In the spirit of spring-cleaning, I wanted to talk a little bit about identifying and releasing relationships that no longer serve you. Many of my clients have come to the crossroads in romantic relationships, friendships, and work relationships.

I usually tell people to trust their intuition. Nine times out of ten, if you are questioning a relationship, it’s worth exploring what the issue is and whether or not you should remain in the relationship.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re deciding if a relationship is worth saving or if you should make your exodus.

Just because you forgive someone, does NOT mean you’re obligated to stay in the relationship. If a friend, lover, or even an employer has betrayed you or let you down in a major way, you have to learn to forgive but you can choose to remove yourself from the relationship. It doesn’t mean that your forgiveness isn’t genuine, it just means that you choose to NOT risk possible future betrayals. You know what they say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”


Recognize how you FEEL when you’re with the person. If you feel uneasy or that you have to walk on eggshells or that you have to constantly get approval from a friend, significant other, or employer, ask yourself why. Try to pinpoint what you’re feeling and WHY you could be feeling this way. Think of specific examples of things that the person has said or done that cause you to feel this way. Sometimes, it’s us. Sometimes, it’s them. Either way, you owe it to yourself to get clarity.

Is this person a master manipulator? This is usually one of the more subtle qualities of a dysfunctional relationship and it’s often harder to put your finger on it. Usually, manipulative people, do things like:

  • turn your words around to use them against you
  • constantly blame “miscommunication” on things they’ve said that you called them on
  • sometimes make you feel as though you’re confused or crazy
  • they pout and give you the silent treatment if they don’t get their way

Emotional abuse is still ABUSE. I am astounded at the responses of people who encourage others to stay in a relationship if there is no physical abuse. People fail to realize that verbal and emotional abuse are also very damaging to the heart, mind, and soul. If you believe that, you are verbally or emotionally abused by a significant other, friend or employer, DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY. Begin to separate yourself from the person or situation and understand that you don’t have to subject yourself to abuse from anyone. As cliché as it sounds, love yourself more than you love the relationship or situation. Don’t break your own heart by staying!

As a life coach, my number one hope is that everyone works on him or herself and becomes happy and healthy and whole as individuals first. My number two hope is that these same happy, healthy whole people have happy, healthy, whole relationships with other happy, healthy, whole people 🙂