The fact that you are even reading this post should be evidence enough for you that your relationship is heading down an unhealthy path and that subconsciously (or consciously) you are looking for a way out. But since coming to that realization can be scary on your own, allow me help ease you into accepting your potential breakup so you can digest what you feel slowly, and not freak out in one epic breakdown.
Maybe you're feeling unappreciated, not heard, no longer turned-on, or just plain bored. Whatever your reasons for feeling unsatisfied may be, if you're like most people who are feeling confused when it comes to their relationship, you've come to a fork in the road where you are now forced to decide whether or not your relationship is one worth saving, or one that is better off being left behind and put in the past. Before you waste several more years of your life tirelessly mulling over whether or not you should just bite the bullet and leave your spouse, let me break it down for you: nobody who is in a successful, fulfilling, thriving relationship is contemplating leaving their partner. You clearly are. If your problems cannot be fixed, you need to end it now before you are too old to start over.
1. If you can't muster up the energy to engage with your partner anymore... it's over.
Trying to solve problems can sometimes feel similar to trying to solve a Rubik's Cube -- stupid and futile. We all know what happens to a Rubik's Cube after awhile... it gets thrown on the ground in frustration and never touched again. If you have reached the point where you feel like your relationship is the proverbial Rubik's Cube that you don't even care enough about to throw away anymore, it's over.
2. If your partner abuses, denigrates or disrespects you... it's over.
Does this scenario sound somewhat familiar? You are out with your sweetie and you are meeting his friend and his fiancé for the first time. Instead of being loving and praising when speaking about you (which is what he should do), your boyfriend starts making demeaning statements about you and airing your intimate dirty laundry. If you are being subjected to this type of disrespect, being manipulated controlled, or physically abused or experiencing any type of maltreatment, there should be no discussion or need for introspection. It's over.
3. If you feel like everything he or she does is annoying or wrong... it's over.
Do you find yourself criticizing, nitpicking, being defensive, and dwelling on every single negative thing your partner does? If you do, then you probably already realize that you have become the cranky significant other from every bad sitcom ever made. Constantly bitching at her and making her feel inadequate will send your connection into a tailspin. So if you just can't stand her anymore, from her whiny voice to her un-groomed toes, and you cannot even fathom screwing your partner and it has been two years, it's over.
4. If you're partner is using you... it's over.
With the nation in one of the biggest economic crises of the century, many people have found themselves out of work and relying on either unemployment checks or working family members to help pull them through this tough time. Let me be clear -- for many of those unemployed people, not being able to provide for their family is a daily struggle for which I have endless amounts of empathy. However, to those who take advantage of their working partners for a free ride, shame on you.
If you have found yourself supporting a partner who is unemployed (for whatever reason) and is treating you like nothing more than a walking, talking ATM, you are probably at your wits end. And guess what? You deserve better.
It is essential to remember that you shouldn't feel ashamed for being resentful of your partner's lack of contribution because (newsflash!) you are not his or her provider; you are his or her partner. If he or she is not holding up his or her end of the partnership by attempting to contribute to this marriage or relationship, then you should start planning an escape route before you get sucked dry!
If it takes serving up divorce papers to finally light a fire under his or her ass, so be it. You need to stop being an enabler of bad habits and start being an enforcer of your own happiness.
5. If you really have no idea what's going on in his or her day-to-day life or vice versa (and you could care less)... it's over.
Everyone and their brother have heard the age-old relationship adage: communication is key. This is one adage that will never get outdated. Once a couple stops having interesting conversations about things they find intriguing and sharing their daily triumphs and trials, it's the kiss of relationship death. If you could care less about your spouse's life and you tune him or her out, you are not in a relationship. Not communicating is a serious sign of major emotional detachment and if this describes your relationship right now, I'm sorry to say this, but it's over.
6. If you cannot trust your significant other... it's totally over.
On my list of points to guide you in choosing whether or not to end your relationship, it only seemed fitting that I end Part One with the most important factor of all: trust. Trust is everything. It is the root of all of the evils, and unless you can trust your partner 100 percent with everything from money, to fidelity, to the safety of your children, your marriage or relationship will fail.
I know that not everyone is perfect so it would be unreasonable for me to tell you that once trust is lost that it cannot be rebuilt because it can be. However, it cannot be rebuilt over and over again. If your spouse has a habit of breaking your trust and then begging for forgiveness, do yourself a favor and get out of there. Breaking promises is a habit that you should never grow accustomed to dealing with or tolerate.
Stay tuned for Part II and several more ways to determine if your relationship is over.