What are the signs your relationship is over?
Are you worried that your partner is about to end your relationship or marriage? Or perhaps you're thinking about breaking up?
Either way, there are definite signs to look out for that could potentially signal the end of your relationship. And, of course, there's relationship help available whatever your relationship problems or issues are.
You may be asking yourself: "Is my relationship over?"
The answer is that if a breakup is imminent, it'll generally be the result of repeated periods of unhappiness and/or doubts - either for you, your partner, or both of you.
Often these periods of dissatisfaction, irritation, anger, frustration, hurt and disappointment increase in length and happen more frequently. Your relationship problems appear to be piling up!
In a long-term committed partnership, the signs that your relationship is in trouble are very likely to appear in stages and cycles.
It's not unusual for these cycles of ups and downs to continue over several years.
But that's not always the case, of course. Sometimes a breakup can happen totally out of the blue, without any apparent warning whatsoever.
Nevertheless, a breakup (or divorce) is always a process with a beginning, a middle and an end. Some may happen more rapidly than others, but when you look back, you'll probably be able to identify the stages.
Statements like "I'm leaving you" or "I don't love you any more" are unlikely to have risen out of a 'sudden' realisation - even if it seems like that to you.
Would you be surprised if your partner suddenly told you he or she doesn't love you anymore?
Would you be shocked, like so many of my clients were?
Or would you have seen it coming, because of those little niggles in the back of your mind that you could never quite get rid of? You may even have wondered at times how you would know when a relationship is over.
Or, maybe you haven't been straight with your partner about how unhappy you've felt lately. How unsure of your future together you've been feeling.
Maybe you're the one who's falling out of love?
Perhaps you've accepted the ups and downs of your relationship as part of the ‘norm’. While they are normal to some extent, a big increase in the number and duration of the downs could well be a warning sign of a breakup.
Often, towards the end of a relationship, one or both partners has no idea how the other person really feels. Assumptions are made, or warning signs are ignored.
I so know it can be really scary to contemplate a future without the person you loved (or still love).
The word 'single' can strike fear into the hearts of many! But, the alternative is to stay in a broken relationship - and while that may not feel as scary, it's way worse for you - and your partner - in the long run.
So, take a deep breath, and let's take a look together at the most common signs a relationship is over.
The breakdown of a relationship often happens in stages. Each stage has its own signs of a breakup possibly being on the cards. The nature and the length of these stages also differ enormously from one couple to another.
Here are the factors that influence what each stage looks like:
How committed you really were at the start of your relationship - the less committed the sooner it's likely to end.
The level of your commitment, care and consideration as your relationship grew.
The length and 'intensity' of the partnership.
Your personal relationship histories - your attachments and previous endings.
Your life stages and ages - first long-term love, small kids, teenagers, elderly parents, mid-life, etc..
Any traumas that happened during the course of your relationship.
Any emotional, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse
Below I've listed the stages I've seen my clients go through when their relationship were in danger of ending.
Each stage has its own signs that your relationship is not what it should or could be.
I hope this has given you a better understanding of the signs a relationship is over and how to know when to break up.
Whether you're worried that your partner's about to end your relationship, or you're the one on the verge of calling it quits, take a look at the list below.
These can all be warning signs of a breakup. Do any of them speak to you?
- You don't laugh and talk as much as you used to.
- One of you is pushing for more commitment than the other wants to give.
- One or both of you often feels hurt, let down, frustrated, angry, taken for granted - or simply bored.
- You live like 'brother and sister', or friends - without passion.
- Or, if you do have sex, it's more about 'going through the motions' than making love.
- Issues from the past keep coming up without ever getting resolved.
- Something just doesn't quite gel - emotionally, sexually, socially or spiritually.
- Disagreements escalate quickly into full-blown rows more and more often.
If any of these sound familiar to you, your inkling that your relationship is in trouble could be right.
So what else should you be looking out for?
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All of the signs in this article are really signs that a relationship may be over.
The following can all apply to either you or your partner...
- you have little idea what's going on in each other's lives
... keep coming up over and over again (see also how to stop constant arguing in a relationship).
or agreement when it comes to important issues.
whenever you try to have meaningful conversations (if you still do!).
- if you both feel like this on account of your relationship then your feelings are definite warning signs of a breakup.
You're no longer confiding in each other or seeking support.
One of you might have suggested a (temporary) separation.
You go out separately more often, stay longer at work and talk very little.
If you happen to be the one having an affair, can you be sure your partner isn't cheating also?
Perhaps you've not been acting in a way you normally would. Perhaps you're being more secretive, or your partner has changed towards you and could be up to something they wouldn't want you to know.
You may even be treating each other with contempt - a sure sign that your relationship is in danger.
- completely ignoring each other when you're miffed, pretending the other one doesn't exist (detrimental to any relationship!). This definitely calls for some good relationship advice!
- one of you commits to being somewhere, but doesn't turn up or cancels the arrangement.
I'm sure you'll agree, some of these are pretty obvious signs that your relationship is not as healthy it could be.
If you recognise any them, now's the time to take action:
If you're not sure you want to stay in this relationship, my Comprehensive Relationship Test can help you to make that difficult decision.
After that you're very likely to be clear about your next step.
You can take control and end your relationship or marriage - if that's what you decide to do.
Or, you might decide that it is worth fighting for. Then you'll know which way to direct your energies!
I've also developed a worksheet for you to give you a really good head-start in saving your relationship...
Some of the signs your relationship is in danger or really over could actually also indicate deeper emotional and/or psychological problems - either for you or your partner.
Things that contribute to the end of a relationship can sometimes be, in their own right, the signs of depression, an impending nervous breakdown or simply stress.
These can all rapidly lead to all manner of relationship problems, not to mention personal problems too.
So, if you think you're struggling with any kind of emotional issue (or your partner is), I'd really love you to get the help you need to overcome those difficulties right now. You can find a ton of info on my site to get you on the right track.
Or you can connect with an online therapist right away (see the Better Help box below).
If you're worrying about the warning signs of a breakup and suspect your relationship may be over, this isn't the time to stick your head in the sand (trust me!).
Whether you're the one thinking of leaving, or it's your partner, take some time to find out what's really going on - for both of you.
Ideally I'd like you to get some couples therapy. For further information, see my article: Does marriage counselling work?.
I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)
I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote.
Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)