7 signs it might be time to break-up with your partner

Neil Wilkie
Photo credit: Unsplash/Anastasiya Pavlova

From Red Online

Relationships are never straightforward and take work, but sometimes there's a niggle you can't ignore that things aren't right.

What was once a happy, healthy relationship based on love and respect has changed or, perhaps, you've come to the realisation that you don't want the same things. You're probably wondering how you got to the place when you were once in love with your partner and the future looked wonderful.

Breaking up can be as difficult as staying together. Maybe you feel trapped in an unhappy relationship but are afraid to end it? Maybe because it is too difficult to end it, you feel that this is all you deserve, or you think that you may never have another relationship? Maybe you are afraid that if you do end it then a future relationship will be even worse? You might also not want to hurt your partner or, children, if you have them.

We asked Neil Wilkie, a relationship expert, psychotherapist and author of Reset – The Relationship Paradigm, to share the 7 signs it might be time to break-up with your partner and his advice for what to do next.

1.You are looking backwards not forwards

You are either looking back and remembering the good times, or looking back at the negatives and thinking 'why did I ever start a relationship with them?' If you do look forward it might be with a sense of dread. You are also unable to enjoy the 'now', either because it is not good or because it is swamped by the unattractive future.

2. Communication is bad

Maybe you are having arguments that just go round and round in circles and nothing gets resolved. Maybe you are both talking but there is no listening. Maybe you are unable to express how you really feel. Maybe you have just given up and there are lots of uncomfortable silences. If you have not been able to talk about how you feel about the relationship, how can it ever get better? Without good communication you cannot have a great relationship.

Photo credit: Unsplash

3. There is a lack of connection

You feel that you have drifted apart and are living parallel lives. Hugs, touches and lovemaking are infrequent or unsatisfactory. When you meet again after one of you has been away, any greeting is cursory and you almost wish they were not there. Also, you are finding them irritating or you perceive that the things that they are doing wrong outweigh the things they do right.

4. There is no real commitment to the relationship

They, or you, are going through the motions and your relationship has become a habit. Ask yourself these questions: what is this habit like and what is keeping you there? Have you shared your dreams and invested in achieving those? If not, why not? If you drew a picture of your life right now and then drew a picture of your ideal future; what do those look like? How do you feel when you look at the pictures; where is your partner and what is different between the now and the ideal future?

5. The fun has leaked away

When was the last time the two of you really had fun together? If you are struggling to remember or it seems a long time ago; why is that? What has stopped you both from letting you guard down and allowing the child within to fill your lives with smiles and laughter?

6. There is no growth

It feels like you are stuck in a rut and have not grown as an individual or as a couple. Maybe every day feels like Groundhog Day. Maybe you feel held back; you want to be so much more than you are now but feel unable to grow because your partner 'wouldn’t like it'.

7. The trust has gone

You don’t trust them. There are times when you don’t know where they are, what they are doing or who they are communicating with. You may have a feeling that there is someone else in the relationship and you don’t know who. You have tried raising this and had an unconvincing response or been met by anger.

Trust is the foundation of a good relationship; without it all the other elements will start to dissipate. If you are both unable to discuss lack of trust and what is needed for trust to be restored, then it will never become a great relationship.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

How many of the 7 points resonated with you? Now that you know all of that; what would you like to have happen? You have 3 fundamental choices:

1. Stay together as you are and accept that it will not change

2. Separate

3. Invest the time and energy to see if you can create a new, different and better relationship with your partner

Reflecting on those three simple choices; what does your heart tell you, what does your head tell you and what does your gut tell you? If all of those are aligned on separating, then that is a clear answer, Neil says, but only you can make that decision for yourself and your relationship.

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