Ending a relationship is painful: collecting clues and signs that the relationship is over, making a decision, and communicating it. It is a whole process.
The good memories get in the way, making your voice shake a little, perhaps your eyes water too, and making you think of rethinking the decision to end the relationship.
You end up not knowing when to end a relationship in the first place, especially a relationship with someone you still love and care about.
The first sign would be the fact that you’re asking yourself this question. You thought about when is it time to break up, perhaps you feel anxious about it, and you’re just looking for an answer to tell you the right thing to do.
It’s even more difficult if this long-term relationship is decorated with the status of ‘marriage’.
Here are 13 signs to let you know when to end a relationship or a marriage:
1. You don’t feel safe around your partner anymore
Not feeling safe around your partner – whether that is physical or emotional security – is one of the common signs that ring the breakup bell.
Healthy relationships are about security, stability, understanding, and genuine connecting.
When feeling threatened or somehow unsafe around your partner it can lead you to feel drained, and it can affect you a lot in the future. In this case, walking away would save you a lot of trauma, tears, and emotional burdens.
2. You can’t communicate to your partner about your feelings/needs/wants
Communication is a crucial part of the love base of a romantic relationship. When the communication starts dying out the relationship starts facing a lot of problems.
Those problems usually start small, but because of lack of communication, they lead to bigger troubles, and much more unpleasant behaviors directed to one another. Eventually, they accumulate and make big messes into the relationship.
If you can’t communicate to your partner about your feelings, needs, or wants due to fear of speaking your mind, or fear that they’ll overreact to it – a judgment made based on your partner’s behavioral patterns – then your needs won’t be met, and there’ll be room for resentment.
3. You think of breaking up with your partner very often
A happy and emotionally fulfilling relationship won’t leave room for thoughts of breaking up with your partner. On the contrary, in a happy and emotionally fulfilling relationship, the thought of losing touch with your partner is repelling and saddening.
There is something off if you happen to have breakup thoughts very often. If you didn’t consider talking to your partner about what’s bothering you, then do so. At least consider it.
You’re planting a seed with those thoughts, and something will grow out of it if you don’t take action on it (do what you’re thinking, or communicate with your partner): resentment, negativity, unhealthy patterns of behavior towards your partner.
4. You’ve tried working things out but still: Their presence in your life brings you negativity
Dating the right person makes you feel safe and secure when you’re around them.
You’ll know you have to end a relationship when instead of feeling security and stability, your relationship feels like it’s on unsafe and shaky ground that’s about to break any minute now.
A relationship isn’t healthy when the sole presence of your partner makes you have insecure, negative, pessimistic thoughts and approaches to yourself.
It’s time to end your relationship if you’ve noticed that those thoughts and ways of treating yourself are highly influenced by the presence of your partner.
You keep hoping that they’ll change, hence you get those “I’ll keep up with it a bit longer, I’ve got a feeling it’ll work out this time.”
At times it could be the only reason why you’re staying for such a long time.
5. You’ve been having massive arguments very often
Any connection has its ups and downs, and it’s alright if a couple fights now and then. But you’ll know there’s a real problem when those arguments and fights get massive and frequent.
At some point, it becomes a routine, and you either start getting good at it or you completely give up trying.
Arguing can be healthy, but they turn otherwise once the line of respect, care, and empathy is crossed.
If you end up insulting each other, playing mind games, putting each other down, and hardly ever apologizing for it, then we have a big problem: respect is lost.
Reconsider the relationship, perhaps end it for the sake of your mind’s peace.
6. It feels more wrong than it does feel right
We[humans] have a tremendously strong sense of communication and sensitivity when it comes to nonverbal signals we give and receive with/to one another.
In a romantic relationship, you’re connected to the person on a level that goes beyond the ordinary friend-to-friend connection: it’s intimate, dramatic, and impactful.
Since the romantic relationship plays a huge role in your life, you’ll surely notice differences, you’ll sense when things are ok, amazing, and wrong.
- You sense the relationship isn’t where it should be despite your attempts to improve it.
- You’re not happy or excited.
- You’re ‘dragging’ the relationship: you’re forcefully pushing it further for the sake of something else (not each other).
7. The relationship is toxic: it isn’t serving you any good and it seems unfixable
A toxic relationship can be defined in many ways. However, a toxic connection generally represents a connection that harms one or both of the people involved.
Harming can be physical or emotional. It’s very difficult to get back up and stand strong once the toxic behaviors start kicking in in a relationship.
Not getting any good from it will stop you from providing any good to it. In which case, you both end up unfulfilled, drained, or even damaged (usually, one more than the other).
There’s no point in a relationship if it’s not beneficial to both of you.
8. You feel the need to pretend so that you can please your partner
A healthy connection is also about accepting one another as you are, cherishing and supporting one another.
Once you feel the need to pretend to be someone else so that you can please your partner or to make them like you more, the relationship is not healthy.
It will lead to more pretending and more exhaustion for you. If they won’t accept your personality and ask you to change for them then that’s a partner you shouldn’t be with.
Note: There’s a difference between your partner helping you out to improve something, and your partner wanting you to be a completely different person.
