It’s hard enough finding a partner, let alone the right one. During the first couple of weeks or months, everything seems like a fairytale, but as time goes by, you start noticing faults with your partner, but still, you decide to stay. Getting out of a relationship can be just as hard as getting into one, especially if you’re twenty-something and think that you have to stay in this relationship because you’ve been together for so long. Does this sound like you? An unhealthy relationship harms you in many ways, and you will be much happier in the long run if you leave.
It’s time to open your eyes to the reality of your situation because emotions can cloud your judgement. The first and possibly the hardest step is to take off the rose-coloured glasses and see your relationship for what it really is, not what you want it to be. The next step is ending the vicious cycles. Even after you’ve realized your relationship isn’t going to work, you might still want to keep trying, and this can do more damage than good in the long run. After that, you might want to focus on yourself and work on letting go of the things that don’t make you happy. This can be very difficult and it’s tempting to go back to your ex. Instead, turn to your friends and family for support because they’re the people who know you best and will be there for you. By following these steps, you will come out of the relationship as a stronger person and come one step closer to finding the right person for you.
Recognize the Reality of Your Relationship: How much does your partner value you?
Every good relationship has respect, friendship and support in it, but you also have to consider how your partner’s actions affect you and how you affect your partner. For example, you’re constantly growing and discovering new things about yourself and your partner, but are you contributing to their growth more than they’re contributing to yours? For instance, your growth can be intellectual and come from books that you read. Every time you want to talk about something interesting that you read, your partner interrupts with their own findings and you end up talking more about that than your interests. Good relationships have balance; you shouldn’t feel like any less or more than an equal to that person.
A good friend can be difficult to recognize, so the first important question that you should ask yourself is this: “Is my partner respectful of my limits and desires?” This question could apply to the issues of a relationship moving too quickly for you or choosing how to unwind after a long day of work. Another aspect of your partner that you should think about is “does he or she understand you as a person and help with your daily troubles?” A good partner is not only a good lover, but a good friend as well. If you’ve been in the relationship for a long time, think back to when you were just friends and ask yourself if and how your partner changed since then. If you recently started dating, concentrate on whether your partner is being supportive, attentive, and eager to get to know you.
When you get in a relationship, it’s common to lose sight of the fact that friendship matters just as much as sexual attraction, if not more. Regardless of where you are in your relationship, make sure your partner supports you and you support them too. Showing support can be as simple as offering to carry a bag when you see your partner is having a hard time, or something more serious like dealing with a huge life event.
The next aspect of your relationship that you should consider is your interests, views, beliefs and goals. Essentially, what makes you, you. Then think about how well you “fit in” with your partner. How important are your values and beliefs to you? Do your partner’s values and beliefs conflict with yours? Will all of these factors cause problems in the future? Are your hobbies too different? If so, are you willing to try out different activities and are they willing to do the same for you?
So let’s say that you decided to take on these new activities that your partner participates in and you enjoy them, but not as much as you enjoy your own. Are these new activities getting in the way of what you like to do? You might also want to consider any new bad habits that you find yourself getting into, such as starting smoking or drinking excessively. Not all people have a positive effect on you, and you should do your best to eliminate them from your life despite your feelings.
Another trait that can potentially harm your relationship is the maturity level of you and your partner. Can you talk about sensitive topics and respect each other’s opinions without getting angry? Is one person remaining calm while the other lashes out and even acts out violently? Can you express your thoughts and feelings to your partner without having to worry about how they will react? These are all questions to consider when evaluating your maturity levels. Maturity levels can be difficult to assess because it’s only after reflecting on the situation after the fact that you can know for sure. Even then, your feelings may get in the way of proper analysis.
Next, you should pay attention to how your partner acts around you and what they make an effort to do for you. A big part of relationships is reciprocation, and if you’re doing more to make your partner happy than they’re doing for you, that’s a problem. You don’t need excess stress in your life; you have your own problems to deal with and don’t need someone else’s to add onto the burden.
One of the traits that would throw off the balance in your relationship is niceness. In kindergarten, we were taught to treat others the way we want to be treated, so most people grow up to be relatively nice people. Are you one of those people? Well, you would be considered a nice person, or sometimes, too nice. In a relationship, this niceness might interfere with making rational choices, such as leaving your partner because they’re not treating you well. Nice people tend to forgive others easily, sometimes for the wrong reasons. If you’ve forgiven your partner countless times and they continue to do things that make you unhappy, intentionally or not, you may want to think about whether there is real balance and harmony in your relationship.
