Relationships are hard work. We all know that. But the most difficult part is knowing the signs that signal your relationship is over and no longer worth the effort. It is a fine line and different for every couple. Only you can decide where and when that line is crossed and when it’s time to go your separate ways.
If you are wondering if your relationship has reached its end, here are a few considerations to help you decide:
The Bad Times Outweigh The Good
First off, let me say that all relationships are cyclical. There are good times and bad times and times in between when things are just ok. And you should expect that. That’s just life. It is unreasonable to think that your relationship is going to be like it was when you first met, five, ten or twenty years down the line.
But if you no longer notice a pattern and feel like you are stuck in one phase, i.e. the bad, it may be time to evaluate your relationship.
- Are the weeks full of more arguing than laughing? This may indicate that love has been replaced with hard feelings and resentment.
- Is all the arguing hardly ever about the exact subject that began the argument in the first place? It could be a sign of deeper-seated issues between you that are festering and left unsaid.
- Do you seem to have the same argument over and over again without any resolution? Maybe the two of you do not know how to communicate with each other properly.
- Did you used to discuss everything with each other and now hardly ever speak about anything else besides the kids? It could be a sign that one of you has already checked out of the relationship.
I am a big believer in couples therapy and I will always advocate for couples to try to work things out if they can, unless there is abuse or course. However, if one person has already emotionally separated, no matter how hard the other tries to fix things, the relationship will never be satisfying to either.
You Find It Difficult To Sympathize
Being part of a relationship means that you always have someone in your corner, someone that gets you and someone that wants the best for you. And both partners should feel that love and acceptable like a warm fuzzy blanket.
But what if you find yourself rolling your eyes when your partner is sick or upset? Or worse, muttering “Don’t be a baby.” and “Who cares.”, under your breath. Maybe you are on the receiving end of this type of conduct. Whether you are giving or receiving this type of behaviour, it doesn’t feel good.
Consider it a sign that you have lost the deep emotional connection you once had when it becomes difficult to sympathize with your partner. And it can be a slippery slope on the way to name calling and verbal abuse.
Don’t let it ever get that far. If you or your partner are no longer sympathetic to each other’s problems, either work on getting back to that safe space of caring or walk away before it gets nasty.
You Find Yourself Attracted To Other People
Most of us, when in love and happy with our partners, are not usually attracted to others. Although you always will notice the attractive appearance of another person, you typically do not think beyond that point.
But when you realize you are more aware of others and are even considering your options, in the event you were to become single, then that is indicative that, subconsciously, maybe you want to be single.
The absolute worse thing you could do is start another relationship with someone else before your present relationship is over. If you are strongly attracted to others, and day dream about being single again, don’t ignore these feelings. Challenge them. Explore them. Figure out why you feel this way. And if through self-evaluation you discover that your feelings are valid, leave the relationship before infidelity breaks it for good.
You are No Longer Interested in Sex
Once you’ve lost interest in having sex with your partner, you should be aware you’re not as attracted as you once were. Perhaps it’s for other reasons, such as how your partner makes you feel in connection with sex. Either way, sex is how we validate our love and transfer emotions into a physical way of exchanging our love. Therefore, whatever the reason, it’s a sign to consider.
It is important to find out if your lack of interest in sex is hormonal or medication related though. Don’t jump to the conclusion that it is about your partner or how you feel about them. You should go see your doctor and discuss it with them and see if your decreased libido is due to health reasons.
When Words Cut Deeper
If you’ve reached the point in your arguing that you realize you are deliberately trying to inflict pain with your words, it’s a strong indication that your pain is intense enough that you’re trying to inflict it upon your partner. It’s a way of attempting to make them feel the pain you feel. It is also vengeful and wrong. Not only should you not deliberately hurt someone else, but you should not be allowing yourself to hurt so deeply in a situation you’re perfectly capable of changing.
If the relationship is causing you such pain, you should seek help through a therapist. You need to deal with it because merely removing yourself from the relationship will not resolve your underlying issues and you will bring them with you into your next partnership.
It is amazing how we can adjust and adapt to relationships that are not healthy for us. We get comfortable or resist change or make excuses to justify staying in bad relationships.
Deciding to leave is not easy. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Especially if it takes a really long time to actually make the decision and act on it. However, if all the signs are there, perhaps it’s time to dig deep and take that first step. At the very least, you need to explore your feelings and get to the root of why you are feeling and acting the way you are.
You are in control of your life, and it will be what you make it. You deserve to be loved and feel happy. Make that your goal.