Why Circumstances Should Never Keep You In A Relationship You Want To Leave

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“I'm just not happy.”

The vagueness of the statement makes the sting even greater.

I know this because I've both heard it myself, and I have let the words fly past my lips in the context of a long-term relationship.

So often, when we give time, love and commitment (in so many different forms) to another person, splitting is misconstrued as giving up, throwing in the towel and recklessly abandoning something that perhaps could have worked if given more time.

But what about when you just know?

Most of us read the news about Brad and Angelina with clasped hands over our mouths in complete bewilderment.

But... the children. The tabloids. The movies. The work. The vacations.

How could she just... give up?

While I certainly have a hefty opinion about the exploitation of love and heartbreak, I think there's a huge lesson underlying the hurt and anger so many of the couple's fans are feeling.

If the relationship isn't right, it isn't right.

There are kids, a shared home, years of marriage, tears, triumphs and shared experiences.

There is love, no doubt, and there is likely a genuine understanding of one another.

If the relationship isn't right, it isn't right.

Sometimes, that just isn't enough. Yes, even Brad Pitt can feel the gut-wrench of not being the end all, be all.

Do I think every little argument or disagreement is grounds for a split? Absolutely not. Should problems be worked on, communicated transparently and reconsidered? Of course. But relationships can run their course, whether we are able to explain why this is or not.

It may be the least popular opinion in Hollywood, but the decision Angelina made is brave.

It is empowering.

We can be tempted by a content life, a comfortable situation and something that works just fine, but how many of us are able to risk giving that up because we're not the kind of happy we want and deserve to be?

How many of us settle into something that's good for fear of giving it up, just in case there isn't anything better out there for us?

There are so many rumors flying around as to what actually happened between Brangelina.. And as a scorned woman, a victim of infidelity and a person who loves hard and hopes naïvely, I get it.

I get the sadness. Most of us do. But what about the slower sadness?

The sadness of recognizing a relationship has gone from one level, down to one that seemingly keeps dropping. The sadness of feeling less than wonderful, less than adored or less than blissful.

There is something to be said about Angelina's bravado, her confident understanding of her feelings and her choice to act on them.

Staying in a relationship should never be circumstantial. It should never be an, “I'm not happy, but I'm staying because...” statement. It should never be something that holds us back.

It should never be an, 'I'm not happy, but I'm staying because...' statement.

Angelina did something so many of us are scared to do: She left a situation that was seemingly good in order to stay true to her wants, needs and happiness.

Before we judge the celebrities who split, break up or divorce, let's take a minute to think about the alternative.

Having it all doesn't mean the ring, the adoration, the kids and the home if “I'm just not happy” is hemming at the back of your mind.

It was a sad day for Brad and the millions of tabloid-trending onlookers, but to ignore the strength it takes to leave something that seems right when it just doesn't feel that way is irresponsible.

Don't let the circumstances of your relationship guide you to staying or leaving.

Your heart and your head know better.