In Part 1 we described a question we ask people when they're trying to figure out whether to stay in or leave a troubled relationship. The question requires that you tune in deeply within yourself to answer a primary question: Does the pain I feel overshadow the sense of possibility?
Now, we offer a second important question to consider when making a difficult choice:
There is a second question that can be useful in making the fateful decision of whether to leave or stay. Before asking the question, we ask people to transport themselves to an imaginary future a year from now. We ask them to look back from this imaginary future to where they are now and ask: Do I wish I'd left or stayed?
About four times out of every five, people who ask this question realize they've wanted to leave for a very long time. When we ask them to go into the imaginary future they suddenly realize that it's a disservice to themselves to stay longer. They wish they'd left. Others realize that it's not time to go yet. The trip into an imaginary future helps you clarify where you stand right now.
Of course, there are many practical considerations that go into a decision to leave relationships: Children, possessions, money, family connections. However, most people obsess on those issues without first consulting the depths of themselves to ask: Do I want to go or stay? Once you're clear about what you want, it's much easier to handle the practical considerations.
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