Is ending a relationship selfish?

Ending a relationship is never easy. And often choosing to end it is just as challenging as being the one who is broken up with. When we are the person who is leaving a relationship, we often face a lot of guilt and doubt. Even if all signs point to an exit being in our best interest, having 100% certainty is elusive.

There are many reasons for this. The first one being that we have become comfortable in the relationship and leaving it presents a great deal of uncertainty – which our ego does not like so much. We also may be running some co-dependent patterns and even if we know the relationship is unhealthy, it feels rather addictive because we have trouble truly being on our own.

And then there are the times when we love the other person and see the good in him or her, but know that being in the relationship is no longer for our Highest Good. These are the hardest relationships to leave.

There is a lot of self-doubt when we feel we do not have a “good” reason to leave, yet at the same time we know deep down that our values and the direction we are headed in, no longer align. We feel selfish, guilty and often end up staying out of obligation.

But is obligation love? Is staying out of guilt truly not selfish?


Sometimes what seems like a selfish choice is truly a self-honoring choice. And sometimes what we feel like will hurt a person, will actually help them more.

Now I am all for working on a relationship  – no relationship is perfect and every single relationship takes effort. However, some relationships come with what I call “expiration dates” meaning that you have grown as far as you can together and it is time to move on.

It also takes an equal commitment from both people to work on the relationship. If one person in the relationship stops working on themselves and/or the love they share for too long, then distance is created. The more distant two people become, the harder it is to come back together.

From my point of view, there is no excuse for becoming lazy or disconnected in a relationship. Sure we all go through tough times where more patience may be required from our partner, but if we start to use life circumstances as a scapegoat for not showing up in our relationships, then we are not being responsible for our 100% of the 50% of the relationship.

I have a great example of someone struggling with whether or not leaving a relationship is selfish or self honoring in episode 153 of my podcast. Brooke’s husband was diagnosed with a disease and ever since, has stopped showing up in the relationship. She feels obligated to stay. Should she stay or go? Is leaving selfish?

Go here to listen to the episode and find out how I coach her!

Expiration dates in a relationship and discerning when it is “right” to leave is an incredibly juicy topic so I’d love to hear your comments and questions below!



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