Is it time to end your marriage? Here’s a simple decision tree to help you find out.
That first question is a doozy. Even if you think you want the relationship to work, I encourage you to dig a little bit deeper and see if there’s a subconscious intention that it NOT work. That’s going to sabotage any efforts you make at repairing it.
To sum it up, I believe you have the power to create the relationship you want with the person you’re already with through your own personal growth work. However, if they have a personality flaw that is harmful to you–they are abusive or they’re an alchoholic whose addiction endangers your children–you do need to move away from their unconscious behavior. That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that the relationship has to end. You may find that by creating that separation, they find the motivation they need to face that behavior and transform it.
If you’re married but don’t have children yet, I’m far more lenient on my opinion that you should stay together. However, know that whatever you’re experiencing with this person you WILL experience again in the future, so your own personal growth work is still required. You get to decide if this is the human you want to do the work with, if you want to go solo and try to do it while dating, or if you want to do it with someone else. But you will do it.
Finally, if you have children… do the work. Your personal growth work will eventually change the dynamic of your relationship which will likely save your marriage and will save your children from the trauma of divorce.