When your relationship is on the rocks, you’ll experience a lot of extremes as a couple: more fights, more tears, more unhappiness. You may make up a few times, but inevitably, the cycle starts all over again. So when is it actually time to say goodbye?
You’re in it alone
According to Caird Urquhart, author of 30 Ways to Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped, the first clue is when one person has simply stopped putting in effort. That may come in a variety of forms, such as being “busy” more often or less interested in communicating or working toward a solution. You might notice a lack of support for the other person and increased frustration with the little things. “If either party isn’t interested in continuing to make the effort, the end is near. You can’t control how someone else feels. What you can control is how you think and how you react,” says Urquhart.
Change is the only constant
Change is a part of life, but it can be tough on a couple. When one partner “evolves” and the other remains unchanged, a goodbye may be near. Perhaps you’ve become passionate about healthy living, while your partner has no interest in leaving the coach. Maybe you’re laser-focused on building a career, while your partner is content to work fewer hours and have more play time. Neither person is right or wrong when change happens, but if you’re not on the same page, it’s time to turn to a new chapter.
Urquhart says that relationships never really end; they just turn into something else. It’s important to recognize that change isn’t a negative: “You and your partner evolve for continued growth, but when we hang onto the course of our lives too tightly, we feel the pain of change the most. Evolution is part of the human experience. Learn to embrace it.”
There is no shared vision
Relationships are about compromise; however, when you have wildly different visions on things that are truly important — such as whether or not to marry, have kids, move to a major city or travel the world — it may be time to say goodbye. You’ll always need to sacrifice in some ways to ensure that you’re both happy, but if you disagree about the things that you want most in this life, consider moving on.
You can’t get past the past
When couples harbor anger and resentment about something in the past and the issue rears its head often, the relationship may be winding down. Being angry for a little while is OK, but your relationship may be on the rocks for good if every fight returns to a past that a person cannot let go, despite your insistence on moving forward and forgiving.
Life vs. fiction
Head to the SheKnows Book Lounge for a great fiction read about love, life, family, betrayal and moving on – Lisa Kleypas’ new novel Rainshadow Road, our Red Hot Book of the Week.