How To Decide If You Should Break Up – Part 2

Of course breaking up is painful, and nobody wants to be an ex-partner – so on this website you’ll find information about getting over a breakup, getting back with an ex, how to save your marriage, and how to bring your ex boyfriend back (or ex girlfriend).

And in addition, in this section we offer some advice on how to tell if your relationship is headed for disaster or success.

Welcome to Part 2 of how to know when you SHOULD breakup (part 1 here)!

This time, rather than looking at yourself, we’ll be looking at your partner.

Just like there are two sides to every story, there are two people in every relationship, and so now it’s time to think about what your partner might be doing to you that could lead to a breakup and you being an “ex-boyfriend” or “ex-girlfriend”, either by dumping or through being dumped.

Is Your Relationship Healthy?

Who's pulling your strings?
Who’s pulling your strings?

Depending on your own level of awareness, you might already be aware that you’re in a manipulative or controlling relationship. People who are aware that they’re being controlled in this way are generally unhappy most of the time, and the feeling of dissatisfaction can eventually grow to the point where they want to end the relationship.

No surprise, because when your partner’s manipulative, it generally means he or she would have to change their behavior dramatically to become a healthy person to be with in relationship – and that’s not likely to happen.

But really, whether your partner is willing to change their behaviour or not, it might be best for you to end your relationship as soon as possible. If you feel that your partner’s controlling everything you do, or threatening you in any way, you’ve already got a major problem.

You can get advice on how to break up with somebody who is manipulative or controlling here – it’s sometimes best done from a distance, when you’re in a safe place.

Does Your Partner Respect You?

People who really care about each other at a deep level are not going to diminish or criticize you in front of others.

Sure, having a discussion about your behaviour is one thing, but hearing yourself being made fun of, especially of it’s malicious, is another.

So when your partner sees fit to make fun of you or what you say or do in the presence of other people this might be a sign about how they truly feel towards you. And bear in mind that a disrespectful attitude can be much more subtle than an outright insult.

It’s also clear that someone who is constantly diminishing you probably doesn’t have your welfare at heart. This could mean shouting at you, putting you down, and being cruel to you.

So for example, if you sense your partner is ashamed of you or the relationship, you also have a problem. If your “partner” is embarrassed to tell anyone you are going out together,  or doesn’t invite you to meet their family, this is a simple sign that it’s time to get out.

You need to be with someone who is proud to have you on their arm. Surely?

How is intimacy and sex? If it's not going well, or your partner avoids intimacy, this may be a sign your relationship is threatened.
How is intimacy and sex? If it’s not going well, or your partner avoids intimacy, this may be a sign your relationship is threatened.

Another way in which a partner can show disrespect to you is by never wanting sex, or initiating intimacy. But be careful here, because many people have hangups around sex and intimacy. The reason someone’s afraid to initiate sexual contact or even just cuddling might be that they have some deeper issue with sex or intimacy which needs to be dealt with in counseling or therapy.

Avoiding such an issue won’t help anything – it needs to be talked about, and if you’re the one who opens up the discussion, so much the better.

Another “respect” issue that comes up in relationships is pressure to conform.

If your partner is putting pressure on you to do what they want, for example to have sex when you’re not ready, to engage in behaviors that are dysfunctional or unhelpful to you, or generally pressuring you to make you do things you simply don’t want to do, then please ask yourself why you’re in the relationship.

In this situation, the best thing to do is not to try and save your marriage or your relationship, but simply to leave, and then, without even trying to get your ex back, seek out some relationship advice.

Remember, it’s not always obvious to YOU whether or not you’re under this kind of pressure, particularly if you’re a people pleaser by nature.

Leave As A Pre-emptive Measure

The pain of getting over a breakup can be greatly eased if you never feel the need to try and get back with your ex-boyfriend or your ex-girlfriend, because you made a reasoned decision to leave them in the first place.

You might still miss them, but on balance you’ll be much better off without a dysfunctional person in your life. So if anybody’s warned you about the person you’re dating, then do take time to consider what they’re trying to tell you.

We’re not talking about your best friend saying “You deserve somebody better”. We’re talking about a situation where all your family are telling you the person you’re with is completely wrong for you.

Now sometimes you may well know what you want better than your family knows, but if everyone, family and friends alike, are telling you you’re in danger or there’s something wrong, then please at least consider whether they might be right.

Another form of pressure which can be put on you in a relationship is to move too fast: if you’ve only been going out together for a few weeks or a few months, and your partner is suggesting moving in together or getting married or having a child, you’ll almost certainly be moving too fast for your own good.

If you feel completely overwhelmed, completely out of your depth, and you haven’t even taken time to get to know each other properly, then you definitely need to slow down or get out of the relationship.

The Obvious Signs

One question that you might want to ask yourself is whether or not your relationship has any kind of problem – obviously there are some very obvious problems like physical or psychological abuse, as well as plenty of things that can happen which suggest you shouldn’t be in a relationship: financial exploitation, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional degradation, pressure to do something you’re not comfortable with, such as criminal activity or taking drugs or heavy drinking, constant arguments, jealousy, or long-term alcohol or drug abuse that continues despite your presence in a relationship.

You know the danger signs just as well as everybody else, but the question is whether or not you’ll act on them.

Being in a relationship with a control freak, or being in relationship with somebody superficial who you originally got together with because you fancied partying, sharing your hobbies, or while sex is not a basis for a long-term relationship.

Video – How To End An Abusive Relationship

One particularly dangerous sign is breaking up and getting back together.

Although lots of people feel emotional pain when they’ve broken up and want to get their ex love back, trying to bring your ex back, only to break up again on an endlessly repeating cycle is not only a waste of emotional energy, but also suggests that you might need counseling or therapy to get over your addictive behavior and find out why are you addicted to your ex partner.

You may know couples who have tried to break up, but are constantly getting back with the ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. No way is this a truly loving partnership – there’s obviously something wrong.

It’s best not to even try and mend this kind of relationship; rather, just cut your losses and move on. And if it’s YOUR fault that a relationship keeps breaking up and YOU are the one who’s constantly asking how you can get back together, then YOU need some relationship counselling or therapy.

Conflicting Life Goals Can Be a Problem

If your objectives in life are very different, then you have a problem. And if your dreams and visions about what you each want to do in the future are so incompatible there’s no possibility of you both fulfilling them, then maybe you should be in a different relationship with somebody more in tune with your aspirations and goals. That’s especially true if your partner shows no willingness to compromise.

Cheating Is a Big Problem

If either you or your partner has cheated on each other, particularly if you’ve been cheating on your partner with some ex lover or other, the questions you should be asking yourself are: “Does my ex want me back; do I want to get back with my ex; do I want to save my current relationship?”

If you’ve cheated or been cheated on more than once, there’ll simply be too much damage for your relationship to survive. And of course it’s entirely possible this is how you’re communicating that fact to your partner.

Other danger signs for any relationship are keeping secrets, growing apart, not putting in the effort to organize exciting or interesting shared activities, and spending a lot of time apart. 

If you reach the point where you decide that your relationship needs to end, then perhaps you need to read our advice on how to break up.