Saying goodbye to someone you love is never easy. Breakups are painful and it causes a lot of hurt to both partners when one of them decides to end a relationship for good. To avoid the pain and the negative chatter from society, people often stay in bad or meaningless marriages because they feel they don’t have valid reasons to end a relationship.
Here is where they go wrong. Sometimes relationships have an expiry date and they need to end, period! When a relationship has run its course and you have grown apart, all reasons are valid to end it, no matter what people say. Walking out is the right thing to do when staying on is not an option.
Sometimes, even seemingly ‘perfect’ relationships end, which leaves a lot of questions – “why did s/he do it?” “They were such a good couple, what could possibly go wrong” so on and so forth. Truth is, there might be no overt signs but if you have good reasons to end a relationship, they are good enough, regardless of what others feel!
A lot of times, people struggle to decide whether their reasons are valid enough to end a relationship for good. To decode that for you, we bring you some perfectly valid and understandable reasons to end a relationship without feeling guilty, in consultation with psychologist Gopa Khan.
12 Completely Valid Reasons To End A Relationship
There is no denying the fact that despite the serious issues that crop up in a relationship we keep thinking that if we keep trying things will work out in the end.
But we have to accept the fact that certain situations do not need a lot of consideration and should be reason enough to end a relationship. We talk up 12 such valid reasons:
Related Reading: 15 Subtle Yet Strong Signs Your Marriage Will End In Divorce
1. There is abuse
Be it physical, emotional or verbal, abuse is an absolute no-no. Even the first hint of abuse should be a reason to end a long-term relationship. There are some reasons that cannot be compromised and abuse is one of them. Sometimes, abusers might express remorse and make genuine attempts to reform.
It is also possible that their abusive nature comes from a traumatic past which you might be tempted to forgive. However, the inconsistency in behavior, the verbal lashings, the fear of fights getting physical can wreak havoc on your mind. If you do not stand up, it can be incredibly damaging to your psyche. Walk out.
Gopa agrees that abuse is one of the most valid reasons to end a relationship for good. “Most women end up waiting for years for their spouse to change and they finally realize that the change will never happen. In many cases, they finally leave the relationship, when the violence is targeted toward the children.
“Unfortunately, a lot of women stay on, and even tragically lose their lives, because the thought of leaving an abusive relationship seems too intimidating. Staying on for the sake of the children is one common reason they use to rationalize this, despite being abused physically, emotionally or sexually every day.”
2. They have betrayed your trust
Cheating is hard to forget or forgive. So are lying or keeping secrets from one another. Has your partner broken your trust one too many times? If yes, the relationship is treading on thin ice. Also, remember that cheaters can stray again so you need to decide carefully if they deserve another chance.
When it comes to infidelity, your ability to forgive your partner for cheating and move on matters a lot. Are you able to get past their indiscretion, if they beg and plead before you?
If you feel it’s too much, then it’s best to walk out and start anew. Cheating is one of the big reasons to end a relationship, however strong it may have been. “If the spouse is genuinely remorseful, then things can get better over time with couple’s therapy. But if the betrayal continues, then the person being betrayed needs to understand that the relationship they are trying to ‘rescue’ does not exist in the first place.
“For instance, a couple, who had been married for 10 years, came to me for help. The husband had been cheated on a couple of times but still kept holding on to the relationship and kept hoping things would change for the better. I was probably the 3rd or 4th therapist they had approached in the last few years,” Gopa explains. In short, the nature of cheating can become a deciding factor in whether or not to end a relationship with someone you love.
3. They refuse to change
Does your otherwise perfect partner have a bad habit you can’t condone – drinking, smoothing, excessive gambling, bad financial decisions and so on? This can create a huge wedge between the two of you. The problem can snowball, if, despite your best efforts, he refuses to change.
Gopa advises, “In case of addiction issues or a nervous breakdown, a spouse/partner may find it challenging to cope. In such relationships, a spouse is an “enabler”, then reaches a stage where they are not able to be “caregivers” anymore. At this point, they need to realize that they cannot ‘rescue’ someone unless they wish to change for the better.”
