Your relationships are immensely important. The best things in life are found in relationships, and good relationships will strengthen you as a person and increase your chances of success. However, unhealthy relationships will weaken you, and they can even ruin your life. Here I want to share some telltale signs that a relationship needs to end.
A caveat before we continue: this blog is primarily for people who are in a committed relationship outside of marriage. If you’re married, then your situation is more complicated. The subject of divorce is tricky, and I don’t feel qualified to give advice on that. I will say that if you are being abused, then you should separate yourself from your spouse in order to get away from a harmful environment. If a crime has been committed, contact the authorities.
#1 The Relationship is Continually Exhausting
No relationship will ever be perfect in this world. Each will have its challenges, and the closer you get to someone, the more both of your weaknesses will be exposed. This will take energy to sort through, and that’s ok. However, if your relationship constantly feels draining to you, then something’s wrong.
Ultimately, a romantic relationship should energize you more than it leaves you dry. You should enjoy being together and look forward to seeing each other. If going on a date this weekend sounds like a chore, then there’s a chance you need to break up.
#2 You are Routinely Disrespected
I’ve been married for a number of years, and sometimes I still make my wife feel slighted. I don’t mean to do this, but it happens. Conversely, sometimes she does things (or doesn’t do things) that make me feel disrespected. This is pretty normal in most marriages, and we always work it out. In other words, when I say “routinely disrespected”, I don’t mean that your partner sometimes offends you. I mean a pattern of disregard for your feelings. This is one of the most important signs that a relationship needs to end.
To be clear, if your significant other is bothering you and you haven’t brought this to their attention, then it’s on you to go to them and express your feelings. However, if they are apathetic or argumentative every time you do this, that’s a red flag. If they always turn the issue around on you, that’s a redder one. And if they rarely or ever make attempts to work with you on these issues, then you probably need to break up.
#3 You Uncover Consistent Deception
Trust is maybe the most important part of any relationship. It’s amazing the differences that two people can resolve when there’s strong, mutual trust. In contrast, it’s impossible to have a stable relationship without trust. You need to know that your partner has your back and that you can depend on them to be honest with you. Life is hard, and you can’t win your battles if you’re worried about your most important ally stabbing you in the back.
What I’m saying is that it’s a very, very bad sign to catch your significant other in a lie. This is one of the key signs that a relationship needs to end. It’s especially true when the lie is about hard facts, like where they were last night and if they did something they said they did. Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend anyone enter into a long-term relationship with someone who they’ve caught in a lie more than once.
#4 You Give But Rarely Receive
If you feel like you’re the only one in your relationship making concessions, then you may have a big problem.
To find out, you’ll need to check your perception. You can do this by writing out specific examples of concessions you’ve made for your significant other. Then make a list of the concessions they’ve made for you. If the lists are lopsided, then you need to ask yourself if you’re being assertive enough with your opinions and feelings. If you consistently bring your concerns to your partner and you still end up with the short end of the stick the majority of the time, then you may be dealing with an unreasonable or manipulative person.
It’s also possible that you could be in codependency with your partner. Codependent relationships are marked by one person being the dominant driver and the other being the passive appeaser. If you find yourself scared to confront your partner about things that bother you and they routinely confront you with things that bother them, then there’s a chance this is you. Regardless, something needs to be done.
5. There’s No Intimacy or Connection Apart From Sex
For the record, I’m of the opinion that people shouldn’t have sexual relations with each other outside of marriage. One of the reasons I believe this is because sex increases your spiritual connection with someone. When this happens, you’re bonded to that person at a deep level. This is bad if the other person is someone you wouldn’t like unless they were hot.
No relationship can be successful or life-giving if it’s founded solely on sexual attraction. Sooner or later, there needs to be mutual understanding, acceptance, and emotional intimacy. Without these things, the relationship will fail.
6. You Are Being Harmed
If you’re with someone who has ever physically abused you, you need to get away from them. If they’re not your spouse, my recommendation is to not give them another chance. Even if they are, another chance could be a very bad idea. Emotional and mental abuse are more complicated and can be harder to identify and define, but I still strongly recommend distancing yourself from anyone you feel abused by. Chances are, you need to do so for good.
7. You Know You’re Settling
How do you know you’re settling? If you’re constantly rationalizing why you should want to be with this person, you may be settling. When everything looks good on paper but you aren’t excited, you might be settling. If you’re with someone because you’re afraid you may never find someone else, then there’s a solid chance you are settling.
Lack of enthusiasm isn’t one of the most obvious signs that a relationship needs to end, but it’s important nonetheless. Be sure to be honest with yourself. The fact that you’re reading this list may be a sign in and of itself that you’re not where you need to be. Don’t let fear keep you in a relationship that you don’t think is worth fighting for.
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