A few months ago, a friend asked me how I knew it was time to make a change in my relationship. At the time, they were experiencing a number of things in their relationship that didn’t work well for them.
There are a number of considerations but a big one for me was KNOWING that I needed more from the current situation than what I was getting, had been getting or was likely going to be able to negotiate. It took a long time to accept that I wasn’t getting as much out of life as I could have been and Rachel actually saw it a lot sooner than I did. About a year months ago I came home from work and she was crying. When I asked her why, she simply mentioned that she wished we had met after she had finished school.
The other factor was dreading going home or dreading hearing Rachel come home because I knew that I was going to feel something that wasn’t within my easy control – I would feel bad, under-accomplished, unlovable or lost. I would feel this REGARDLESS of the conversation I had with her or what was going on. Being in her presence was enough for me to start automatic behaviors that I didn’t consciously trigger. That is scary as far as I am concerned because I like being in control of my emotions.
It all comes down to the same thing though. When you open-up to the possibility that things need to change, they needed to change a while ago and that you actually NEED them to change in order to restore the minimum level of happiness to your life, your choice becomes a lot clearer than “hang in there”. Once you accept this possibility that change is needed, you’ve likely come too far to go back to thinking everything will be fine.