Relationships are fragile things. No matter how long you've been together, you're bound to experience the normal range of ups and downs every couple goes through. Some relationships though — be they a new dating relationship or a marriage years in the making — are too broken to fix. Things like infidelity, incompatibility, and differing life goals are only a few of the things that are worth ending your relationship over. As difficult as it may be to think about, some people are better off without each other; toxic relationships can be impossible to fix.
Adding kids into the mix makes matters even more complicated, of course. As hard as it can be to consider separation or divorce when you've got kids involved, in some cases, there's no way around it.
Now, it's worth pointing out that these signs aren't to be taken lightly. Ending a relationship (especially a long term one) is a decision that requires time, thought, and oftentimes, making self-preservation a priority. However, if these "symptoms" show up frequently in your relationship and the happy moments are few and far between, considering the possibility of ending it isn't crazy.
Whether you're with a textbook narcissist, an abuser, a liar, or someone whose issues don't mesh with your own, relationships are as breakable as the people in them. Knowing the signs that it's time to call it quits is an important, albeit incredibly difficult, discussion to have internally, and eventually, with your partner.
1. You Have Different Goals For Your Futures
It's normal for you and your partner to have your own set of dreams, talents, and plans and it's totally ok if they don't align 100 percent of the time. But if you want completely different things out of life, the Marriage and Family Clinic noted that it may be best if you go separate ways. There is a difference between compromising to reach a mutual goal, but if you're having to put all of your hopes and dreams on hold for them, the relationship isn't worth the pain it will cause you down the road.
2. You Feel Insecure In The Relationship, All The Time
Your partner should be the one who makes you feel most comfortable and confident. If you feel insecure around them, like you can never be yourself, it may be time to walk away. Although, as Jennice Vilhauer, PhD, the director of the Outpatient Psychotherapy Treatment Program at Emory Healthcare, wrote in Psychology Today, some insecurities can be managed, but when they're caused by your partner's actions and cause you to feel unsafe, it won't be worth the hurt.
3. Your Values Don't Align
It's impossible for every couple to agree on everything, but if your core values don't align, you probably shouldn't be together in the first place. In an article for Forbes, Natalie Hahn, a life and relationship coach, explained the importance of "seeing yourself" in your partner.
Think about how this person shows up in your life - the decisions they make, what they say, how they respond to certain situations or what they choose to do with their time. What do these things tell you about their values? Write it down in a list. Then read it ... Does this list reflect your values?
It's worth noting that it's possible to be in a relationship with someone whom you disagree with, but, chances are, you'll notice some of these other symptoms pop up sooner or later as a result of your mismatched values.
3. You Never Seem To Make Each Other Happy
There is a difference between having too high of expectations and being endlessly unhappy with each other. If nothing you do ever seems to be enough for your partner, chances are it never will be. According to Samantha Rodman, PhD, in an article for Huff Post, this kind of unhappiness is often very deep seeded and not just the fault of one person. If you feel that you're constantly falling short of your partner's high expectations, consider getting to the root of the issue (perhaps with the help of a professional) before calling it quits.
5. You Have A Hard Time Praising Your SO To Other People
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't be with them at all. That's how the phrase goes, right? Of course, there will be seasons when you're irritated with your partner and can't really think of nice things to say when you're out with your friends, but if you can't praise who they are as a person or see value in their personality, chances are there are other reasons for your feelings.
6. They Are Abusive In Any Sense Of The Word
According to Love Is Respect, a resource for people seeking help in abusive relationships started by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse of any kind in a relationship is unacceptable. Abuse isn't always physical, it can be emotional, verbal, sexual, or financial, and can creep in slowly or be present all along.
7. You Can't Communicate Without Fighting
Some couples fight more than others, and that's fine. But according to Alexandra H. Solomon, a clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University in an article for Huff Post, couples on the road to divorce often feel like they stop communicating with each other long before they call it quits. She noted that "when spouses become emotionally and physically disengaged, they can start to question their love for each other and wonder, ‘What are we all about?’ At its worst, disengagement can make it feel like you are participating in something you no longer believe in." Luckily, disengagement and fighting doesn't have to mean the end of a relationship, but its worth getting to the root of the problem.
8. They Try To Control You
Control battles are common issues most relationships face, but to a certain extent, they can be deal breakers. According to Psychology Today, a partner who isolates you from others, criticizes your every move, threatens you or makes their love feel conditional upon your behavior is too controlling to be with.
9. You Feel Like You Can't Have Other Friendships Outside Of Your Partner
Along the same lines as being too controlling, some toxic partners will try to isolate their SO from all outside relationships, making them feel like they're cheating when they're not or like they're neglecting their partner when they're not.
10. They've Been Unfaithful
11. You've Been Unfaithful
The same holds true if you're the one who has cheated. Even if your partner forgives you or can move on from the incident, the things that lead you to cheat in the first place may be too hard to overcome, the aforementioned Women's Day article also noted.
12. You Don't Trust Them
Trust is essential for any relationship to have at its foundation. Bolde, a women's relationship and lifestyle website, went so far as to say that if you can't trust them, you shouldn't be with them.
13. You're Continually Hoping That "X Situation" Will Make Everything Better
Of course, sometimes people change and things do get better, but if you're constantly hoping for the "next thing" to make your relationship better (a new job, moving to a new home, going to a new therapist) and it never seems to, the relationship may be past salvaging.
14. You'd Rather Be Alone Than Together
The aforementioned Women's Day article noted that when you both spend more time apart then together by choice, you've already disengaged from the relationship.
15. You're The Only One Willing To Improve
Most issues in a relationship are able to be solved, unless, Women's Day also noted, one partner refuses to put in effort. If it comes to that, what's the point?
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