Your partner can deliver a blow that knocks you to the floor in pain. Sometimes the pain can seem unbearable and your only desire is to escape the pain. But should you escape or can the pain be overcome? That is the question that confronts many in committed relationships.
Is the pain more than you can bear?
Initially, the pain seems to be more than you can bear. How can your partner have hurt you so deeply? While it is natural to back away when hurt, it is important to allow time for the pain to lessen before you react. Pain causes our animal brain to react with aggressive anger, but anger can also lead to poor decisions. Chances are that the pain will lessen with time, particularly if your partner reacts well.
Is your partner willing to help you get off the mat?
Does your partner accept responsibility for causing pain. Does he or she minimize your pain? Is he or she showing compassion for your feelings? Your partner's reaction to your pain can make a big difference as to how you are able to absorb the pain and refocus on your relationship.
Has the pain changed your desire to be close?
A painful episode can change your perspective on your relationship, or relationships in general. Pain can seem like too high a price to pay for a relationship. Perhaps you reexamine your relationship and see a pattern of pain that leads you to feel hopeless that the relationship will improve.
Do you lack the courage to get off the mat?
Knowing that the relationship can be painful leads you to fear further pain. Facing this possibility requires courage. Courage means accepting the risk of repeated pain but also believing that you can survive regardless of the outcome.
Are you willing to accept personal responsibility for staying or leaving the relationship?
In the end, your partner cannot guarantee what your relationship will look like in the future. There is risk. Are you willing to accept that you must make a decision from within, not based on what your partner or others want. You are 100% responsible for the decision.
If you get off the mat, are you willing to keep fighting for an improved relationship?
It is not enough to stay in the relationship. You must be willing to give effort to address any and all issues that are a barrier to being close. Take time to decide what you want and what price you are willing to pay for the relationship.