There is no one without faults but if he refuses to make any effort, it means he simply doesn’t respect you enough to listen to you. And you having to suffer the consequences of his bad behavior is enough reason to end a relationship, no matter what people say.
4. You are holding each other back
“At times, relationships become stagnant or “dead” and no amount of therapy can help the relationship. Sometimes, people stay on in relationships, because they are scared of the unknown or worried about how they will survive on their own,” says Gopa.
Do you have some dreams you want to fulfill? Sometimes the journey to fulfilling those dreams means letting go of someone you love. It might be difficult to end a long-term relationship but if you and your partner want different things in life, there isn’t much point in continuing it.
Are you sacrificing your aspirations to stay with your partner? Perhaps you got a great opportunity in New York but might have to refuse because he doesn’t want to move from LA. If you can’t find a middle ground where you can stay together and not give up on your ambitions, it might lead to resentment in the relationship. In such circumstances, it’s best to end a relationship without hurting each other.
5. You are always fighting
There is no relationship without fights but fighting on a regular basis is not a good thing. When your everyday conversations turn into slanging matches, they can take a toll on your mental health. In the initial years, it might be easy to turn a blind eye and patch up after a fight but as the years go by, it doesn’t seem so smooth.
Gopa says, “Such relationships are emotionally, mentally & physically draining. It impacts every aspect of their life. The children who are innocent bystanders get badly impacted psychologically when they see their parents fighting. It is like living in a ‘war zone’.”
It is difficult to end a relationship on good terms if you have been sniping and snarling at each other for most of the years you have been together. But the only advantage is that the separation might be quick as your partner is as likely to want to walk out themselves. When the atmosphere at home is toxic, you have enough reasons to end a relationship.
6. Your needs are not being met
In a good relationship, the couple should both speak the same love language. This means that despite differences, your end goal and core family values are the same. But when your needs are not met, it is difficult to stay together. Does he feel you are too clingy? Does he deny the physical affection you crave?
When he does not give enough importance to your needs, love slowly vanishes out of the window even if there is nothing ‘wrong’ with him.
“Usually, spouses end up staying in such relationships and compromise because they have children, and may lack the resources or support system to help them make a clean transition out of the marriage. However, marriage is not a one-way road. If the marriage or relationship is not safe, unhealthy and you are not getting anything out of the relationship, then that relationship will continue to be an unhappy one,” says Gopa.
Do not neglect your needs if they are too important to you. So you have the right to pull the plug on the relationship that makes you incomplete no matter what people say.
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7. You have drifted apart
“Often people get a rude shock when their children leave for college, and they realize they have nothing in common. If during couple therapy, they are unable to reconnect or find it difficult to live with one another as they can no longer relate to each other, then they need to take stock of the situation and find a way to end a relationship without hurting each other,” opines Gopa.
You don’t ask how their day was. You spend weeks and days without calling or texting them and you don’t miss the communication. You may love your partner but you are not IN love with them. Being in a relationship with someone you barely see or talk to is hardly a relationship at all.
While it is difficult to maintain the same passion that you had while you started out, a relationship is dead when indifference creeps in. So much so that you might even end up wondering what to say to end a relationship – it is a sign that you both have completely drifted apart.
8. You don’t see the point anymore
Your friends disapprove of it. Your family might be aghast. Your larger social circle might not just get it. But going your separate ways when you don’t see the point of being together anymore is among the perfectly valid reasons to end a relationship.
Most people continue staying in the wrong relationship because they don’t let the time and energy that they have invested in it go to waste.
But second guessing your relationship, no longer enjoying the time together, having awkward conversations and having forced interactions are signs that the two of you have grown apart, no matter what the world says about you.
9. They stop making an effort
Is your partner losing interest in the relationship? It’s time to talk to them about it. It can be a hard thing to come to terms with the fact that the person you love doesn’t love you back the way you need.
But you deserve to be with someone who loves you, listens to you and wants you in their life.
