10 Signs Your Partner Is Planning to Leave You
Is your relationship headed toward the end? A Ph.D. reveals the signs to look out for.
How do you really know when your relationship is heading for a split? According to Andrea Bonior Ph.D. there are several signs to look out for. She explains that "there are few hard and fast rules about when a relationship should end," in an article for Psychology Today. "That said, there are several considerations that may help clue you in to whether your relationship is going past the point of no return. None of these factors alone should be considered a death blow, and in fact some of them may have nothing to do with your relationship but rather be about your own individual stress levels." How many of the criteria do you meet?
An obvious sign your relationship is over is when you can't stop fighting. "Fighting about fighting, or not fighting fair, are both signs that the battles have grown big enough that they need to be addressed," she says.
Alternatively, maybe you have given up fighting altogether. "Some couples become so exhausted by fighting that they simply stop, but that doesn't mean that all is well—far from it. In these cases, they often stop sharing things with each other altogether, and have zero ability to bring up any sort of disagreement because they know that it will just spiral out of control," she explains.
Usually your partner would be your biggest cheerleader and the first person you want to call with good news. However, if you suddenly start sharing news with other people in your life instead of them, it might be a sign. "But when all personal good news feels irrelevant to your relationship as a whole, or when you feel your partner no longer knows you well enough or even cares about what's happening in your life for it to be worthwhile to talk about, that's a sign that things are not well between the two of you," she says.
You need counseling but only one person is committed to taking the step. A lack of "joint motivation" to do the work signifies the end is near.
How can you work on your problems when you can't even agree on what they are? She explains that "if each of you blames the other as being the true origin of what is going wrong, it will be hard to find common ground or be willing to be vulnerable enough for real change."
If you are making up external reasons to stay in a relationship – kids, financial security, fear of dating again, or just not wanting to move out – it's in trouble. She explains that "the most important criterion for whether to stay in a relationship is the relationship itself, between the two of you, with nothing muddying the waters" and "if you are increasingly desperate to find items to add in the 'pro' column, then it means that the 'con' column is likely pretty substantial."
"Subtle misrepresentations of who you are can add up over time. And if it has gotten to the point where your partner could realistically endorse the cliche of 'I don't even know who you are anymore!' then that is a sign to take seriously," she says.
Relationships are built on trust, "and a lack of it hollows out a relationship from the inside," she writes. "If it is truly able to be built back up, both partners need to be committed not only to the repairing process but to fixing the root of the problems that led to the breakdown of trust in the first place."
Generally, "if you dread spending time with your partner to the point where you'd rather do most other things, that should raise questions," she points out.
If you no longer respect your partner's values, your relationship is in trouble. She explains that "when respect as a whole is lost within a relationship, it can be very hard to build it back without a serious commitment on behalf of both members of the couple." Also, "shared values are important to a relationship's staying power. And while they don't need to overlap exactly, if you disagree with each other's values, it raises serious questions about long-term compatibility."