BOOKWORM: When do you cut and run on a lousy relationship?

Your bags have been packed so many times that you might just as well live out of your suitcase. And still, you haven’t taken the next step.

Your bags have been packed so many times that you might just as well live out of your suitcase. And still, you haven’t taken the next step.

You and The One You (Once) Loved have been fighting almost constantly. He makes you feel small. She’s constantly flinging digs at you. You can’t trust him any more. You can’t believe her any more.

You can’t decide what to do.

Will you have a better life alone? Get help choosing with “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay,” the new audiobook by Mira Kirshenbaum (performed by Adriane McNeely).

The first thing to understand is that staying or walking away is not your mother’s, your best friend’s or this audiobook’s decision to make. Only you can know if it’s time to make up or break up, but remember: if it was never very good, it’ll never be very good. And despite what you’re told, you are not the problem. The problem is “the method you’re using to make a decision.”

Think back to when you first fell in love. Is there still something you enjoy doing together outside the bedroom? Or do you usually avoid doing things with your partner because your interests and personalities clash?

Each of you has certain things you need from the relationship. Are your needs being obliterated, or does your partner make you feel diminished? Do the good feelings you have make sense? Can you “Get Naked” – that is, are you completely comfortable and can you trust your partner to tell the naked truth? Remember, says Kirshenbaum, when you’re in a relationship with a liar, your relationship is a lie.

Imagine what it will be like if you stay. Can you give more than you’re giving already? Can you let go of the problem? Does your partner see that there’s a problem, too? If not, most people are happier leaving.

But let’s say you’re really going to do it this time. You’ve even looked at apartments. What will life be like if you go? And how can you heal once you’re gone?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know how to act when you’re in a wobbly relationship. “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” won’t tell you what to do, but it will surely make things much clearer.

Using insightful, thought-provoking questions and research from her own work with couples, psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum teases out the truth about relationships, thereby helping individuals decide if they still want to be part of a couple.

While there’s no doubt that this audiobook is perfect for someone sitting on the stay-or-go fence, I also think it’s great confirmation for anyone who’s made a decision but is feeling shaky, as well as for anyone who needs personal insight and a few retrospective “aha!” moments.

Useful for men and women of any age, straight or gay, this audiobook is a must-have if you’re waffling about what to do in your relationship. For you, “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” is too helpful to pass up.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in West Salem, Wis., with her two dogs and 9,500 books.

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