Also, pay attention to how your partner treats others, even strangers like waiters and bus drivers. If they are truly a good person, they will not only treat you well, but others as well. More often than not, a person who treats others poorly but their partner with the utmost respect is compensating for something, using you for their own gain, or is simply not a good person. If someone shows kindness towards your partner and they reciprocate, that is also an indication of a good person. Everyone can be nice to their family and friends, but not many people take the effort to be kind to strangers. A balanced person creates that same balance in a relationship.
Meditate on Your Mood: How do you feel around your partner?
The thrill is gone
If there’s no balance, this could compromise the happiness you feel in the relationship. One of the biggest hints that your relationship is going down the drain is if you’re not having fun together. Do you suddenly find yourself annoyed while engaging in activities you once enjoyed doing with your partner? Are you finding yourself happier on your own or with others? The most evident and obvious sign that you’re not happy is when you simply can’t stand being in the same room as your partner. Their presence annoys you and you just feel like you have to get away. Also, consider how you feel doing mundane tasks with them. No one likes doing the dishes but with the right person, even that can be fun! Are you making excuses to spend time alone or with other people? These may be hints that you’re not happy in your relationship.
Another factor that contributes to happiness in a relationship is how much you’re sacrificing for your partner and how much they’re sacrificing for you. Pay attention to who is giving up more for the other. If you find yourself sacrificing something big like your dignity, or lying to make it seem to others that your relationship is better than it is, then you might want to think about whether your partner is making you genuinely happy.
On a bad day, most people have one or a couple of people they go to for comfort and to cheer them up. Often, that person is your closest friend, family member or partner. If your partner is not one of those people you can count on for making you feel better, ask yourself why. Who do you go to first when a major event happens in your life, tragic or exciting? Can you rely on your partner to comfort you and cheer you up? Consider how you feel when you go to your partner for help, advice, or comfort.
At the end of the day, ask yourself these questions: Am I happy? Does he/she make me happy? What does he/she do that makes me happy? Reflecting on these questions will bring you one step closer to breaking the fragile bond that is holding you together.
Cut off vicious cycles: What’s keeping your bond from breaking?
When you’ve been with someone through both the good and bad, you might mistake an unbreakable bond for a sense of closeness you feel to that person because of the experiences you’ve had. You may feel like you can’t leave your partner because you’ve been through so much and you’ve become a part of their life as much as they have become part of yours. Even if the person changed and you’re no longer suited for each other, you may find it difficult to break the bond. Think about the connection that you feel you have with your partner and ask yourself what is keeping this connection strong.
People get into relationships for all sorts of reasons, from being very close friends and realizing you’re meant for each other to going after their money – and they stay for certain reasons as well. Take a look at your partner and ask yourself if you’re with them for their appearance, to make other males or females jealous perhaps? Or is appearance secondary? Is your partner wealthy? If so, did this affect your decision in getting into and staying in the relationship? Is your partner good in bed? If so, are they good at making you feel good in other ways as well? Consider these questions and really try to answer them honestly.
Everyone has flaws but your emotional attachment to your partner may make it difficult to see them. Think about what traits you like about your partner and which ones you would like to change. No one is perfectly happy with their partner, but if you want to change a significant amount of characteristics about them, or you find that some major traits are going to be a problem for you, it may be time to think about your future, how happy you will be then and if your bond is as strong as you believed it to be.
Disappearance of Reliance: Is your relationship deteriorating?
Focus on yourself
In addition to paying attention to your partner, don’t forget about yourself. Do you find yourself focusing on your partner’s activities and needs more than your own? Are you paying more attention to make sure their dreams come true, while setting aside your own? As important as your partner may be, your needs come first. Otherwise, you’ll slowly lose yourself. Also, if you’re finding that you’re spending all of your time with your partner, this could be damaging to you. Everyone needs time to themselves to reflect. Having someone constantly there during all of your extracurricular activities and free time can make you feel like you’re suffocating and lead to instability in your relationship. A good relationship has just enough breathing room without feeling distant from each other, so remember to think about yourself too.
Feel good about yourself
Another factor that can cause instability in your relationship is if you start to put yourself down because your partner criticizes you. You deserve to feel good about yourself, and sometimes that’s easier said than done. You don’t need your partner, of all people, making it harder for you to accept yourself and be happy with who you are. If you notice your partner being less supportive and putting you down, sit down and have a conversation. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Of course, you need to work together but if your partner is not willing to, it’s not worth your effort because you’re only giving the opportunity for more issues to develop.
When your partner makes you feel bad about yourself, trust diminishes in the relationship and your mind – and heart – starts to wander. You start to notice other men or women more and may find yourself flirting with the cute stranger at the bar while out with your friends. Soon, you might find yourself enjoying someone else’s company more than your partner’s and we all know where that leads: cheating. Cheating can be intentional or accidental, but it’s not good for your relationship. Before you do something you’ll regret, recognize that the trust levels in your relationship are decreasing and talk about the issue with your partner.
