The topic of why people stay in long-term relationships, even though the relationship is no longer working anymore, has often been discussed, but one reason is thought to be due to the attachment that is formed over the years spent together.
Why do people keep hanging onto a dead relationship?
In many cases, we like the stability that a relationship offers – and we are afraid to be alone, even if it means dragging a dead-end relationship.
Also, people keep on holding on to a dead-end relationship, as they consider their partner a “work in progress”, and continue fixing their partner.
While every relationship waxes and wanes over time, if you suspect that you are in a dead-end relationship, it is a red flag that you should not ignore.
Before we delve into how to get out of a dead-end marriage or how to end a relationship that has run its course, let’s dive headlong into the signs of a dead marriage or know when it’s time to end a relationship.
Signs of a dead-end relationship
There are many tell-tale signs that you’re in a dead-end relationship. These glaring red-flags are indicative of when is it time to end a relationship.
Although it will be difficult, every person should value their time and realize that a relationship that does not bring value to your life is not worth being a part of. Losing your value or having your self-worth diminished spells the end of a relationship. Having said that, ending a dead-end marriage or relationship can be the most difficult decision of your adult life.
Even more importantly, do you feel that you would be happier outside this relationship?
You may even be more than simply unhappy; you may also feel sad and you may find yourself breaking down at various points. That answers how to know when to end a relationship.
2. You have a feeling that something isn’t right
Do you have a feeling that something isn’t right in your relationship? That it may be time for the relationship to end but you don’t want to accept the idea? If this has been a persistent feeling, it is not something to ignore.
3. The bad times outweigh the good
Do you find yourself asking, “should I end my relationship?”
Do you spend more time arguing than actually enjoying each other’s company?
Do you argue about the future?
Do you discuss the future at all?
All of these issues are signs that you may be in a dead-end relationship. Further, do you try to fix your partner or does your partner try to fix you?
If you argue about the same issues over and over, things aren’t likely to change in the future. Are you willing to accept that? If not, it is time to move on.
Another related sign of a dead-end relationship is one in which you find yourself getting angry at everything your partner does– perhaps even unreasonably angry – when in the past you would have let things go easily.
4. The relationship has “changed” and not for the better
Apart from an increase in fights, other dynamics in your relationship may have changed, too.
Perhaps there is more distance, which could manifest itself in a lack of physical intimacy. You often find yourself tossing in the bed, or staring at the ceiling asking yourself, is my relationship dead.
You could also simply spend less time with each other, and you may even prefer to spend time with your friends instead.
If you recognize a lot of these signs in your own relationship, it may be time to accept that you’re in a dead-end relationship and take steps to move on.
You want to part on good terms, pick up the best way to end a relationship and create a solid foundation so that you can both move on in a healthy way.
Tips on how to end a dead-end relationship
1. Be honest with yourself first
There is no easy answer to the question, how to end a long term relationship.
If you’ve been struggling with the relationship for some time, or your partner has been unable to meet your needs, be honest with yourself and know that it is in your best interest to move forward.
Once you commit internally, don’t question yourself. Don’t re-evaluate your decision.
2. Discuss things face-to-face
First and foremost, you should never end a relationship via email, text, or any other electronic means. Although 33% of people have been broken up with via technology, according to a survey by Lab24, this does not create a strong foundation and can lead to problems down the road.
3. Consider the time and place
Although you may be tempted to rush into a conversation to get it over with, you should have control over all the possible variables that could potentially disrupt your talk. In short, put some thought into selecting a location that allows for an extended period of time, free of any disruptions.
4. Be 100% forthcoming and honest about your feelings
Research has suggested that taking the open confrontation approach to breaking up, in which the partner is forthcoming and honest about their feelings, caused the least amount of stress.
This approach was more effective than placing blame on yourself or trying to end things gradually.
Once you have committed to moving on, commit to it 100% and see it through.
Of course, just because it’s best to be direct and honest, it doesn’t mean that you should be harsh or put blame on the other person. There’s a balance that you should strive for. At the same time, don’t make promises you can’t keep just to make your ex feel better. It is important to be firm and stick to your ground.
After all, this is the only way you will eventually be able to move on and find yourself engaging in other things. If you are feeling guilty about ending a relationship, then don’t. It’s in the best interest of both parties.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.