In this article you will learn:
- 13 clear signs that your failing relationship or marriage is over.
- How you can save your relationship or marriage if that’s what you want.
- How to prevent you and your partner from growing further apart.
- When it’s better to end the relationship, even if it’s with a man you love.
- The clearest sign that the relationship is over for him.
How to know when it’s time to end a failing relationship or marriage
“How can I figure out if my relationship or marriage is over, and it’s time to break up?”
One of the toughest things for a human being is when to decide if you should let go of someone you love, or to stay together with that person.
The reason for this is because you have a lot of conflicting feelings, thoughts, and emotions that influence your decision.
Your heart might say one thing, and your brain another.
Then there are of course other things at play that make the decision even more complicated.
- You’re married.
- You have a long history with lots of great memories together.
- You’re pregnant.
- You have kids together.
- He’s perfect for you on paper but might ‘miss’ something that you’re looking for…
Whatever it might be…
One thing is for certain:
The longer you wait to make up your mind, the harder it’s going to become.
And the problem is not going to go away just because you sweep it under the rug.
No, it’s going to continue to grow and become a nagging thought until you’ve dealt with it.
And that’s what I’m here to help you with.
In this article, I’ll shed some light on your situation, and give you clarity so that you’ll know when you should fight to save the relationship, and when it’s better to end the relationship.
Even if it means making the tough, but ultimately the correct decision for your health and wellbeing.
Because living in a state of limbo is no way to live. No one deserves that.
So without further ado…
Let’s get into it.
Here are the 13 signs that your relationship or marriage is over:
Sign #1: You’ve given up hope
If you’re in a hopeless situation and you have given up hope, then it’s a clear sign that your relationship is over and it’s time to end it.
There are many things a relationship can survive. And there are many different reasons why things can go wrong between the two of you.
But they can all be overcome if there is a will (although that’s not so common in the more extreme cases).
Think about these scenarios:
- A cheating partner. (Here you can read the reasons why men cheat)
- A family member dies, and one of the partners is grieving deeply.
- Financial problems that make life incredibly hard.
- A partner who gets seriously ill.
- If one of you has a mental disorder, think of depression or narcissism.
- A relationship dealing with a bad partner or man incapable of change.
- A miscarriage or an aborted pregnancy.
Again: these are all situations that you can overcome.
It happens a lot, but of course, it’s hard.
Therefore, you’ll have to put your heart and soul into it if you don’t want your relationship to end.
But if you’ve given up hope of getting out of the abyss, it’s simply not gonna happen.
You must have the courage and strength to fight for the relationship. And when you’re not in it for the long haul anymore, you won’t succeed.
So if you have noticed that you’ve given up hope of a successful outcome for you two, that’s it. It’s over.
No matter how much you love each other.
And in the next sign, I’m going to discuss how to know if the relationship is over for him.
Sign #2: Your sex life is dying
Do you know the difference between good friends and a couple?
There’s more affection between a couple than between good friends.
And sex is a critical extension of that.
Are you guys still a couple? Or are you becoming more like friends?
Many doubts can arise because things are going bad in the bedroom.
Sex is essential for a healthy relationship.
If you are looking for signs that the relationship is over for him, this is it
Because when it’s not going well in the bedroom, things are not going to go well in your relationship either.
The question is:
What are you going to do about it?
I know you’re not in the mood to seduce him in the bedroom right now, but remember this:
- A man needs sex to feel good about himself.
Even if he acts like he doesn’t care.
He needs it to feel strong and appreciated.
If he can’t feel that way with you, it’s hard for him to enjoy the relationship.
- Do you really want to be with someone who can’t satisfy you?
If you know things are not right between you and your partner, you’d better work on it before one of you ends up with someone else.
- Couples who don’t have sex often lose the passion in the relationship.
It’s possible that one of the two loses interest and desire.
Here’s what to do to fix this
- Fix the underlining issue. There are many things that can cause a lack of intimacy. It could be that you’re both tired after a long day of work. He could be having performance issues down there. Or it could be something else. But if you want to solve this problem you have to start at the root cause.
- Find out what he really wants in bed. In a lot of cases, a dying sex life can be revived by trying new things. (Here you can read about 17 surprising things men want in bed, but will never tell you.)
- Take the initiative. Don’t wait for him ‘feel like it’. Put your ego aside, and don’t be afraid that he is going to reject you. Unexpected sex is one of the best things that can happen to a guy.
Sign #3: You’re not able to change or deal with his bad habits
Everyone has flaws.
And once you’re in a relationship with someone, those behaviors and habits will reveal themselves.
Psychologist Michael Cunningham studied 160 couples and found out that people suppress their bad habits or irritating behavior during the dating phase, but once you’re in a relationship, those ultimately come out.
“When you’re dating, you’re hypervigilant. Once there’s a commitment, you feel entitled to relax.”
