No one said relationships were easy ― even the strongest couples will inevitably hit a few bumps in the road. But your partner shouldn’t be a constant source of stress, hurt feelings or resentment.
So how do you know if your relationship has hit the point of no return? Automatic dealbreakers like abusive behaviour aside, many issues can be worked through with time, commitment and help from a therapist.
But if you’ve tried and tried and things still don’t improve, or if your partner is simply unwilling to do the work, it could be time to move on.
We asked experts to share the signs that a relationship may no longer be worth fighting for.
You’re being abused — physically or emotionally
If your spouse pushes, shoves, grabs or hits you for any reason, it’s not worth trying to change them. Get out NOW.
If your partner tells you that you are imagining any type of abusive behaviour or that you are just ‘too sensitive,’ get out. You deserve to be treated with respect.
You feel like you’re the only one fighting for the relationship
It’s not a good idea to be in a relationship if you feel like you are always fighting to remain in it.
However, sometimes it does make sense to try very hard for a period of time to get through a rough patch and move on.
If you’re always the one putting in effort and your partner shows minimal effort, that is a sign that it’s not worth fighting for. If you are embarrassed to tell people about the amount of effort you have to put into the relationship that is a sign that you may have exceeded an appropriate amount of effort.
You can’t stand kissing your partner
Yes, this feeling can come and go. Sometimes you like to kiss, other times you don’t even want your partner’s face anywhere near yours.
But if your mouth is telling you that you really cannot stand to kiss your partner anymore and that feeling doesn’t change over time, it might be over.
Your close friends have serious doubts about the relationship
Research shows that your friends actually have more insight into the state of the relationship than you do, particularly female best friends. If they’re starting to express concerns, it can reveal underlying issues that you may not be aware of yourself.
Your partner isn’t reliable
A reason to leave is when trust is irrevocably broken — by lies about money spent, adultery or repeated emotional and physical abuse.
You deserve someone you can unfailingly count on. Reliability is the sexiest quality you can hope for as we live in a shaky and inconsistent world.
You or your partner has had multiple affairs
Are you using infidelity as a ‘can opener’? Be fair. End your relationship now. Don’t make your partner responsible for your ambivalence.
You’ve stopped making progress in other areas of your life
If your relationship has taken up so much emotional energy and attention that it has prevented you from moving forward with other goals such as a career, family and friendships, that’s a sign that your relationship may not be worth fighting for.
Some sacrifice is fine but the cost should be minimal and not impact your progress in other areas for an extended period of time.
Your partner routinely dismisses your concerns
It’s not an encouraging sign if your partner is unwilling or unable to hear your feelings, your hurt and pain and take it to heart.
If your feelings and needs are coldly and consistently dismissed, if stonewalling and defensiveness are creating an impenetrable barrier, it may leave you feeling lonely, angry, or depressed, and maybe hopeless about the relationship.