Of course, some relationships are destructive, smothering or empty and they have to go. But these days breaking up and divorce have become so socially acceptable, that many couples who could work things out wind up dissolving their unions. And often there is a big price to pay for this. As a couples therapist and love expert, I’ve seen too many people regret ending their relationships. Usually the breakup itself is quite painful. They suffer with financial setbacks, emotional breakdowns and if they have kids, children's adjustment problems. Often they wind up alone and unhappy for years. And if they are not self-reflective and transform themselves as opposed to blaming their partners, they usually end up making the same mistakes again and again with different partners. If you have any doubts about this, check out the divorce rates for second and third marriages.

So before you leap back into being single contemplate these 20 questions. Be as honest as you can be and preferably ask your best friend, advisor, sponsor, or therapist to help you answer them honestly.

1. Have you searched within to see if you have given your all to this relationship?

2. Did you set aside time to be alone as a couple to continue your bond and friendship?

3. Were you clear and upfront in explaining what you wanted and needed from your partner?

4. Did you make a serious attempt to provide what your partner wanted and needed?

5. Have you noticed and appreciated the helpful or caring things he/she has done?

6. Have you tried out the viewpoint that everything your partner complains about is legitimate and something you need to be working on?

7. Have you tried treating him/her lovingly, the way you would like to be treated?

8. Have you checked to see if your partner is growing as a person?

9. Is your partner becoming someone who could have a more loving relationship with you?

10. Have you worked on forgiving and being forgiven in the relationship?

11. If you or your partner had an affair is it this event that is the primary reason for the breakup? Even affairs can be forgiven, if there is true remorse. Many times with the proper counseling the whole relationship can be turned around and get better after an affair.

12. Did you express more gratitude or criticism in the relationship?

13. Did you tell your partner directly that the problems in the relationship were so severe that you wanted out?

14. If there are sexual problems, did you try your best to work on them?

15. Did you try to create chemistry and attraction?

16. Did you set aside time for sex?

17. Did you spend time teaching each other how to give sensual and sexual pleasure?

18. Did you spend quality time really listening and paying close attention to your partner?

19. Have you made personal changes as per your partner’s suggestions that would be in your best interest?

20. Have you seen a couples therapist or counselor and given it your best shot?

If you cannot answer “yes” to most of these questions, reconsider ending the relationship. Go into couples therapy and work on the issues/behaviors in the questions you said “no” too. You may be able to save yourself (and your kids) from huge financial and emotional heartache. As the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke said,

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.
To locate a competent couples therapist, make an appointment for one consultation visit with two or three professionals to find a good fit for your relationship. You can get referrals from the American Psychological Association or the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy. Also, if you have any friends who have had success with a couples therapist, definitely have a consultation visit with that counselor as well.

You can learn much more about the latest research on building intimate relationships and techniques for preventing and recovering from breakups in my new book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Diana Kirschner is a psychologist who has helped thousands of singles get the love they want. Dr. Diana’s dating and relationship advice have been featured on the Today Show, where she is a frequent guest & the 90 Day Love Challenge on the Fox Morning Show. Her PBS Special, was based on her bestselling book, Love in 90 Days. Love in 90 Days is now in paperback with a new chapter, Dating Games Men Play! And to celebrate the launch be among the first 500 to order and get $100 in FREE BONUS GIFTS! Visit http://www.lovein90days.com/new-dating-book/

Dr.Diana's brand new Ultimate Secrets to Finding the Love you Want text message subscription program is also now available! Receive her ongoing love support, inspiration & powerful relationship tips on you cell phone for only pennies a day. And the first 500 subscribers get $500 in FREE BONUS GIFTS!
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