Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It's one of the ways you can spot a woman in an abusive relationship. They ask themselves the question, time and time again, obsessively.

Actually, it's not the question that obsesses them so much as the answer. The hope is that if they ask themselves the question often enough, the answer will become the one they want. The desired answer is, of course,yes. Yes, they should stay because it will work out the way they'd like it to.

Of course, there are good reasons for wanting the relationship to metamorphose into the Happily-Ever-After kind. Ironically, abused women are driven by their very desperation to invest far more in their relationship than their emotionally fulfilled sisters do. They do so, not least, because of their spiralling isolation and self-doubt.

So a massive, draining conflict between emotion and reason ensues. Of course emotion wins the day for the longest time. 'The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of', Pascal observed back in the seventeenth century.

It's a great quote. It's even made it onto a T-shirt. (My daughter wore one such through the autumn.)

(C) Annie Kaszina 2005

In fact, how many of us have 'been there, done that and bought the T-shirt', metaphorically speaking, at least? And how many of us have muted the voice of reason by our persistent denial of it, for sentimental 'reasons'?

Nobody can tell another person whether they should stay or go ? although they may be sorely tempted. (The exquisite relief of telling a loved one that their partner is a cold-blooded reptile best returned to his dank swamp, can be a tough one to resist.)

Equally, when the boot's on the other foot, it's not something you want to hear. The only perspective on the problem that counts is your own.

If you feel ready to explore the same problem from a new ? broader ? perspective, it may be time to start asking yourself different questions. These are some of the questions you can ask yourself:

· Over time has my relationship improved, deteriorated or stayed the same?

· If it has consistently deteriorated, what grounds do I have for hoping for radical improvement?

· Is my partner prepared to make a medium to long-term commitment to improving the relationship?

· How am I validated and honoured in this relationship?

· What would you choose if you really believed you did not have to settle for second best?

Your answers should be self-explanatory. If you are looking for someone who will keep you on track and hold a vision for you while you learn to let your reason provide you with strength and direction, you may be ready to be coached.

Annie Kaszina

Joyful Coaching

An NLP Practitioner and Women's Empowerment Coach, Annie specialises in helping women heal relationship pain and attract the relationships they want. Email:[email protected] Websites:, To order Annie's eBook 'The Woman You Want To Be':

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