At some point, you may come to realize your relationship is no longer worth fighting for. But if you’re still on the fence, there are some signals it’s time to sever ties. Here’s how to know that it may be in your best interest to say goodbye.
1. You fight all the time
Does it seem like you’re always at each other’s throats? If even benign questions frequently lead to brutal arguments, it’s time to assess your relationship. It’s possible there could be some unaddressed resentment brewing below the surface. Psychologist Willard F. Harley says frequent, intense arguments may be a sign of trouble. “Fights are very destructive to marriages and they prevent a couple from enjoying their marriage to the fullest. Anyone who suggests that fights can help a marriage is seriously mistaken …Fights represent a flawed attempt to solve a problem. They begin with a conflict between [partners]. Instead of negotiating for a fair resolution, one spouse tries to force a solution onto the other. Anger, disrespect and demands make the effort unsafe and unpleasant. Fights usually make the effort to solve the problem fail,” Harley writes.
2. You have unresolved grudges
If you’ve been harboring bad feelings for a long time, you may be setting yourself up for relationship breakdown. Holding on to grudges is not only bad for your emotional health but also the health of the relationship. Relationship expert Thomas G. Fiffer says if you don’t get things off your chest, the resentment will eventually seep out and poison your relationship. “You may think you’re saving the relationship by not speaking up, but you’re actually flooding yourself with resentment that will inevitably overflow. Don’t fool yourself into believing your reservoir is unlimited. The tipping point will come, and your resentment will influence your own behavior in ways you may not even be aware of, leading you to get back at your partner and drive the death stake into the relationship. When resentment moves in, communication has moved out, and there’s little hope for reconciliation,” Fiffer writes in an article.
3. You have very different life goals
Compatibility is key when it comes to enjoying a long, satisfying relationship. While it isn’t necessary to be compatible in all areas, too many differences could be a sign that it’s time to part ways. Psychologist John M. Grohol says couples need to decide what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to having goals and values. “You don’t have to be 100% compatible in order to make a long-term relationship work. But there are a few areas that you’ll find it beneficial to have partner compatibility … You’ll find your relationship will have greater smooth sailing the more of these attributes you share or have close in common. And the less stress your relationship has in its natural state, the more the two of you will work together in harmony to support one another during those greater times of stress that life will inevitably throw at you,” Grohol writes.
4. You can’t stop thinking about someone else
Has someone else captured your heart? Constantly thinking about another love could be a sign that there’s trouble in paradise. The experts at eHarmony say if you strongly desire to be with someone else it may be time to move on. “If you are dating one person but secretly wishing you were with somebody else, then that’s a problem. It could be that it’s an ex you’re still carrying a torch for. Or maybe it’s someone else in your life you wish you could be with. Regardless, if you are constantly (or even frequently) wishing you were dating a different person, then that’s a sure-fire sign that your current relationship is not all it should be,” eHarmony says.
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