9. There’s toleration instead of excitement
Your presence annoys one another and for some reason, you tolerate each other’s presence instead of being excited to have one another.
It can feel like you’re two strangers sticking out a little longer for the sake of some factor that put you two together in the first place (it’s often the old good times at the beginning of the relationship, children, a complicated work situation, etc).
You’re tolerating rather than cherishing each other’s presence if:
- You’re not there for each other.
- There’s resentment & contempt between you.
- You’re happier when you’re not around each other.
10. There’s no trust anymore
Lack of trust stems from either past experiences or behaviors that seem a little too suspicious.
Trust plays a huge role in a romantic relationship. Once it’s broken and the trust issues kick in in the relationship, there either needs to be a lot of work done (which takes will and desire to save the relationship) or to end the relationship there.
It’s a good idea to end the relationship once there’s no trust because oftentimes if not solved as a problem, trust issues cause controlling behaviors, insecurities, fights.
No relationship is better than a toxic draining one.
11. There’s been emotional and sexual distance for a long time
When the emotional and sexual distance is frequently present it leads to you feeling like strangers with one another. It makes it difficult for you to take the first step and break the ice so it creates a coldness and distance between you.
It can happen for various reasons, but it’s a pretty huge indicator that there’s something wrong within the relationship. You either have to end it or try to work the issue out if you haven’t already.
12. Recurring infidelity
Infidelity can be emotional, sexual, cyber, and so on. Even if it is a polyamorous relationship, it can be exposed to infidelity, to cheating.
20% of relationships end after one partner is caught cheating. 72% try to work things out, but only 7.2% succeed to work the entire relationship out.
Depending on the circumstances, in most cases, infidelity is a choice. It can be a need fulfilled outside the relationship, or something exciting not thought through, however, it’s done behind the partner’s back: betrayal.
It’s one of the most difficult things to go through in a relationship, and in a lot of cases, the damage is unfixable.
13. You don’t feel like trying anymore
It’s a good sign if you’ve got problems and you want to work them out because you love your partner so much. But once the will and desire to work things out in the relationship is gone, then it could be time to end it.
You let loose and don’t care what happens next because you’re exhausted. Love seems more like something distant that you had in the past, now you’re in the relationship waiting for it to end.
Take the first step. Relationships are about nourishing, caring, accepting, supporting one another. Once the relationship becomes draining, unfixable, filled with resentment, and feels like a trap, then it’s time to end it.
Things to consider when ending a long-term relationship – End the relationship, or give it another go?
1. Try to weigh the good memories and the present correctly. When the relationship is barely working it’s easy to get caught in break-up thoughts. However, once it comes to making the decision the good memories come into play blurring your vision of the present.
So, weigh the good memories from the past with your partner, and the bitter present of your relationship at this very moment. Think it through clearly without letting one blur the view of the other.
2. See if the signs resonate with you. One sign or two are not a big deal, since they could represent a few issues that could easily be solved with communication or couple’s therapy.
However, if too many of these signs resonate with you and your relationship, then it’s probably time to make a decision and save both of you the trust issues, doubts, and resentment.
3. Talk about it before breaking up. See if your partner is on the same page about it, see how they respond and if they’re willing to work this out or not.
If the relationship matters a lot to both of you, then talking about it and trying to address the problems verbally could help you both. If not solving the problems, at least come up with a decision to which you both agree.
|Helpful suggestion: Break-up Rituals|
Rethink your standards: How low is too low for you?
Most of the signs mentioned on the list are part of the extremes that potentially ruin a relationship.
However, that doesn’t have to be your standard. Consider your boundaries, how low is too low for you? Not cheating, or not arguing doesn’t have to mark the border.
If the relationship doesn’t make you happy despite the fidelity and the respect you have towards each other, then it’s a relationship that needs to be considered.
Think if they’re worthy of being in your life, worthy of your presence if they’re earning the time, love, and affection that you’re giving.
It can sound like a selfish way of doing this, but it’s not. You know your value, your credits, and your achievements. If the person doesn’t cherish you that could be a good enough reason to stop continuing the relationship with them.
See if the relationship and the person are worth fighting for. Most importantly, see if they’re worthy of your time, love, and attention.
Conclusion: When to end the relationship with him or her?
We’ve considered the things we need to consider when it comes to knowing when to break up with someone, be your girlfriend, boyfriend, or husband, wife. To sum it up, here’s how to know when to break up with someone:
1. You don’t feel safe around your partner (emotionally, physically, etc).
2. You barely communicate anything to each other.
3. Breakup thoughts are getting very frequent.
4. You’ve tried working things out, but they just didn’t.
5. The arguments are messy and frequent.
6. The relationship feels wrong more than it feels right.
7. It’s a toxic relationship.
8. You’re not yourself around your partner.
9. There’s no excitement, it’s just dull most of the time.
10. Trust is gone.
11. You’re emotionally and sexually distant from one another.
12. There’s cheating.
13. You don’t feel like trying anymore: You’re exhausted.
Those are a few signs you should break up, however, keep in mind that you decide what is low, you decide where the borders are and what decision comes next after those borders are crossed.