It can be very easy for us to believe that the only thing that is needed to keep a relationship going is love. It’s not something I would blame you for believing, it seems to be the message of every romantic comedy or croony love song. But in reality, love is messy, couples fight, and our emotions can cloud our better judgement. Whilst being in a relationship can bring happiness and stability; being in an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship can cause great emotional distress. From this, it’s crucial to know when your relationship isn’t healthy and when to leave a relationship. In terms of identifying this, we believe there are a few signs to look out for:
How To Know When To Leave A Relationship:
- Your partner exhibits controlling behaviour: Whilst it’s normal to have boundaries within a relationship, these boundaries need to be healthy and respect both you and your partner. According to White Ribbon, “Controlling behaviour is not always obvious and can be a sign of an abusive relationship”. Some examples of controlling behaviour are monitoring all of your communication with others, isolating you from your friends and family, and controlling your financial access.
- You and your partner have irreconcilable differences: Sometimes couples just want different things out of life. If you and your partner have an irreconcilable difference about something extremely important to your relationship or your future, then staying in that relationship won’t be beneficial for either of you. I’m not saying break up over pizza topping preferences, but if one of you wants kids more than anything and one of you doesn’t that’s definitely something you need to sort out.
- Your partner is physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive: You deserve to be respected within your relationship and treated well by your partner. If your partner physically, sexually, or verbally abuses you, then leaving your relationship, if it is safe to do so, is necessary.
- You are waiting for your partner to change: It isn’t healthy to stay with someone in the hopes that they change a fundamental part of themselves. You should be happy dating the person you are, not a hypothetical fundamentally different version of them. If someone has repeatedly shown the same characteristics or done the same things, even with interventions by others, waiting for them to change can often be a fruitless endeavour.
- You’re staying because of how things were, rather than how they are: There’s nothing wrong with having happy memories from your relationship and remembering those fondly. However, if you’re relying too much on these happy memories to justify staying in your current relationship, that could be a sign your current relationship needs some work.
If you’re struggling in your relationship; couples counselling can help. At North Brisbane Psychologists, we offer Brisbane couples a safe place to express their individual needs and to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome. Book an appointment today.
If this article has brought up anything for you, please seek help from the resources below.
1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – 24 hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line
Lifeline: 13 11 14 – Lifeline can help put you in contact with a crisis service in your State.