Whether or not to let go of a long-term relationship can be an extremely difficult decision to make. There are many aspects to relationships that complicate this decision. Many times people have children when with someone for many years. Other times hurting the other person is a major concern. Finally, some deal with financial concerns of their money being tied together with their partner’s. If you are in such a relationship, this can hopefully help you make a decision as to whether or not you should stay.

One of the most common reasons that I will hear as to why people are remaining together is that they have children together. The couple will claim that this is why they don’t want to break up. Most people are not being truthful with themselves when they say this, however. There are usually other reasons that people stay in their relationship, other than their children. Staying together for your children is taking an adult responsibility and placing this responsibility onto people who are not old enough to handle such difficult decisions is unfair. This is not in their hands. Think about when you were a child and how you felt if your parents were arguing or if they were giving each other the silent treatment. Children don’t necessarily benefit from two angry parent who aren’t trying to work through their problems staying together. They can, however, benefit a great deal from learning from people who are working through their difficulties to solve their problems.

Another issue that makes ending a relationship more difficult is that you likely care about your partner as a friend. In romantic relationships, a solid friendship is a necessary part of the equation. If friendship is not what is missing from your relationship, what is that is missing? Is it something that you can work on? If it is sex, there is a good chance that you may be able to work through some of your problems. If it is a lack of intimacy, and by intimacy I do not mean sex, then you can possibly work on feeling close again.

A reason not to end a relationship is because you sexually want another person, or you are having an affair. You have to decide and commit to a decision in your current relationship, before making decisions about a whole new one. If you are cheating on your partner, recognize that lust can be disguised as love. Because of all of the confusion associated with this difficult circumstance, deciding whether or not to break up is not likely appropriate for this situation.

Another reason that people stay in relationships is because they are financially reliant on the other person. Money is never a good reason to stay in a relationship. You’ll end up resenting the other person for fulfilling only a financial role in the relationship. This will likely lead to passive-aggressive on your part, because of your frustration with this situation.

It is best to ask yourself “what do I want out of this relationship?” Being as honest as possible about this, and then deciding what you want to do about it as a result. Honesty with yourself is the most important part of making such a challenging decision. If you are done with it, ask yourself why. If you determine that there is no hope in the relationship, you do not love the person you are with anymore, or you do not even like that person anymore, then it may be time to end the relationship. If you are wanting to end your current relationship to pursue another one, remember that you are likely acting on lust, which will not likely turn into a healthy, long-term relationship in the long run.