Question for Deepak:
My wife and I have been married for five years, but it's not working. We both want different things from life, and she does not support the direction in which I wish to head. We have tried marriage counseling several times without success. Leaving her would cause her much hurt, but I feel I would regret it if I compromise my life too much and stay with her. Should I leave her?
It sounds as if you have already given up on the future of a meaningful marriage, and are only considering remaining together to avoid the pain of separation. It is crucial for the love in a marriage to have a common goal, some evolutionary objective that you both can share in and can help each other attain.
This mutual purpose should simultaneously satisfy your personal needs and objectives as well, so that you are not sacrificing your core needs for the sake of the relationship.
It certainly is hard to stay in a marriage if the love you have with your wife does not have a common vision or goal which you can move toward together. If you are confident that this direction is essential to you and you are certain that this is not a goal she can be a part of, then it may be in the best interests of both of you to move on from the marriage. It doesn't sound as though it would be serving the lives of either of you simply to be stay together.
The consequent pain of separation won't be avoided or reduced by delaying the inevitable. The sooner there is honesty and clarity about what is the important direction for each of you to take now, the sooner your new lives can begin and the sooner the healing will occur.
The love that you do still hold for each other can be offered as respect and heartfelt wishes for the happiness of the other person on their continuing journey.