Perhaps your man is driving you crazy by doing one or more of these:
- Chews loudly
- Leaves his dirty socks on the floor
- Doesn’t put the toilet seat down
- Puts his feet on the furniture
- Becomes an a**hole when he drinks
- Forgets important dates, your anniversary, birthdays, etc
- Burps or farts loudly
- Checks out other women
Here’s the thing…
The ‘act’ itself isn’t actually the problem. It’s your interpretation of it that gives it meaning and makes it personal.
It’s easy to take every behaviour personally, even though it was conscious or unconscious, accidental or deliberate. It’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking that he doesn’t care about you, or is not prioritizing you while you reason that “he would stop [this irritating thing] if he really loved me.”
But it’s not that simple.
The truth is that he does most of these things without thinking, unconsciously, and could have gotten it from his early childhood which is deeply integrated into his personality. And if you have not mentioned it before, then there is a possibility that it has not even occurred to him that it bothers you.
But with that said…
Bad habits are not set in stone and can be changed. We can become better than we were yesterday, but it takes patience, time, and hard work.
How to deal with his ‘bad habits’
Ask yourself this…
Is it really the end of the world?
What if you broke up over this thing and you never saw him again? Or what if he suddenly developed cancer and died.
What would you give to have him around then, just to hear his loud snoring again, or to see his dirty socks on the floor?
Accept that no one is perfect and reframe the situation by looking at it from another angle.
- He puts his feet on the furniture –> it’s nice to know he’s safe at home and not out drinking.
- He forgets important dates –> he’s loving and caring about me in other ways.
- He’s messy and leaves his dirty clothes on the floor –> it’s great he’s helping with the dishes and other chores.
- He’s checking out other women –> it’s great that my man can control himself and be faithful to me with all these women walking around.
Here’s my simple step-by-step process you can use to get him to change his ways:
- Bring it up with him in a loving and respectful way. If you haven’t mentioned it to him already, you have to tell him how you feel so that he can have a chance to fix the problem.
- Ask him if you have any annoying habits yourself. This way you can both be working on a personal habit or behavior TOGETHER as a team, and help each other at the same time. By taking this approach you’re not viewed as the ‘perfect one’ who’s ‘better than him’, and without any flaws. Instead, it becomes a goal you’re pursuing together to strive to have a better relationship out of love for each other.
- Read my article on the best ways to change a man.
So before you dump your man because he is walking around the flat in his underwear…
Be patient and give it time.
Where to draw the line?
If you have tried these steps and:
- He’s unwilling or unable to change
- You are unable to be at peace with his unwillingness or inability to change
… Then it’s probably better for both of you to find a partner where you won’t have these problems. He can find someone that doesn’t mind his bad behaviours. And you can find a partner that does not have them.
Be aware though: Everyone has flaws. And usually you only see them once you’re already in a relationship with them.
Sign #4: You don’t do any fun things anymore
- You guys do nothing but stay at home and binge-watch Netflix.
- You stopped going out on date nights.
- You don’t do fun things together as a couple.
It’s one of the signs that your relationship is in danger.
Because as a couple the main way you bond, is by sharing experiences and creating memories together.
That’s how you form a strong connection with someone.
- Whether it’s having an hour-long pillow fight in the bedroom.
- Going to the petting zoo together.
- Or visiting a new city or country together.
If you are not doing these things anymore in your relationship, the first thing you want to do is to reintroduce these experiences in your relationship.
However, if your attempts fail and your partner rejects all your suggestions, this is a very clear sign that your relationship is over.
And even worse, is the next sign.
Sign #5: You don’t take the initiative anymore since he isn’t in the mood anyway
A good relationship is reciprocal. You suggest to do something one time, and he suggests something the next. Or he always suggests things, but you like his ideas too, and you’re both happy with it.
But if you want to do things all the time, and he doesn’t, then your interests collide.
Then the chances are that your relationship will not last because of this mismatch.
Since you are no longer on the same page.
There’s nothing more frustrating than asking your partner if he wants to do something together and being told that he doesn’t feel like it.
Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t matter.
If it happens too often and you don’t spend enough time together, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you really want to stay with this guy.
Especially if you don’t even bother anymore since you feel he’ll reject the idea anyway.
Sign #6: You no longer see him as the father of your children
Suppose you fantasize about your family life for the next 20 years.
Does that include children?
And if so, do you think your husband or boyfriend would be a good father?
As soon as you get the feeling that it’s not a good idea to have a baby with your partner, you know it’s heading the wrong way.
Because having kids is extremely important.
Maybe you don’t want a child running around your house right now. But most women DO want that someday.
If your man doesn’t want to be part of this, or if you don’t see him as the father, (even if you love him very much), you’d still have to say goodbye to him.
At the end of the day, it also makes more sense to keep the possibility of children open, instead of being together with a man you can’t picture as the father of your kids.
Sign #7: You can’t imagine the two of you growing old together
This one has a lot to do with the previous sign that the relationship isn’t meant to be.
Are you in a relationship with a guy you think is OK, but you know you don’t want to grow old with him?
Then dump him. Now.
I don’t expect you to know this after two dates. And the same goes for your desire to have children.
But it’s crucial to take it into account and to think carefully about what you want in life.
