How do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to a relationship? Many couples feel trapped, hopeless, and unhappy. But they may be afraid to end the relationship because of the uncertainty of what the future may bring and having to deal with the pain of a breakup.
There are some warning signs that your relationship is in trouble. If you recognize any of these signals in your own marriage or relationship, there are many things you can do to get things back on track.
Your life priorities have changed significantly.
Significant life changes or life experiences can trigger one partner to re-evaluate values, choices, and often make life changes. This could be due to a near-death experience such as a serious accident or illness, losing a job, losing a family member or close friend. Often, perceptions change. Some things lose their meaning. When this happens, these new ways of seeing things must be addressed, since it’s unlikely that such changes will just disappear.
Your marriage or relationship is a partnership, but the passion is missing.
Lots of doomed relationships manage to work—for a while. But when neither partner has any genuine enthusiasm for the relationship, it may be in trouble. Before accusing your partner of being boring or inattentive, take charge of improving your marriage. When was the last time you actually dressed up for a date with your spouse? As with anything in life – if you don’t grow together as a couple, you will grow apart.
You no longer trust your partner.
Trust takes time to build, but can be quickly damaged. About 50% of couples have affairs. Financial infidelity is also becoming more common, from overspending to gambling. Repeated offenses create permanent wounds. And a severe breach of trust, such as an infidelity, can cause serious harm to a relationship; and if it is not healed, the relationship may not recover.
Your partner’s lifestyle or values clash with yours.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to sustain a long-term relationship when you and your partner do not agree on some of life’s most basic things. Ideally, your choice of a spouse and life partner considered having common values and life goals. It’s more important that you are looking together in the same direction.
Values are deal-breakers in a relationship. Your core values, such as religion, values on raising children, or even very important lifestyle choices – such as wanting voluntary simplicity instead of living in luxury will cause a rift in your relationship. It is unfair to expect your partner to adopt your values after marriage.
On a smaller scale, couples later find that the very thing that attracted them to each other now dooms their relationship. In the beginning of the relationship, opposites attract; and those opposite qualities bring balance. The strong, silent-type now becomes the quintessential loner. The ambitious, career-driven person becomes a workaholic. Your need for excitement and being around people is squelched by your spouse’s need for solitude. These personality traits can be overcome with compromise and understanding.