With the trust level going down, you or your partner may cling onto each other more closely and might start to feel insecure about yourselves. Insecurity can lead to emotional dependence and the need for emotional reassurance. This emotional dependence can be harmful for your relationship because you will demand more displays of love from your partner. If your partner is the one who has become insecure, you’ll start to get annoyed with their constant questioning of your actions and whereabouts. These are not signs of a stable relationship.
Trust issues are difficult to discuss, so you might want to think about how to approach your partner on this sensitive topic. If you attack your partner and throw accusations, they may take it the wrong way and that’s when fights break out.
Concentrate on your conscience: Is it worth it to stay?
What’s the main cause of fights? Bad communication. Some people have issues with expressing their thoughts and emotions, which is the root of misunderstandings. If you feel that you can’t express your thoughts and concerns to your partner because you fear their reaction will be negative, bad communication and lack of trust may be the problem. However, people also often have trouble understanding others’ points of view because of how they express themselves. If you find that just having a discussion or debate is causing issues with your partner, it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship and whether you make a good couple.
Every couple has arguments, but it’s how you deal with the issue that matters. That being said, if the frequent fights start because you find yourself constantly in a bad mood while around your partner, that’s a sign that they’re not affecting you positively. Little things can start to bother you the more you spend time with someone, but if they bother you to the point of ruining your mood the instant you get home, then perhaps this relationship isn’t as good as you make it out to be.
Notice what the fights are about and ask yourself if it’s worth it to stay with them despite these day-to-day problems. If the fights are worse than necessary because of your partner’s tone of voice or body language while arguing, then that’s a sign that you’re not happy with how they express themselves. It’s nearly impossible to find the man or woman of your dreams, so you strive to find the one person who fits as close as possible to that ideal. If these problems become greater than you can handle, you should think about if this person is really right for you.
A well-known tactic used to get you to forgive someone is to use guilt against them. Guilt trips can be dangerous and damaging, especially when they force you to do something you don’t want to which could potentially make you unhappy. Does your partner make you feel guilty when it was their fault the problem occurred? How often does this happen? How do they react after the fight is over? If your partner often uses guilt trips to get what they want, that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. There are many ways to deal with disagreements, and some are more effective than others. A good way to deal with disagreements would be to compromise.
Another ineffective way to deal with arguments is to have make-up sex. Many couples are guilty of this and although it helps to relieve the stress you felt during the argument, the problem is often left unresolved, only alleviated for the moment. If the issue was something small and insignificant but still made you feel distant from your partner, then maybe make-up sex is just what you need. But if the issue was something big and you decided that it was best to not deal with it at the moment, having make-up sex will give you that feeling that everything has been resolved when, in fact, it hasn’t. And if this becomes a habit, this can lead to disastrous outcomes. Try to notice patterns and then work on stopping the same cycles from repeating again by refusing to engage in any physically intimate activity until the problem has been talked through.
A third popular way to solve problems, or give the impression of a solution, is to give or receive gifts. Some people tend to feel that a problem doesn’t matter anymore because the gift shows that their partner cares about them and is sorry. Often, this is not the case. They’re just trying to distract you or calm you down. Don’t let petty purchases get in the way of your view of your partner or the problem at hand.
Often, couples attempt to rekindle the flame that has died down or has even been extinguished for various reasons. Perhaps it was for the best that the flame is gone, but it’s hard to see that in the moment. So think about this: how many times did you try getting back together? Are you any happier now than before?
Act and React: What’s your decision?
Make the decision at the right time
Lastly, remember to never act based simply on emotions because feelings change and if you rely only on them to make decisions, then you won’t understand what you’re doing and why. This will make it difficult to learn from mistakes and to prevent them from happening in the future. Also, if you’re in a relationship and are considering whether breaking up is the right decision, make that decision when you’re not intoxicated or in a vulnerable position because that will cloud your judgment. If you’re still unsure, try talking to a trusted friend or family member for opinions on your partner and the state of your relationship. Sometimes, it can even help to ask someone who doesn’t know much about your relationship because they will be more likely to give you an unbiased opinion.
Peace of mind, body and soul
Always remember that being alone is better than being in a relationship which is damaging to your mind, body and soul. You may feel sad and lost after leaving the relationship, but keep your head up high and remember that you’re a great person on your own. Your partner should be fueling your fire, not extinguishing it. Ultimately, it’s your decision whether you want to stay in the relationship or not, but you will feel less stressed and more pleased with yourself if you get out of an unhealthy relationship.