Dr Eve discusses what happens when couples realise they have differing needs, and have to decide if they can accommodate those within the relationship or not.
She says she has counselled couples in marriages and relationships that feel the relationship is 'just too good to leave but too bad to stay'.
These kind of relationships often have many positive aspects, but there are areas in which one partner is not feeling fulfilled.
These individuals find themselves in a dilemma. It feels like they are living in limbo, and individuals feel they are living an unlived life where they are not being true to themselves. They don't know how to move forward, because of the commitments they made to their partner in the beginning of the relationship.
Dr Eve says these days, with more technology available, people in these situations feel they have more choice to explore other options. She says in pre-technology days people tended to sit it out because of children or fear of being on their own.
According to Dr Eve, about 69 percent of relationship conflicts are caused by perpetual problems - fundamental differences in personality or lifestyle like sexual preferences and one partner's desire to explore new sexual experiences.
Dr Eve says gridlocked problems, are those perpetual problems that never get solved and "are seen as the pink elephant that seats in the room and nobody wants to talk about"
We talking about a particular lifestyle, feeling like you are not living the kind of life you want and there's something better waiting for you— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
Dr Eve gave a list of feelings that will help in knowing if you are happy to stay or leave in a current relationship.
• I’m pretending to be happy and fulfilled in my relationship
• I fantasize about being “independent” and single
• People would be surprised that we were splitting up
• I can no longer suppress my fetish – for example BDSM, foot fetish, transvestite
• I want to be with same sex people emotionally or/and sexually
• I want to open up my relationship- swinging , threesomes, polyamory
• I want a sexless relationship with my partner but want to stay married/committed
• I can no longer tolerate a sexless/sexually unsatisfying relationship
• I only want a co-parenting relationship with my partner
• Living apart together relationship- different cities, countries or houses or bedrooms
• Do you stay in familiarity and attachment or leave to tick your boxes?
Its not easy to end or terminate a relationship and that's why you stay. But people are staying and feeling 'I'm just too uncomfortable' and then it leads to what we call a vulnerability factor to acting out, and acting out could be cheating ... its a way of saying I am not living the life I want to be living in this relationship.— Dr Eve, clinical sexologist
Listen to the full conversation below:
This article first appeared on 702 : When you're at a relationship crossroads...do you leave or stay?