“I don’t love you anymore” or “I don’t feel happy with you anymore” – The first sign your relationship is over could be these words. Relationships can be complicated. Nobody tells you what a good one feels like, nobody tells you when it’s a good idea to end it. You’re left to wing it, based on how you feel. But when you successfully fool yourself into thinking that the signs your relationship is beyond repair don’t mean much, you’re on the cusp of permanent emotional harm.
And it’s easy to see why you’re holding on. You’ve probably spent too much time, energy, and emotions on this person, and to accept that it’s over would be like accepting that your judgment about them was wrong. But even so, you find yourself here, reading this article.
When a relationship is beyond repair, you’re probably going to feel it in your bones. But since your stubborn self won’t let you accept it, we brought along psychologist Anita Eliza, (MSc in Applied Psychology), who specializes in issues like anxiety, depression, relationships, and self-esteem, to help point out the signs your relationship is beyond repair.
An Expert Tells Us 15 Signs Your Relationship Is Beyond Repair
Can a relationship be damaged beyond repair? Yes, it can. We’re sorry to break it to you, but sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. “When I realized my partner could not process a single emotion I put in front of him was the day I gave up on my marriage. It felt like we were roommates, emotionally dead and physically present as though the law required us to be,” says Euleen, talking about her decade-long marriage that slowly decayed.
No, it’s not just a “rough patch” if you two have been fighting about every single thing for months on end. No, taking a “break” won’t magically fix all your problems. No, trying to stop a nasty fight mid-way by saying “I love you” and kissing each other like in the movies isn’t going to work.
When too much damage has been done and a relationship is beyond saving, a lack of empathy and consideration replaces feelings of love and care, as Euleen found out. Though she dragged her emotionally exhausting relationship longer than she should have, it eventually came to a bitter end.
“When you’re looking for signs your relationship is beyond repair, how you talk to each other is the most obvious indicator. The words, the tone, and how you speak can tell you all you need to know about the state of your relationship,” says Anita.
So, are your words and tone indicating something? How do you know when your relationship is beyond repair? What are the indicators? To make sure you don’t end up turning a blind eye to the most obvious signals, let’s take a look at the 15 most common signs your relationship is beyond repair:
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1. The on-again-off-again never stops
When two people break up, it’s often because an issue led them to believe that being together was just not feasible anymore. But when three weeks pass and the “I just want to hug her again” feeling sets back in, you forget all about the problems you had. However, just like that pack of cigarettes you thought your mom would never find, the problems you swept under the rug come back with an agenda to mess things up.
Regardless of whether it’s incapability or an unwillingness to work on the issues, you probably know that the problems you have are always going to cause a rift. When someone hurts you beyond repair, it’s vital to stand up for yourself and invest in self-preservation. A bit of self-love and self-respect will do you some good in the long run.
Related Reading: Has Your Husband Checked Out Emotionally? 12 Signs Of a Failing Marriage
2. There’s contempt in the relationship
“In my experience with clients who go through marital resentment issues, I can say that one of the major signs your relationship is beyond repair is when there is contempt in the relationship. Partners will disregard and disrespect the feelings and thoughts of others. They will put the person down constantly to prove themselves,” says Anita.
A lingering sense of hostility in the air is bound to turn into a toxic smell sooner or later. When you despise someone you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with, it’s time to reconsider things.
3. Effort is a distant concept
Sure, love is what’s needed to help you establish a strong bond with your partner. But it’s not the only thing that will help a relationship survive the test of time. Just the way no plant in the world can survive on you promising it all the water and sunshine in the world, a relationship too needs nurturing to survive.
The effort you put into yourself, the effort you put into your relationship, and the effort that you put in with your partner, all help sustain and nurture your bond. When you’ve stopped working on yourself and your bond with your significant other, a sense of over-familiarity, complacency, and taking your relationship for granted will pile up, causing your bond to crumble.
4. Signs your relationship is beyond repair – You’re walking on eggshells
“When someone has to walk on eggshells around their partner all the time, continuing the relationship can be very frustrating. One or both of the partners may not feel comfortable being themselves. When you have to constantly be someone else so that peace is maintained in your relationship, it’s going to create conflict internally. You will always be at war with yourself since you’re essentially a version of yourself that you do not want to be,” says Anita.
When you feel as though you need to maneuver your way around topics so you don’t incite a fight, it’s bound to get the better of you sooner or later. So, how do you know when your relationship is beyond repair? If you have to be someone else to sustain it, that’s a pretty good indicator that too much damage has been done.
5. The fights are far from civil
It’s when you’re fighting with your partner that you realize what they’re really like. S/he may seem like the nicest person in the world, who writes you poems and sends surprise doughnuts to your house, but when the fights show you a nasty side of them that you cannot work with, it can be a huge problem.
Conflict resolution, for any sort of relationship, is vital. When your fights are unfair, disrespectful, and make you fear for your physical or mental safety, it can be one of the signs your marriage is beyond repair or your relationship is doomed to fail. Abusive tendencies may stem from a lack of respect, which signals that the very foundation of your relationship is a shambles.
