Should you split up with your partner or keep on trying? It can be a hard choice to make but science may be able to help you make that decision.
Are you constantly being criticized for everything you do? Has cheating put the relationship under strain? Do you have different political values or religious beliefs that may become a deal breaker later on?
There are many reasons why we question the relationship we are in and whether it will last. Here are 5 signs that indicate your relationship is not healthy and you should consider ending it.
1. Constant Criticism
This is more than just the nagging because you haven’t washed the dishes or you keep dribbling on the toilet seat.
This is about “constant criticism of the person, instead of the action that you’d like to have changed” according to Stephanie Coontz, a historian at The Evergreen State College in Washington, who is the author of the book “Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage” (Penguin Books, 2006).
This kind of criticism takes an action and attributes it to a person’s entire personality. For example, if your partner continues to leave their dirty underwear on the bathroom floor, it would be damaging to that person to attribute this bad habit to his/her entire personality and their feelings towards you.
Constant crticism like this can create big cracks in a relationship as the person on the receiving end feels demoralized and feels that they are not properly understood.
Best to let the small things slide.
2. Emotional Abuse
Abuse on a psychological level can involve insults, humiliation, belittling, intimidation, threats of physical harm, and threats of taking away their children. This type of abuse can take a toll on a person.
Furthermore, a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that psychological aggression is a predictor that a person may later use physical aggression when in a heated exchange.
If you find yourself being undoubtedly emotionally abused then take care of yourself and dump your partner before it escalates.
This one needs no introduction as a reason to contemplate finishing a relationship. But it’s a fairly common situation people are faced with – to give a cheating partner another chance or not.
If you do want to give the cheating partner another chance, bear in mind that if someone does cheat once, there is a higher chance that he or she will cheat again.
However, most cheaters have only one or two affairs in their lifetime, with only a small minority who are serial cheaters for their entire lives.
4. Stressful Spillovers
After the initial honeymoon period of a relationship, or after a marriage, it’s inevitable that the stresses of life will test your ability to stay together.
Financial strains, complicated in-laws, and parenting demands if children are involved, are just a few things that can introduce high levels of stress into day-to-day life.
According to research by Lisa Neff, if married couples can’t cope with these external stressors then they are at high risk of divorce.
But when these challenges get too tough, it should not always mean walking away is the answer. Sometimes it’s better to hold together and work things out, and your relationship will be all the stronger for it.
5. Dwindling Fulfillment
If you are no longer feeling fulfilled by your relationship then it may be time to move on.
As we evolve as individuals, a relationship may no longer help you grow as a person, and research shows that you will feel less engaged in the relationship and more likely to cheat on your partner.
Love, companionship, and sexual intimacy are only a few of the things we require for a fulfilling relationship. If your partner does not play a role in helping you to achieve your goals and to become better in the ways you want then it may be worth asking if your relationship is right for you.