The road to a fulfilling, enduring relationship is almost always littered with a few attempts that turned out to be unfulfilling and unending. That’s what dating is all about: finding out if two people have the qualities and compatibility to sustain a relationship over the long haul. Sometimes you don’t have to question whether Athens ladies have good reasons to break up. You just know it’s time. But other times you’re not so sure. You find yourself wondering, ‘should I break up with him (or her)?’ ‘Should I hang in there and give it a chance?’ or ‘Should I move on so I don’t squander precious time and energy?’
What are the right reasons to break up with someone you once cared deeply about?
You’re at a crossroads, trying to decide what to do, working hard at make sense in your own head about what you want. Feelings are our gauge of well-being. When we feel negative emotion—sad, discouraged, uptight, frustrated, angry, or dissatisfied— we can know instantaneously that something isn’t right. And when we feel joy, quiet calm, free, happy, content, and pleased or thrilled, we can also know instantaneously something is exactly right.
The challenge in relationships, and in the task of knowing when to break up with someone, is that each day and with each interaction there is the potential for our feelings to shift up or down. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the patterns in the relationship. If, over the course, of time the daily blips are repeated and repeated, and your negative feelings continue, then there’s a pattern you might want to be concerned with.
What is a toxic relationship?
While we often assume that we will instantly recognize situations that aren’t healthy for us, that’s not always the case. In fact, it took me years of therapy to fully understand how to recognize the signs of an unhealthy romantic relationship.
In the simplest terms, a toxic relationship is one in which one person’s behaviours cause emotional and often physical damage to their partner. Instead of feeling safe, respected, and loved, a person joined to a toxic partner will feel insecure, inferior, and controlled. These feelings ultimately cause the person to experience low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. According to clinical psychologist Tom Cory, there are 8 basic types of toxic partners:
- Deprecator / Belittler partner – who constantly belittles you.
- “Bad Temper” partners – whose anger is unpredictable and leaves the other walking on eggshells.
- Overreactors / Deflectors – who reframe or redirect everything to benefit them.
- Passive partners – who allow you to make all the decisions, then use passive-aggressive communication when they don’t like the result.
- The “Independent” controller – who claims that your choices take away their freedom.
- The User – who drains all your time and energy while claiming you never do anything for them.
- Possessive partners – who use their jealousy to dictate your life.
Obviously, we all engage in at least some of the above-mentioned behaviours from time to time. However, the difference in a toxic relationship is those unhealthy behaviours that a partner displays are the norm rather than the exception to the rule.
Why do people stay in unhappy relationships?
When we read about toxic relationships or see them portrayed in the media, we often ask ourselves, “Why on Earth do these people stay in these relationships when they’re clearly unhappy?” Researchers at The University of Toronto recently published their answer to that very question in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The research team found that many people avoid initiating a breakup when they believe that their romantic partners are dependent on the relationship.According to one of the co-authors of the study, Emily Impett, “People stay in relationships for the sake of their partners, even if they feel unappreciated by them.”Speaking from personal experience, this factor definitely came into play when involved in abusive relationships.
With that being said, this altruistic outlook isn’t the only factor keeping people together. In fact, licensed clinical social worker Richard B. Joelson says that there is a multitude of other factors that cause people to stay in unhappy relationships. Joelson says that many people firmly believe, “The misery I know and am familiar with is preferable to the misery of being alone.”
In other words, complacency often plays a role in our choice to stay in a relationship, even if we feel unhappy or unsafe. Joelson also says people are more likely to stay in an unhappy relationship if there are children involved or if people maintain combined finances.
What are the 4 obvious signs of a failing relationship?
Since many of us willingly stay in even unhappy relationships, we commonly hear people say that they feel blind sided when their relationship ended because they never saw any signs to indicate that anything was wrong. However, Dr. John Gottman completed extensive research on failing relationships. He found that there are four clear indications of a failing relationship, which he often refers to as “The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse.”
Although no partner is perfect, there’s a healthy way to provide feedback to your partner (i.e. critique) and then there’s criticism. While healthy feedback includes “I Statements” and points out specific behaviors, criticism attacks a partner as a person. Sure, we all use criticism at times when we’re angry, but if you criticize your partner constantly or notice that they constantly criticize you, then it’s only a matter of time before you or your partner starts feeling the next horseman: contempt.
When we throw around insults, use sarcasm, roll our eyes, or scoff at someone, that’s usually a clear sign of contempt. In a relationship, these red flags indicate a breakdown of respect. Without mutual respect, it’s hard to maintain any sort of substantial relationship with a romantic partner.
When we become defensive, we often avoid responsibility for our actions and try to place the blame instead elsewhere. When we become a defensive partner in a relationship, though, this means that we’re unwilling to make needed changes for our partner’s health and happiness.
If your partner is constantly defensive when you try to discuss problems or you constantly defend your own actions, it might be time you take a hard look at your relationship and decide if it’s worth salvaging.
Although stonewalling can appear in many different forms, it’s essentially a complete breakdown in communication. If stonewalling is happening in your relationship, then you probably only talk when it’s absolutely necessary, and quickly shut down when things become heated or vulnerable.
Is it worth is to fix a relationships that’s falling apart?
Regardless of what point you are in “The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse,” it may be difficult (though not always impossible) to salvage your relationship. However, experts say there are some instances where it may be worth trying to fix your relationship even when it’s coming apart at the seams.In fact, relationship expert Michele Weiner-Davis shared this in an interview with The Huffington Post:
“Chances are, if you can’t sleep at night because you feel so torn about your thoughts about leaving, it means that there are some valid reasons to consider staying and fixing what isn’t working.”
If you do still genuinely enjoy spending time with your partner, you share the same core values, and you’re both willing to work on things, then it may be worth putting in the work needed to fix the relationship. While it can be hard even to start the process of fixing a relationship once it starts falling apart, relationship coach Sam Owen and the University of Exeter professor Jan Ewing have compiled a great video that can help you identify ways to fix your relationship, if it’s worth salvaging, or determine if it’s even worth fixing at all.