When to End a Relationship

The decision on whether to end a relationship or “keep hanging on” is always heart-wrenching. The truth is, it never feels good to admit we made a mistake. And truth be told, it usually is very painful for most women to leave a man—even if he’s abusive, even if he makes her miserable. Because in many cases, you DO still love him. You do care about him. But you’re slowly realizing that you’re always unhappy and that you can’t see this relationship going on forever.

You may be scared of ending it…but the idea of the relationship ending somehow gives you peace. If this sounds like you, don’t feel guilty. Don’t think that you’re doing something cruel to him by ending the relationship. It’s not really a matter of being “good” to each other, as much as it’s a matter of SURVIVAL. If you are unhappy, then your survival instincts are telling you to get away. By wanting to end this relationship, you are telling him that you BOTH need to get away from each other and meet more compatible partners.

The truth is, staying together with someone you can’t stand is far more cruel to them than simply breaking up now before the relationship progresses. Imagine how terrible it would be to have children with a man you can’t stand, or to be married for decades to a man that has no idea how to make you happy. It’s cruel to the both of you.

But just in case you’re still wrestling with the decision on whether to end it or not, here are 7 signs that you are unhappy and that you will NEVER find happiness with this man.

1. You base the entire relationship on his potential and ability to change.

Sadly, this is why how many romances begin but then soon go up in flames. You like the idea of each other, you like the projection of success that he has. But you’re always thinking about CHANGE as the best part of the relationship. You’re not happy in the now and you’ve never been. You always fantasize about the relationship improving in a hypothetical future. Hypothetical scenarios rarely come true. It’s best to be in love with the man right now or else you’re sentencing the both of you to a life of misery.

2. He’s trying to change you.

The opposite end of you expecting too much from this man is when he tries to change you. Whether it’s aggressive bullying, codependent or gaslighting behavior, his motivation always seems to turn you into his fantasy lover, rather than accept you for who you are. Unfortunately, guys that want to change you over time are usually selfishly motivated. They don’t want you to be yourself—they just want you to play the perfect housewife role for them.

3. The bad days are far more miserable and common than the good days.

It’s true that every couple has bad days and good days. But if those good days are fun but rare, and they are dwarfed by bad days—characterized by him disrespecting you, devaluing you, not caring about your feelings, and making you feel shame constantly—then this is a doomed relationship.

4. Your partner constantly punishes you for wanting your independence and or his commitment.

Passive-aggressive behavior may not be as vicious as physical abuse, but it’s still unbearable to live with. If your man literally cannot do a simple favor for you without guilting you, giving you the cold, silent treatment, or embarrassing you in public, then this is another face of an abusive man who wants total control over you—not an equal relationship.

5. You are simply not yourself when you’re around your partner.

You seem to be playing a role around him, becoming his perfect fantasy, rather than actually showing him who you are. This is common behavior in casual dating, but by the time you’re in a committed relationship, showing honesty and sharing emotional intimacy is what makes the relationship strong. You are not behaving naturally and not bonding and so this entire relationship isn’t “real” beyond physical attraction.

6. You’re drifting apart because you want different things in life.

It’s not necessarily that you’re both selfish but rather, you’re simply going in two different directions. Your desires are different from his and by achieving your goals, you ignore his (and vice versa). Successful marriages are built upon two partners who are independent by nature and yet, they can come together to help each other achieve their goals. They may even have shared goals, making it easier and more fun to achieve them as a team.

When you don’t have those values, those lifelong objectives in common, you do start to drift apart. You may even get to the point where the ESCAPES from your usual marital routines make you happier than actually being with your partner in person. You may even seek out an activity (or a bad habit) as a coping mechanism for the unhappy relationship. If you got together when you were younger and based the entire relationship on a fantasy that you outgrew, it’s understandable why the relationship is all but dead, existing in name only.

7. He violated your trust by hiding unacceptable behaviors.

When you first form a bond with your partner you do so with understood terms and conditions. Whether it’s spoken or not, there are assumed prerequisites and unacceptable behaviors that both partners agree to. Therefore, when one partner discovers a lifelong pattern of breaking that code and engaging in unacceptable behavior that violates the bond she thought she had, this emotionally ends the marriage.

“Unacceptable behavior” could be anything, from cheating to physical or emotional abuse to even a lifetime of living a lie. Once one partner observes that the other partner has personally betrayed her, she becomes dead inside. The real mistake here is for the guilty partner to confess these indiscretions so many years later, which indicates a lack of empathy for the innocent partner’s feelings and dignity.

Remember that realizing your ultimate incompatibility doesn’t mean that you or your partner is abusive or malicious in intentions. Sometimes relationships are simply damaged beyond repair because of some glaring differences in perspectives and behaviors. Talking things over with your partner honestly and with compassion may help him to understand your perspective.

All we all want is to be happy in life for as long as possible. If the both of you are always miserable in each other’s company then that’s no way to live the rest of your life. Life is short and it’s far more practical to accept your mistakes and move forward to a more positive—and enjoyable!—future.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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