or should I leave? One way to help you make a very tough decision

If you’re in a relationship that isn’t great, it’s not normally a simple decision to opt out of it – more often than not, there are a lot of things to consider before deciding whether to stay and work it out, or walk away.

What if you have kids? What about any combined assets? Do you have any cash put aside for a rainy day (if you don’t, this is always something that’s worth doing, no matter how good your relationship is!)?

You basically have three options at this point in time:

  1. Stay and try to work things out
  2. Stay and keep going as you are
  3. Leave

What often happens in a troubled relationship is that number 1 hasn’t worked, so you’re left with the remaining two options. But it’s still not a simple decision. Could you possibly live the way you are, for the rest of your life?

Before somebody walks from a relationship, the fear of things staying as they are is bigger than the fear of the unknown (walking away), but this isn’t often all that clear.

This is where the “Benefits and Drawbacks Grid” comes into play.

You see, what it does is get you to think of the benefits and drawbacks of both staying and leaving, and jot them down.

When you have all of these written down, it becomes painfully clear in the example below, that there’s not many reasons to stay listed there, and plenty of drawbacks for doing so.

 

Stay Leave
Benefits

– Family stays together
– Less “drama” to deal with
– Don’t have to sell the house/split assets

– A chance of meeting somebody who treats me how I want to be treated
– A chance to feel loved
– A chance to find happiness with myself
– My money will be my own – more control over my finances and therefore less financial struggle

Drawbacks

– I will feel unhappy
– I will feel trapped
– Finances will remain messy as they have been for years
– Lack of trust will eat at me
– Will start to resent him
– My sadness will likely eat at me and affect other family members
– Putting on a brave face is tiring

– I will need to start all over again
– I won’t be able to spend as much time with my daughter
– Family Breaks Apart
– House will be lost (sold)
– Having to admit that I failed (again)

This grid can be used for any other situation where you’re struggling to make a decision between two or more options.

I had a business client once use this to decide on the direction of her business. Writing each benefit and drawback on the grid really clarified for her which way she should take her business.

Do you have a situation where this tool would help you to make a tough decision?

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