If you are the only one making all the effort in your relationship, you are the only person making the sacrifices and adjustments required to go forward, you will only end up ruining your self-esteem and breaking your heart again. The sooner you realize it and decide to walk away despite the pain, the better.
10. You have problems in bed
This might not sound that important but sexual problems can often lead to the divorce courts or the road towards splitsville.
It is another matter if your sexual life is dull but if your partner is inattentive to your needs, cares only about his pleasure and does not take your refusal (if you are not in the mood for it), then it doesn’t make for an equal relationship.
It also denotes a certain amount of selfishness. Once the attraction goes, the relationship almost seems like a burden and the bedroom problems might just exacerbate other issues. Not many people will walk out just because they have stopped feeling sexually attracted to their partners but they can sure add to the list of reasons to end a relationship.
Related Reading: Sexual Compatibility – Meaning, Importance And Signs
11. You have insurmountable cultural, racial or religious differences
You often wear rose-tinted glasses during your dating and honeymoon period due to which you often don’t see the red flags. Ideally love is supposed to last beyond race, religion or cultural differences but if a couple does not have the maturity to reconcile with their inherent disparities, problems can arise.
Gopa explains, “Things that seemed great or cute in the early stages of the relationship may later become a major bone of contention among the couple. Major daily differences that cannot be resolved through communication or dialogue can lead to volatile arguments and trigger irreconcilable differences.”
Often couples in interfaith, interracial or intercultural marriages find it tough to adjust especially if they are rigid about their faith and traditions.
“For example, a woman married for many years with two sons had to deal with her in-laws’ orthodox views on what women should or should not do. Being a qualified professional, after some time that became a bone of contention between the couple as the spouse would refuse to act as a buffer between his spouse and extended family, which ended up damaging their fragile marriage, leading to separation,” she adds.
Similarly, habits and lifestyles dictated by religion can be difficult to change and any attempts by a partner to convert their better half to their way of life can lead to strife especially if not done voluntarily.
12. You fantasize about someone else
We all have our fantasies. But how long will you go in trying to make them a reality? It is different if you have a bit of fantasy over an Ashton Kutcher or Chris Hemsworth but if you find yourself building dreams and fantasies around, not your partner, but someone else it could be signs of trouble.
“In a way, this is a form of ‘cheating’ in a marriage. I dealt with a case where the husband would be on late calls with unknown women, watch porn and share his ‘fantasies’ with his spouse which led to extreme insecurity. The wife felt inadequate and unable to trust or respect her spouse. Inability to deal with marriage in a mature fashion can lead to frustration and heartbreak in a marriage,” says Gopa.
You may not sign separation papers just because you can’t get that cute client of yours out of your mind but if your partner rarely figures in your dreams of the future, it probably means that he no longer figures in them. “I keep thinking about ending my relationship” you may say not because there is something wrong in it but because there is nothing right in it either.
While adjustments and compromises are essential for a long-lasting relationship, never negate your feelings. Your feelings are valid and so are your needs. The world may be against you but it’s your inner self that has to agree with your feelings. And you have every right to choose what to do next and how to live your life. Your reasons to end a relationship might sound flimsy to others but they are important to you and that’s all that matters in the end.
You have to just be honest about why you want to walk out of a relationship. Because any lies or mistakes might just cause more pain and hurt. Make it positive, say sorry and try not to blame them, especially if they haven’t done anything too terrible to you.
Cheating, infidelity, lying, refusing to change and being inattentive to your partner’s needs when they turn to you for support are reasons to end a relationship. Sometimes, just drifting apart because you share nothing in common is a reason to walk out.
It is never easy to walk out of a relationship but you can end it on a good term by slowly weaning yourself away from the relationship. Take your time and slowly ensure that your partner knows you are unhappy with it. Honest talk, or seeking the help of a counselor also can make a difference.
If either of the partners has made a genuine mistake and he or she is willing to rectify it, take responsibility for it and is doing everything they can to avoid it, it makes sense to compromise in a relationship and give it another chance.