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Marriage Over? 5 Questions To Ask Before Deciding To Divorce

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By Catherine Behan for YourTango.com

When a relationship is fizzling out, you know it. The intense chemistry you once had with your partner has shifted, and you spend more time not talking than talking. It isn't bad but it certainly isn't good either.

Have you ever stayed in a relationship just for the stuff? For example, do you have a great bed? One woman said she stayed in her relationship just because of a Tempur-Pedic mattress. Do you belong to a country club? Do you own a second home in another state that would no longer be yours if you left the relationship? All of this stuff can tempt you to stay in the relationship even if you know it should be over.

Is your happily-ever-after starting to look a little dim? When is it time to move on? It's important to realize that no man is perfect. No man is able to be everything that you need him to be. So, how does a woman know when to compromise in order to keep the peace or when to communicate to her partner in an effort to make the relationship work?

Staying for the stuff is a common choice, and the examples above are true stories of what people choose to stay in relationships for. Are you in a stay-or-go situation? Would you like a hit of psychic wisdom to let you know what to do next? Here are five key questions to consider if you're wondering if your relationship is over:

1. Do you have any chemistry left? If the red hot sexy chemistry has worn off, how are you feeling about that? Do you miss sex? Believe it or not, some people do not miss sex. It may be hard for you to believe it but in today's marriages, there are all kinds of compromises that work.

If the chemistry is dead, are there other worthwhile assets in the relationship? Is your partner open to you exploring your sexual satisfaction elsewhere? Can you talk about it? Lack of chemistry and sex does not automatically disqualify your man.

2. Are you companionable? If you and your man have many shared interests and enjoy doing things together, that is of tremendous value. Having a companion who likes to spend time with you may not be the same as having rough and tumble sex every night but for many people, it is enough.

Look for signs of companionability with your current mate. List the things you enjoy doing together. If some of your interests are laying dormant, then wake them up! See if you still enjoy his company while doing things you did in the beginning of your relationship.

3. Are you at home in your home? If you feel comfortable in your surroundings and are free to express yourself at home with music, art and food, you have something very valuable. Some tell me they are bored because there is not enough fireworks or excitement. I get that, but you can always take sky diving lessons or take an improv class if you want to get your adrenaline running.

Be very careful with what you define as boring. Living in peace with another person can be extremely fulfilling when you release that person from having the responsibility to supply the juice that gets your heart beating. Having peace with your partner can truly bring passion to your life.

4. Do you have a passion? Seriously. What is your passion outside of romance? Do you have a charity you support? My hubby volunteers with the cats at the shelter, socializing the kittens and getting them ready for adoption. Many others find a lot of pleasure and love with animals because they are often so much easier to love than people!

You need passion. Before you leave your relationship, work at finding a passion outside your current interests. Pour yourself into something that feeds your soul. What hobby did you enjoy 20 years ago? Why did you quit? Chances are your partner is feeling the stress of your needing him to be everything to you.

5. How nice is the stuff? This is a serious subject, and sometimes the loss of the stuff is considerable. When I divorced, I had a friend say to me, "I could never do what you are doing. I would lose too much."

Sometimes the stuff of life keeps you in longer than you should be there. No one can tell you how happy you are, or how happy you should be. All I can tell you is that when you approach your 50s, you need to be exceedingly careful before you move on. If you live in comfort, have companionability, and a reasonably good communication system, there is only one more thing you need to know so that you can stay... at least for now.

If you and your mate are considering parting ways, it is a serious thing for both of you. The one ingredient that I believe you must have to make it work is collaboration. Webster's defines collaboration as "the act of working with another on a joint project." Without collaboration, there is little chance your relationship will last. You have a joint project, whether you like it or not. The joint project is your coupleness, as you define it.

Review the five keys and make a date with yourself to seriously consider your current situation. If you still want to co-create something that works with your partner, recommit yourself to communicating that to him. If you need to, talk to a coach, mentor, pastor, or a good friend. Make a plan on how to impress upon your partner that creating a collaborative effort to jump start your withering relationship is your number one priority, and then act on that plan.

Have you ever stayed for the stuff? Is it worth it? Comment below and let us know where you stand.

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