What Leads To A Breakup? 7 Things Relationship Therapists Say Cause Couples To Split
People will break up for a number of reasons. Sometimes the signs of an impending breakup will be easy to spot. For example, you might fight a lot or someone might've cheated. In other cases, one partner might just decide they're no longer happy and will end it out of nowhere. Although so many factors go into whether a relationship ends or not, therapists say there are a few surprising things that lead to a breakup that you should look out for.
"It is crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of your relationship issues before they become a wedge between you and your partner," couples psychotherapist and author, Dr. Fran Walfish tells Bustle.
If you want your relationship to work out, it's easy to tell yourself everything is fine and ignore the red flags that are present. "Some people just have a harder time than others confronting conflicts in a relationship," Dr. Walfish says. But in doing so, that can actually make your relationship problems worse, not better. As she says, communication and talking are the glues that hold people together. So if you see any issues it's important to bring it up.
There are so many different things that can lead to a breakup. According to experts, here are some surprising things that almost always lead to one.
1. You Stop Fighting
As we all know, fighting a ton over the same things isn't good. But if you stop fighting altogether, licensed counselor, Kerri-Anne Brown, LMHC, tells Bustle, that usually means a breakup is in sight. "Often times the use and increase of the silent treatment is present when a partner is considering leaving a relationship," Brown says. "They stop caring as much which also causes them to not share as much."
2. Competition With Each Other
Couples who can't say sorry or take responsibility for their actions when they've done something wrong will almost always end up breaking up, experts say. "Feeling genuinely sorry for something you’ve done and being willing to say so, is an excellent predictor of whether or not a relationship will be successful," Jane Reardon, licensed therapist and founder of RxBreakup, tells Bustle. According to her, if you're unable to say sorry, you instead might become defensive, which can then lead you and your partner to be on opposite sides of the playing field. When this happens, partners end up becoming competitors instead of teammates. "You end up in a game, a competition, or worst case scenario a war over who’s right," she says. "The relationship gets totally sidelined by both partners who are now vying for the win."
3. Financial Separation
"When your partner begins to separate financially, they are usually saving to move or to get a place of their own," licensed therapist and relationship coach, Dr. Tracey M. Phillips, tells Bustle. This concept mostly applies to couples who have a shared checking account. When someone starts getting their own bank account, opens new credit cards or starts making big investments all on their own, Dr. Philipps says they may be planning a life separate from their partner. If you notice this in your relationship, it's best to ask your partner about it though, rather than make assumptions.
4. Giving Your All To Your Relationship
Making your partner your entire world is romantic in theory. But in reality, Reardon says that almost always leads to a breakup. That's especially true if one partner has codependent tendencies and the other values a bit of space and freedom.
5. A Lack Of Consistency And Follow-Through
If there's a lack of consistency and follow-through, licensed psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee tells Bustle your relationship may be in bad shape. In general, any changes in behavior is always something to look out for. For instance, if your partner keeps flaking out on dates or comes home at late hours of the night with random excuses, those are major red flags. Although you don't have to know where your partner is at all times, they should respect you enough to tell you the truth if you ask. But if you bring up your feelings and they still keep giving you excuses, that could signal the beginning of the end.
6. You Remain Physically Distant When In The Same Room
If you notice that you spend more and more time in separate corners of the house rather than together, Dr. Walfish says, this can signal that you may be at an impasse with each other. Feeling distant from your partner is not a really great sign. But if you're physically distant from each other when you're in the same space, that shows a lack of affection and intimacy. Both of which are essential to keeping a relationship together.
7. You And Your Partner Aren't The Right "Fit" No Matter How Hard You Try
No matter how much you love your partner, sometimes things just aren't meant to work out long-term. "Having gone through separation and divorce, I can attest that some relationships are just better fits than others," couples therapist, William Schroeder, MA, LPC, tells Bustle. According to him, certain relationships just do a much better job of staying connected and making sure each partner feels secure. Some couples even know how to manage conflicts much better than others. "My wife and I still sometimes have arguments but she will sometimes stick out her tongue at me or talk in a demon voice (it’s a personal joke with a long history) and it makes things safe and reminds us of what we both appreciate in one another," he says. "This helps us to move more easily through the inevitable waves that happen in life." If you can't move past the tougher times together, it's probably not meant to be.
No can ever really predict whether you and your partner will stay together forever or not. You can always look out for the signs and do what needs to be done in order to turn things around. But if one person wants to leave, then there's really nothing that can stop them. No matter how sucky breakups are, more often than not, they always happen for a good reason. Chances are you will be much better because of it.