Breaking up: Reasons to End a Relationship

Have you ever held onto a romantic relationship too long? Have you tried everything to make the relationship work? Maybe you have that feeling in your stomach that tells you that your relationship isn’t the right one.

If you’re looking for reasons to break up with your partner, it’s a good bet the relationship is over. Dragging it out will increase heartache. If you’re married or in a long-term relationship, you may want to work with a couple’s therapist to ensure you’ve tried everything before throwing in the towel. Divorce can be messy and traumatic, but it can lead you to your most authentic self.

As a psychotherapist and sex coach, Soribel works with couples trying to save their relationships and individuals seeking help in healing after one ends. This blog will discuss reasons people stay in relationships that should be over and valid reasons to end a relationship (even though you don’t even need one).

Reasons People Stay in Relationships Too Long

Often people stay in relationships that aren’t serving them far longer than they should. Staying in unhealthy or toxic relationships is terrible for your self-esteem, mental health, and children if you have them. Here are some common reasons people stay in a relationship even when they shouldn’t.

  • They worry no one else will love them.
  • They feel they’ve already invested so much time and energy in the relationship, and it’s too late.
  • They stay because the sex is hot (this is super common in toxic relationships).
  • The relationship is comfortable even if it isn’t healthy – breaking up is a lot of work, especially if you’re living together or married.
  • They worry about hurting the other person.
  • They think they can change their partner.

Reasons to Breakup

Maybe there are red flags, perhaps your partner lacks communication skills, or maybe there are areas of incompatibility. There are many valid reasons for ending a relationship, some of which may not be obvious. If you need help deciding to end a relationship or help to navigate a breakup with your partner, speaking with a therapist or counselor may help.

Abusive Relationship

If you’re in an abusive relationship, no amount of couple’s therapy will help. Abusive relationships exist when one partner desires power or control over another. Physical violence, threats, or emotional abuse are absolute deal-breakers. You need to end things. If you need support leaving an abusive relationship, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Lack of Physical Intimacy

Everyone has different needs for physical touch. You may desire more cuddling, kissing, and sex than your partner. Sometimes things start hot and heavy at the beginning of a relationship, but the desire for physical intimacy wanes as you become more familiar with each other.

Having mismatched libidos or physical touch needs isn’t necessarily a reason to end a relationship because there are ways to ensure everyone’s needs are met. But, if you’ve tried working with a therapist or relationship coach, and your partner isn’t interested in helping to meet your needs, it may be time to end things.

You get to have the sex life you want. While it’s possible to have incredible sex with yourself, intimate physical touch is essential in any healthy relationship. You cannot force or coerce your partner to have sex, so if they decide they aren’t interested, that’s all the reason you need to seek happiness on your own.

Poor Communication Skills

Having poor communication skills makes being in a long-term relationship incredibly difficult. Trouble communicating can look like passive-aggressive comments, ignoring problems instead of addressing them, or using aggressive speech, interrupting, silent treatment, and sarcasm.

Communication skills can be learned and practiced, so it’s not a deal-breaker. However, if your partner refuses to work on building communication skills or attend couple’s therapy to learn better strategies together, it may be time to end the relationship. A willingness to learn and grow is essential to any healthy relationship.

Moving Away

While long-distance relationships can work, they require intense nurturing and care. If you’re at a point where you’re moving to advance your career, for family reasons, or just because you want a change of scenery and your significant other can’t or won’t join you, it’s a good idea to end the relationship. Ending the relationship before you move will result in less heartbreak than if you put in a half-hearted attempt at keeping it together.

Lying and Infidelity

We all tell lies occasionally – sometimes they’re little lies that don’t add up to much, and other times we’re trying to protect someone’s feelings. However, if lying and betrayal are habits for your partner, it can be unhealthy to stay in the relationship. 

Infidelity is one of the most common reasons couples end their relationship. Living with a partner who cheats can affect your self-esteem and mental health. It’s possible to recover your relationship after infidelity, but it takes a great deal of work and commitment from both partners. If your relationship is rocked by betrayal seeking help from a couple’s therapist can help you decide how to deal with the tangle of emotions and move forward.

A partner who lies makes emotional intimacy impossible because you never truly get to know them. Good relationships with strong intimate connections allow each person to be seen and loved for who they are – even when they mess up. People lie for various reasons, such as covering up an embarrassing situation, protecting themselves, or an addiction. If your partner lies frequently, it’s a red flag that they cannot be fully vulnerable and intimate with you.

Life Goals

If your partner wants five children, a farm, and a cache of off-road vehicles, but your ten-year plan includes a high-rise apartment and restaurant reservations, this relationship is simply not going to work. A long-term relationship requires you to have similar life goals and travel toward them together. Before a relationship becomes serious, have conversations about career goals, family goals, desire to travel, and anything else that’s important to you. If you and your partner have different paths, breaking up may be the best decision – you don’t want to hold each other back.

The Relationship Has Run Its Course

Not all good relationships last forever, and they aren’t meant to. Someone often comes into our lives to teach us something about relationships, love, or even ourselves. When relationships end, people often want there to be a reason – something concrete to point to as the catalyst for a breakup. You and your partner can call it quits just because the relationship isn’t serving both of you anymore.

Any Reason at All

You can decide to end a relationship at any time. You don’t even need a reason. Sometimes there isn’t a big issue or catalyst for a breakup. It can be a pile of little things that add up to I’m done.

Get Help Ending Your Relationship

Maybe you’re still not sure if you should end your relationship. Sure, some pieces aren’t working, but there are times you and your partner feel so connected. Besides – you’ve already spent years building a life together. Sometimes making the right decision for you requires setting aside time and space to work through how you feel about the relationship. Therapy or coaching may help you recover your self-intimacy, so you know what you want without question.

Even after you decide a romantic relationship isn’t serving you anymore and needs to end, it can be challenging to make a move. Once you’ve invested time and energy into loving someone and indulge in fantasies about what your future might look like, it’s easy to hold on longer than you should. Moving on from a relationship requires you to be firm in your decision, communicate it clearly, and understand that your partner’s reaction is not your responsibility.

Getting help from a therapist or relationship coach can help you make the right decision, stick to it, and communicate it. Soribel Martinez is a psychotherapist and sex coach with over 20 years of experience in the mental health field who can guide you through this challenging process. Set up your FREE intimacy Recovery Discovery Call today. Soribel will ask you to share your story and give you her professional recommendations for how to build the life and relationships you want. 

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