General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

When does one end a relationship?

Asked by Yellowdog (6774points) 1 month ago

The scenario goes more or less as follows.

Before a relationship begins, and even when its in its initial phases, we really don’t know much about our love interest.

But we tend to see them in the best light, or in light of what we hope or imagine them to be.

Then, a few red flags develop. We notice that their values are not in synch with ours, or they are NOT who we thought they were, or they have more serious problems, like a raging temper or addictions, too much baggage, or other problems.

Still, we may rationalize that no one is perfect, or that we have to take the lumps with the good. Or, perhaps by now, we are dependent on them or they on us in some ways, or we have simply poured too much of our lives in this relationship and leaving would be hard for multiple reasons..

Then, in good times, maybe we discover the good is worth it. That they ARE worth the bad times, and things might get better if we stick it out. Maybe we could work on it and things would turn out right. If its right to begin with, maybe so.

But we start to discover that maybe this is NOT the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. Getting out is extremely hard, for emotional and maybe financial reasons, but maybe it could be much worse if the relationship continues.

Where are the checks and balances, when should we try harder, and when do we know this is the wrong path? How can we find the courage to get out, without regrets?

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21 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, you will always have regrets. Always.

I am a list maker, Pro / Con. That’s always how I make my biggest decisions.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Don’t overanalyze. When it’s over, it’s over. It usually happens when you have nothing to say to the person even though you are together.

It is a mistake to stretch out a dead relationship. It hurts both of you.

Dump her.

canidmajor's avatar

General very quick rule of thumb, flip a coin. Heads you keep at it, tails you don’t. If you are disappointed by the outcome of the toss, work from there, figure out why you were disappointed with the broad decision made by the toss.
It’s a knee jerk reaction, so it’s pretty honest.

janbb's avatar

@canidmajor My Ex always suggested that way of determining one’s potential response to a decision.

I would say that when you stop enhancing each other’s growth and development.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Stable and happy marriages are not the norm and they never have been. If your marriage is stable or happy count it as a blessing. If it’s both you won the lottery.

jca2's avatar

No relationship is perfect, just like no job is perfect, no employee is perfect, no boss is perfect, etc.

Only you (the person in the relationship) can determine how much and what you are able to tolerate, what’s worth it and what’s not. What is tolerable for one person is not tolerable for another. Maybe to one person, having a cheating spouse is tolerable because in exchange they get to live in a mansion and have jewels and fancy cars, and influential friends. To another person, they may feel that situation is not acceptable, no matter what the trade-off. Every person’s needs and wants are different, and every person’s “must haves” and “unacceptable” are different.

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb, yeah, I have found it to be a pretty good starting place for figuring stuff out.

LadyMarissa's avatar

When the song stuck in your head is Vince Gill’s “I Never Knew Lonely ‘Til I Married You” or Roy Clark’s “Thank God & Greyhound You’re Gone” or you realize that you no longer care what they think or want & they treat you the same way.

Zaku's avatar

The most useful book I found on this subject was How To Be An Adult In Relationships by David Richo

If you’re willing to spend $250 on your happiness instead of $2.50 on a used copy of the book, you could even take the author’s course – though I haven’t done that (but have taken quite a few other courses from other people which in their own ways transformed my ability to relate to people in fantastic ways), I’m sure from the book and it’s exercises that it would be well beyond worth the price and time/energy spent.

Hmm there’s also an audio book version .

Jeruba's avatar

As far as books are concerned, I found this one helpful:

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay

chyna's avatar

I feel like if you are asking that question, then it is time.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Love that title.

JLeslie's avatar

Only you know, no one can tell you.

One relationship I knew it was time to break up when my roommate says to me, “if you saw me being treated like that by my boyfriend what would you think?” She made me realize how bad that guy was. Thank goodness she had the guts to say that to me!

With lots of marriages it seems to me it’s time to break up when life is more exhausting being married than single. Two people should mean each person has a slightly easier life in at least some aspects. I see women who work and take care of the kids, and then their husband comes home and it’s like having another kid. That gets old. I know women who hated and resented their husband for it.

I know men and women who have spouses who are impossible to please, who needs that?

Through the difficult times I’ve been through with my husband he is still my favorite person to spend time with. I easily feel the same happiness with him that I did when we first met, even though it gets pushed aside at times.

I think if you’re questioning it for a while now you need to be ready for it to break apart, decide if you want to break up or try to make it better, and go ahead and talk to your SO.

flutherother's avatar

When you find yourself constantly thinking of ending the relationship and longing for it to be over then it is time to leave. If the time is right things may be difficult emotionally and financially but you won’t have regrets.

seawulf575's avatar

I married a woman I thought I loved and it was great for a brief period. Then her crazy started creeping around the edges and into full view. I knew it was time to give up on that relationship when (a) I was miserable and she didn’t care, (b) I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time, (c) she was driving us at top speed to the poor house, and (d) she presented a danger to herself and the kids.
After that relationship, I had a few epiphanies that I stick with to this day. A relationship is never 50–50 if it is going to work. It has to be 100–100. I should be able to voice my opinion on any topic and be heard, just as I should listen to the opinions of my mate. I am allowed to have hobbies and am aloud to do things for me, just as she is. Threats and blackmail are never a part of a healthy relationship.
When I started dating again, I had 3 things I wanted in a woman. If she didn’t have all three, the relationship would end relatively quickly. The three things are (a) She has to be capable of rational thought. (b) She has to be able to face reality without the help of pharmaceuticals (legal or illegal) and© she needs to be with me because she wants to be with me, not because of something I have or something she thinks I can give her. They sound so simple, don’t they? But they weed out most women. I dated a series of women and enjoyed dating them, but none of them met all three. My wife did. We dated for only 6 months before we were married and that was 17 years ago.

seawulf575's avatar

One other thing I have seen in bad relationships. My stepdaughter was hanging with guys that were just no good. We would tell her and she would get mad, but eventually she asked what we saw that made us say that. One of the keys was that she had stopped laughing and almost had stopped smiling. THAT was a huge red flag.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is the saddest thread ever.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Dutchess_III only if you want it to be. Sometimes people are in bad relationships and they don’t know how to leave. When they finally are freed from the negative atmosphere, it is like breathing fresh air ; they have a whole new life.

Not all breakups are to be mourned.

Inspired_2write's avatar

When being with them is worse than not being with them.
When both have tried to repair the relationship problems because they still care, and realize that it still won’t work.
When each have grown apart going off in their own direction more frequently.
When they no longer do things together as they did before.
When communicating is not possible and the relationship becomes a one sided relationship instead.
When the balance in the relationship is one sided, where one gets more than the other.
When one starts to look at others as replacements instead of talking it out with each other.
When one has drifted into using drugs or alcohol or porn or anger as a relief from not getting from the relationship.
When one or both go cheating to get what they can’t get in the relationship without communicating their needs with their partner.
When one relies on the other too much instead of being a team.
When one does not take responsibility for their part .
When there is no more growth in this relationship.
When leaving is better than staying any longer.
Realizing how you would feel when that person is no longer in your life.(go away for a weekend by yourself , no other distractions) and observe how you feel away from that person.( miss them or not?)

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s just reminding me of the heartbreak I went through when my first marriage ended, is all. Although it is what I wanted, it was still devastating. I didn’t get married lightly or casually.

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