Is your relationship falling apart? Are you two on the brink of a really, really bad breakup? Ask yourself these questions before giving up and calling it quits for good.
1. "How can we deal with the problems we have?"
Before throwing in the towel, talk with your man and try to analyze the relationship problems you’re dealing with. According to William Doherty, PhD, lead researcher on the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota, there are soft and hard problems. If your man is abusing you physically or verbally, then it’s time to get out. But if the problem is about growing apart or falling out of love, then it may be a code for an unrecognized problem like being lonely or feeling isolated.
2. "Have I talked to my partner about this?"
It may be verbal or through gestures—either way, communication is said to be a deciding factor in relationships. Don't assume that he knows exactly what you're talking about or how you're feeling. There may be a lot of unsaid things that could help restore your relationship with your man.
3. "Am I ready to start a new life without him?"
Whether you’ve been together for months or years, learning to leave the past behind can be difficult—but it’s possible. Don't be afraid to make a new life for yourself.
4. "Are we just too stressed out with other things?"
Finances, work, and family matters can take a toll on you and affect how you deal with your partner. So before you decide to call it quits, deal with your own issues first–separately.
5. "Will I be happier if I stay in this relationship or not?"
Are you staying for companionship or for the kids? You have to make it clear to yourself, and your partner as well, if both of you are staying together for the same reasons. If he cheated on you, consider the thought that he might do it again; if he constantly puts you down, know that he could do it again even though he already apologized. Always think of how your decision today will affect you in the long run.
This story originally appeared on Femalenetwork.com.