Isn't it true that despite increasing problems in a relationship, even when things have gone very bad, one or both partners continue to keep holding on?
Sometimes, despite everything, there is still some good and enjoyable aspects to the relationship and commonly there is responsibility for the welfare of others as well. These reasons, plus the harsh reality of the repercussions of disturbing the status quo, fear of change and the unknown, all conspire to act as a strong glue. And even when abuse is present, a kind of dependence has built up, a longing for the sense of completion that was once felt... But when the undercurrent of life is pulling both partners apart, the longer they remain together, the more stress and bad energy will build up between them.
If a relationship is actually meant to continue, regardless of difficult periods, both partners will remain committed to it. But if one has already begun to turn away or actually move on, then the extent to which the other accepts this will determine how much they tolerate and suffer before taking action.
This is especially so in a relationship where there is a big a gap between where each person is on their Inner Journey. If one partner has come to know who they are beyond the surface personality - an 'awaking' has happened - and now sees life from that perspective, and the other remains unconscious to this fuller appreciation of the connectedness of all things, there will no longer be the understanding in communication there was once. The awakening event in one partner creates a fundamental incompatibility between them which was not there before. From then on, overcoming the more profound problems and misunderstandings will be next to impossible, because each sees life in an entirely different way.
It is likely that the partner who has begun to awaken will subtly bring about positive changes in the other, but an actual awakening will only happen if it is their time. The partner who has the new understanding may come to believe they can drag their partner out into the 'light', but this is a wrong belief of the ego-mind.
We should listen to intuition, trust how we feel more than what our mind tells us - and if we do, at some point the right course of action will become known.
If moving on must happen, despite the trauma and upheaval, a space for a more compatible relationships to manifest will have been created.