Break-ups, Separation & Divorce

Is It Time to Break Up? The 8 Signs You Should Be Aware Of...

Breakups, Divorce and Separation

For most of us, it’s quite typical to occasionally wonder whether we should stay together with a partner or end the relationship, especially when things are beginning to get serious. All couples will go through periods in their relationship where challenges arise that need to be worked through. 

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There are some definite signs though, that can help you identify if you and your significant other are merely navigating your way through a rough patch, or whether it may in fact be time to end your relationship.

So, what are the signs you need to look out for?

You keep breaking up and getting back together

If you find yourself in a pattern of breaking up and getting back together, this is a tell-tale sign that it may be better for you in the long-term to end the relationship for good. The constant back and forth of breaking up and getting back together shows that one or both of you are lacking true commitment to the relationship, and that neither person wants to acknowledge the underlying reason/s for the numerous breakups.

You’re experiencing abuse

If you’re experiencing verbal, emotional, financial, or physical abuse, you need to seek help. It’s never acceptable for a partner to control, yell abuse, control or isolate you from your friends and/or family. It can be difficult to recognise the signs of abuse, but a professional, registered counsellor will be able to help you identify it, even if you don’t recognise your partner’s behaviour towards you as being abusive.

You don’t feel you can trust your partner

Healthy relationships require trust and stability, and if you keep wondering whether you can trust what your partner is saying or doing because their actions are alerting you to something that seems ‘off’, or if you’re constantly wondering whether or not you can trust them without any evidence to support it, this can erode a relationship. If you don’t feel like you can share your true feelings with your partner, this can also indicate a lack of trust. If your relationship is lacking trust, then it may be time to seek help or part ways. 

You don’t feel you can be yourself in the relationship

If you find that you are always trying to be the person you think your partner wants you to be, rather than just being yourself, it can be a sign that you have placed your partner on a pedestal and that you are trying to please them in order to keep them interested in you. This can be a sign of co-dependency and is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If your partner constantly criticises you and puts you down, and you find yourself constantly trying to live up to their high expectations, over time, it can eat away at your self-esteem, and it may be in your best interest to walk away from the relationship. 

You don’t share the same values

When you’re in the beginning stages of a relationship, having similar lifestyles can make you think that this alone will make you a good couple. Unfortunately, similar lifestyles are only a very small part of what makes a successful relationship. What really keeps couples connected is having shared personal values. Liking the same sports, social activities, movies, and music can be helpful in the beginning stages of a relationship, however, sharing core values such as loyalty, family, honesty, responsibility etc., provide a strong foundation for a good relationship. A good relationship encourages us to live by our values and be our best selves.

You’re growing at a different pace and in a different direction to your partner

People change. Over the course of time, we may find that we don’t always do this in sync with our partners. If two individuals are not moving forward together in the same direction, they will in time become strangers who no longer know one another. Significant life changes can impact a couple’s relationship, and this can happen in numerous ways. Examples of this may include a partner taking up a spiritual or religious path that their partner doesn’t want to follow, or if one partner is success-driven and the other is happy just being in the same job and is not motivated to succeed. A relationship is doomed if partners have different visions about where they want to move towards in their lives. If they’re pulling in different directions, the relationship won’t usually succeed.

You’re always the one to compromise

All relationships require some compromise; this is the way we show our partner that we care for and support them. Often, it’s just a matter of letting your partner watch the movie they’d like to see or how you will spend your weekend together. Some bigger compromises are when a partner may need to move interstate or overseas for a job or deciding whose family to spend Christmas with. If you’re the one who is always having to compromise, it can lead to resentment and bitterness in the longer term, and this may require you to re-evaluate your relationship and decide whether you want to live with the inequality of always being the one to compromise

You’re constantly thinking about breaking up

If every once in a while you wonder whether it would be better to be single; this is nothing to worry about. If you find that you can’t stop thinking about breaking up; this is worth paying serious attention to. If you’re constantly hoping that your partner will change, or if you’re considering various ways to exit the relationship to avoi causing your partner too much hurt, it may be worth considering whether you’re simply looking for a way out of the relationship.

There is never an exact time when a relationship comes to a screeching halt. Even when one partner is blindsided by a breakup, often their partner has been thinking about breaking up for some time. Prior to a relationship finally ending, there’s usually a period of building realisations, trying and failing, and getting to know each other to see what can and can’t work. Trust can be earned, and skills like good communication can be learned. Also, if one partner has deeper issues, but is willing to seek professional help, then a relationship may be able to get back on track.

If you and our partner are struggling in your relationship, it could be helpful to seek the support of a registered, professional counsellor. Please contact Sydney Hills Counselling for more information or to book an appointment. Although we have temporarily halted face-to-face counselling appointments, Sydney Hills Counselling is offering Telehealth sessions via Zoom, telephone counselling, and email counselling. Please contact us today to see how we can help you. Due to a recent increase in inquiries, contacting us via email here rather than calling us, will ensure a timely response to your inquiry. You can also leave a voice message on (02) 9159 6277.