6. There’s indifference and neglect
“Another unmissable sign your relationship is beyond repair is when there’s a tangible sense of neglect among the partner,” says Anita, adding, “It may make you feel your partner does not care for you anymore, or they cannot be bothered about how you feel or what’s going on in your life. When a relationship is beyond saving, this usually isn’t the case only during conflicts. Facing neglect becomes a way of life. When two partners are indifferent, they’re indirectly telling the other that they don’t matter to them.”
Think about it, when it seems like your partner doesn’t care much about what you do or how your day was or if you’ve been hurt by something, can you expect them to support you when you may need it? Besides, when someone hurts you beyond repair, you may just end up in a state of indifference yourself.
Related Reading: 11 Things You Can Do If You Are Not Happy In A Marriage
7. There’s a severe lack of empathy
“Is my relationship beyond repair?” One of the signs it is, is if there is a lack of empathy in your relationship. It can take many forms. Perhaps all you face is criticism, or you never feel like your feelings are validated. Disrespect, lack of appreciation, lack of accountability are all symptoms that point toward the larger problem.
Speaking on the subject, psychologist Jaseena Backer previously told Bonobology, “Empathy in relationships is understanding the feelings of the other person. In my opinion, it is the single most important factor in a relationship as it can help you see things from your partner’s point of view and understand their feelings and perspective.”
8. How do you know when your relationship is beyond repair? There’s a lack of trust
“When you can’t trust your partner, you’re constantly going to be on alert mode. You will always worry about what your partner or spouse is doing, and your anxious mind will drive you crazy. This anxiety can distort your perception of the other person. If it’s not addressed in time, it will eventually create a wall between you two that will be either too hard to climb over or break down,” says Anita.
Of course, a lack of trust can be worked upon. But, as Anita points out, it needs to be addressed early on. And if it’s you who has damaged the relationship, then figuring out how to fix a relationship you ruined may seem impossible. However, when done earnestly enough, it might just be worth a shot.
9. A toxic relationship is an instant no-go
If you’re convinced that your relationship is affecting your physical or mental health for the worse, there’s really no need to look for more signs your relationship is beyond repair. A toxic relationship can end up causing long-lasting harm to your mental and physical well-being, and getting out of one as soon as you spot the signs can save you from years of trauma and abuse.
10. A lack of communication
If you’re asking yourself, “Is my relationship beyond repair?”, know that this is one of the definite signs that it is. Sure, a lack of communication can be worked on, but in some cases, the way you talk to each other can clearly define what’s working and what’s not. Anita explains, “A lack of communication can create distance among partners who have been together for years. You might end up feeling like you don’t “know” your spouse at all.
“Communication doesn’t just mean words. It means talking about your thoughts, feelings, opinions, emotions with your partner and letting them know what’s going on. And it’s not just the issues that need to be talked about, words of affirmation are just as important. I’ve come across many couples who never tell their partner that they love them. They end up living like roommates and getting out of the relationship isn’t a big deal for them.”
11. Your future goals couldn’t be further apart
One of the signs your marriage is beyond repair that you may well have ignored in the past is when your future goals are polar opposite. Perhaps he wants to live the Ibiza life and buy a penthouse, and all you care for is a quiet suburban neighborhood.
Perhaps she wants to retire early, and you can’t live without traveling the entire world while working. It may not seem like a huge deal when you’re just getting together, but it might just make you look back and say, “When we realized our version of the future didn’t align was the day I gave up on my marriage.”
Related Reading: How To Get Over A Long-Term Relationship Breakup
12. You don’t feel joy anymore
“I feel miserable around you” – The first sign your relationship is over could be these words. Spending a lazy afternoon with your partner, not really doing anything with them is supposed to make you feel at ease, and perhaps a bit grateful about what you have. But when it feels like a chore instead, you may need to figure a few things out.
One of the signs your relationship is beyond repair is when the joy and happiness that partners are supposed to feel together has been sucked out of it. Perhaps you’re panicking about a fight, or you’re just not happy to see your partner. Either way, there’s some thinking to be done because it only goes on to show that you’ve been hurt beyond repair.
13. Signs your relationship is beyond repair? Either of you is thinking of having an affair
The psychological facts about cheating tell us that affairs can often be sought out when partners are not happy in their relationship. If yours has reached a stage where the temptation to find a third seems to grow stronger by the day, perhaps an evaluation is necessary.
Instead of cheating, you should definitely end things with your current partner before trying to find another. If you don’t, you might just be left looking for answers to questions like how to fix a relationship you ruined. Besides, it’s not fair to your partner if you cheat on them.
14. There’s no intimacy
Emotional and physical intimacy is what most relationships thrive on. Only when you feel emotionally connected with your partner do you feel comfortable confiding in them. In the lack of a shared safe space, you may find it hard to connect. Though it may not signal imminent doom, it’ll definitely result in a dynamic that’s not too fulfilling. Besides, when someone hurts you beyond repair, re-establishing physical or emotional intimacy with them is often harder than it seems.
