Whether a recent event has rocked the foundation of your relationship or you feel disconnected from your loved one over time, you may be questioning whether the partnership is even worth saving. On the one hand,  if you’re asking yourself this question in the first place it’s probably not a good sign.   Yet, on the other, current frustrations can make it difficult to recall good times – or envision a happy future. 

Fortunately, couples’ therapy can help you restore love and trust, but first, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the effort. The answer isn’t always as cut-and-dry as you might imagine, so here are a few questions to guide you through some introspection.

Are you filled with doubt when you think about leaving?

Sometimes, relationships naturally end when one or both parties reach their limits. Whether your partner has done something you consider unforgivable or there has been a series of issues piling up, it’s possible you could find yourself ready to walk away. If your mind feels made up, it’s likely time to go.

On the other hand, being wrought with uncertainty could indicate there are still positive qualities of the relationship, and that it’s ultimately worth salvaging. In these cases, trying to put more effort into the aspects that still work while getting help to address those that don’t may be a good solution to try.  

Have you maintained mutual respect?

Respect is difficult to rebuild after it’s been lost. Couples should be able to have disagreements without attacking each other’s characters or personal qualities. Should you find yourself arguing frequently, you may still be able to move forward if you avoid purposefully hurting one another with name-calling, mockery, and other actions that can damage respect.

Can strain be attributed to specific external factors?

Over the course of a relationship, couples are bound to face pressures from factors like challenges with in-laws, raising children, and careers. If you can trace the issues in your relationship to these external factors, it’s possible that you simply need to find new ways to approach these challenges together. On the other hand, if the problems are a result of specific behaviors and actions (either by one person or both), it could be time to reevaluate whether either party is willing to change – which brings us to our next point.  

Are you both willing to put in the effort?

Lastly, one of the simplest ways to answer whether the effort is “worth it” is to simply determine whether you’re both willing to put the necessary effort in. Many lasting relationships go through phases; some may have times where everything feels easy. During other periods, it may take real effort to communicate and show support. If you both recognize that there is hard work to be done but are ready to embrace the challenge, chances are your partnership is worth fighting for.