Whether to stay in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship or breakup and move on is a tough decision. Change is hard and I’m a believer that people aren’t ready until they are ready. Even so, instead of decision through indecision, be intentional.
When asking yourself should you stay or go, consider these tips:
- What do you get out of waiting & staying? Is it an identifiable, important advantage? For example the ability to stay home and raise children, access to financial resources, continuing a desired lifestyle, or maintaining health insurance.
- What do you lose by staying? Can you make up for it later? Sometimes sacrifice is worth it. Sometimes not because it’s too much or too long or too important.
- What does going look like? Go beyond imagining “what if” & gather information. Get real without committing. If moving out is involved, figure out your plan/budget & how to finance it. Talk with an attorney about the legal consequences.
- What’s at risk if you stay? Again, gather information & get realistic. If safety’s at risk, develop a safety plan. If happiness, work with a therapist. If finances, consult a financial planner. If your children, seek advice of a child development expert. And consult an attorney about what your sacrifice means legally & to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- When to check in with yourself? A decision, once made, may be forever…or not. Change happens. Don’t be afraid to revisit your plan & be flexible.
When seeking advice, please do yourself a favor & consult a family attorney. Time & again clients are unhappy to learn the legal consequences of staying in a long, unhappy marriage after it’s too late.
It’s your one & only life. Only you live it. Whether you stay or go, make it your choice…the best you can for now & in circumstances in which you find yourself.
Since 2002, Lindsay Parvis has represented clients in Maryland custody, divorce, and marital matters. She negotiates, litigates, and advocates for the best interests of her clients, whether in contested litigation, uncontested settlement, or premarital and other agreements. Her clients are not only spouses and parents, but also children whose interests she is appointed by the court to represent in contested custody litigation. Lindsay strives to improve Maryland law in the General Assembly, volunteering her time to monitor, advocate, and educate about legislative developments in family law.