15. You don’t want to try anymore
When you can see yourself drifting apart from your partner but still choose to not try to save it, you basically have an answer to your “is my relationship beyond repair” dilemma. There’s no bigger sign that your relationship is beyond repair or that too much damage has been done than when fighting for it seems like a chore instead of something non-negotiable. If you’ve lost the will to try, know that there’s a problem.
It may be hard to accept the signs we have listed out but ripping the band-aid off is the only thing that’s going to help you. The first step toward recovery is acceptance and being strong enough to accept these signs and ending what you have will eventually set you free.
How Do You Fix A Relationship Beyond Repair?
You’re probably recalling the days when your relationship was all hunky-dory and full of love and care for one another. However, it isn’t the same anymore and you wonder where it all went wrong. You loved spending time with your partner and talking to them but now you barely speak. Even if you do, it ends in a fight or argument. In short, too much damage has been done already.
Can a relationship be damaged beyond repair? Yes. But is it possible to fix it? Also, yes. Now that you know the signs your relationship is beyond repair, also understand that it is possible to fix it. We understand that the deterioration of your bond may have caused you immense but the damage can be undone. If you’re constantly asking yourself, “Can a damaged relationship be repaired?” or “How do I fix my relationship with my boyfriend or girlfriend?”, allow us to help you. Here are 5 ways you can fix a relationship beyond repair:
Related Reading: How To Fix Lack Of Communication In A Relationship – 15 Expert Tips
1. Communicate with each other
We can’t stress this enough. You’re probably tired of hearing it again and again, but it is the truth. Communication is key to conflict resolution in a relationship. It is important if you want your bond with your partner to get better. Put your point of view across and allow your partner to communicate their feelings to you. You need to have an honest conversation about the issues in your relationship and what went wrong. It is the first step to fix a relationship beyond repair.
2. Seek therapy
If the situation is out of your control or too much damage has been done, seek professional help. Couples therapy is one of the most effective answers to “Can a damaged relationship be repaired?” or “Is there a way to fix my relationship with my boyfriend or girlfriend after being hurt beyond repair?”
A therapist or a marriage counselor will be able to look at the problem through an unbiased lens and offer a fresh perspective, which might just help you fix your relationship with your beloved. Their therapy techniques and exercises will help you navigate the problem and improve your equation with your partner. If you’re looking for help, licensed and experienced therapists on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.
3. Figure out if the relationship is worth saving
Before you make any attempt to fix your relationship, take a step back and ask yourself if it is worth saving. If you’ve been facing any kind of abuse, know that too much damage has been done. You’ve probably been abused and hurt beyond repair and no abusive relationship is ever worth saving. However, if your relationship issues are less insidious and think you can still salvage whatever little is left, then go for it. Give it your best shot. However, if you see that you’re the only one making all the effort, maybe it’s time to rethink your decision to stay in the relationship.
4. Acknowledge your mistakes and apologize
This is one of the most important things to do if you’re wondering how to fix a relationship you ruined. While you may not be the only person responsible for your relationship or marriage falling apart, you were a contributor. Take stock of your mistakes, acknowledge them and apologize to your partner for the same. More often than not, a relationship falls apart because partners don’t take responsibility for their actions, leading to resentment between them. But, if you want to repair a damaged relationship, accepting and apologizing for your mistakes is the first step to doing it.
5. Rebuild intimacy
Building emotional and physical intimacy is crucial to fixing any damaged relationship. Have meaningful conversations with each other. Engage in effective physical contact that makes you feel loved and connected. Holding hands, hugging, or cuddling with your partner shows that you still love and care for them. Maintain eye contact, listen to what your partner wants to say, touch them in non-sexual ways, and at the same time, try to spice things up in the bedroom.
- Relationships are hard work. If you’ve been hurt beyond repair, know that you can notice the signs and work toward fixing your damaged relationship
- Indifference and neglect, lack of intimacy, feeling of contempt, nasty fights, not wanting to try or make the effort to stay together, and communication problems are a few signs your relationship is beyond repair
- Other signs include not feeling happy, thoughts of infidelity, lack of trust, and different priorities or future goals
- Can a damaged relationship be repaired? Yes, it can. Seeking couples therapy, communicating with your partner, and rebuilding intimacy can help partners fix a relationship beyond repair
When you notice the signs your relationship is beyond repair, there are two things that can be done. You either give up on your partner and the relationship and move on or make the effort to set things right. If you choose to do the latter, know that you need to have a lot of patience and make a tremendous amount of effort because fixing a broken relationship is not a walk in the park. But, with the right help and the points listed above, we hope you’ll come out of it with flying colors.
es, a relationship can be too damaged to fix. If your relationship has turned toxic or has turned abusive, it’s often almost impossible—and inadvisable—to continue. What makes a relationship beyond repair really depends on how much disrespect is the limit for the people in it.
Sure, taking a break can help a broken relationship, but it won’t magically fix all your problems. The only thing the space is going to do is put you in a better state of mind to tackle your problems, not fix them for you.
The signs your relationship is beyond repair include contempt in the relationship, toxicity or abuse, indifference or disrespect, or a severe lack of empathy.
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