Why it’s dangerous to stick around with someone you don’t want to grow old with
Especially younger women tend to be in relationships with men who are not really ‘relationship material’.
These men might be fun. They might be good in bed. They might be better than ‘not having a boyfriend’.
But having a relationship with someone just for fun, sex or for the sake of not being single, is never a good idea if you’re looking for a meaningful and long-lasting relationship:
- You might get emotionally attached to him and have a hard time breaking up.
- Because you are with him, you are not available to meet the right guy. The longer you are unavailable, the higher the chance that you miss out on meeting your Mr. Right.
You might recognize this reasoning from my article on why friends with benefits relationships are terrible for women. But the same reasoning applies here:
If you can’t see yourself growing old with him, it’s better to end it now. Your relationship is going to fail at some point anyway, so don’t hurt yourself (and your chances at finding the right guy) by staying in this relationship longer than you need to.
Sign #8: You don’t trust him anymore
Suppose your husband or boyfriend cheated on you. Or maybe you’ve been guilty of it yourself.
There are enough circumstances when it can be fixed, and you can have a successful relationship after infidelity.
You can never change what happened, but there are ways to learn to trust each other again.
Even people whose partner has had a lengthy affair can later restore the trust in their relationship.
But it doesn’t always work.
In some cases, the trust is not coming back
The relationship is not going to be like it was before. Not because of the infidelity, but because the trust has been broken.
You should definitely try though.
But if you still can’t figure out a way to trust him after trying to, then the relationship is going to fail some day, and it’s best to end it sooner rather than later.
This also ties into the next point:
Sign #9: You can’t forgive him
Suppose he did something incredibly bad.
Or it was pretty bad, but you happen to be very sensitive to this particular thing. Then you should forgive him.
Because if you don’t, it means that the relationship will come to an early end.
When scientists look at what makes a relationship healthy, it turns out time and again that forgiveness plays a significant role
It allows people to get through the bumps that come with a relationship.
No matter how many roadblocks there are, as long as you have a way to overcome them.
Forgiveness is one of those ways.
I know it’s hard.
Especially when he’s done something incredibly stupid. You may have no idea if you should forgive him – or if you want to.
Maybe you’re ready to break up.
But if you find that you don’t want to leave him despite the circumstances, then you’ll have to learn to forgive him.
This is also true the other way around
Suppose you had a sexual relationship with your boss without your man knowing…
He finds out, and after six months he still hasn’t found a way to forgive you.
In this case, too, it’s a clear sign to end your relationship.
Sign #10: You don’t do nice things for each other anymore
I’ve already talked about forgiveness.
But there are other factors that predict whether your relationship will last, or not.
One important factor is whether you still do nice things for each other.
It’s not about staying at hotels, going on vacations, or giving each other a new car. But about the little things.
- Do you get him a cup of coffee when he gets home from work?
- Does he give you flowers every now and then?
- Does he sometimes give you a gift, for no reason?
- Do you sometimes surprise him with something, like breakfast in bed?
With these types of kind gestures, you make sure the other person knows you how much you appreciate him or her.
And by showing your appreciation for him like this, you systematically make sure your man doesn’t forget that you love him.
You’re showing that you really like that person.
This mutual attentiveness ensures that your partner keeps feeling good about you and the relationship.
If you recognize that neither of you is making these kind gestures to each other, and you don’t see any improvement in this after trying to make them, this is a very clear sign your marriage or relationship is over.
Sign #11: You dream of being single
- Are you in a relationship that’s not going well?
- And do you notice that it’s increasingly heading in the wrong direction?
Then it wouldn’t surprise me if you have started to dream more and more of the single life.
What those dreams look like varies from person to person.
But it’s not a good sign when you stop dreaming of being with your man, and instead, start to fantasize about a life without him.
Sign #12: You’re bored
Whether it’s because he has become dull, or because you have little in common…
Boredom is one of the biggest red flags that your relationship is failing and will end.
Because no matter how much you love someone, people need new stimuli.
And if they are not coming from the relationship, they have to come from somewhere else.
You or he might go look for those stimuli outside the relationship. Usually, it’s better to end it before either of you does and hurt the other person.
Sign #13: You’re looking for a fight
This is something I know from the male clients I coach.
When they’re dealing with a woman who doesn’t want to continue but doesn’t have the courage to break up with them, there’ll be fights.
That’s because the woman actually wants to get out, but doesn’t dare to take the step.
She then tends to make it as uncomfortable for him as possible and to look for a way to scare him away.
So ask yourself:
- Do you notice that you’re starting to look for fights, and you don’t mind it at all?
- Have you noticed that they are really about nothing?
- Are they mostly arguments for the sake of arguing?
Then your relationship is failing and it is a very clear sign you should break up.
Now you know when it’s better to save a failing relationship or marriage, and when to end it…
The first question should always ask yourself is:
Do you want to fight this battle for the relationship?
If you do, go for it. Fight for it.
If you don’t feel like you can, end it.
You are the only one who can make this decision.
But if I can give you one more piece of advice:
Always decide on the thing that will make YOU the happiest.