Human beings are peculiar creatures.
Sometimes, we’re willing to sacrifice happiness for comfort.
Hence, we stay in unfulfilling relationships, fearful of rocking the boat.
Sometimes, the sense of attachment and co-dependence can be so powerful that we remain in denial of our feelings.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the uncomfortable truths we face when we’re with the wrong person.
Generally speaking, when these thoughts cross our minds, it may be time to let go.
Let’s get to it!
1) Your partner is starting to feel like a stranger
Your partner should represent a safe space; one where you can be emotionally intimate and vulnerable without judgment.
Maybe your relationship was indeed like this in the past–but life happened, and these days your conversations are surface-level, or feel forced, strained, and lacking in depth.
Maybe when you try to engage your partner, they either look at you blankly or mutter a few disinterested, monotonous, even aggravated, words.
You don’t feel heard, you avoid certain topics for the risk of upsetting them, and you start getting lonely, longing deeply for a connection.
Communication is at the foundation of any thriving union, so when communication goes, so does the relationship.
2) Your partner makes you feel like crap
When my dad left his ex-wife, his self-worth was in tatters.
For over a decade, he was in an incompatible relationship, which in his case, meant constant conflict.
His wife seemed to be a master of belittling and subtle put-downs and he was her primary scapegoat.
In his thirteen-year marriage, it seemed like he was perpetually in the wrong, and this outlook affected all aspects of his life.
The abuse indoctrinated him, penetrating him to the core.
Relationships are supposed to be about love and support, about uplifting and encouraging one another.
When your partner turns you into their emotional punching bag, leaving you feeling consistently drained or anxious, it may be time to move on–unless drastic measures are taken.
You don’t want to come out of it when it’s too late, and you’re broken beyond repair.
3) Your goals in life conflict
If you and your partner want fundamentally different things in life, you might be with the wrong person.
Maybe they want a mortgage, three kids, and a membership at the local country club; and you just want to travel the world, focusing on your business, without the extra baggage.
In the latter case, unless an equally beneficial compromise is reached, you’re better off cutting your losses and ending things.
Neither you nor your partner should give up their life goals and aspirations just to settle–this will only cause deep resentment and regret later on.
4) Your fundamental values are too different
While opposites can indeed attract, when they’re too radically different, they end up clashing.
Similar fundamental values are critical for long-term romance.
For instance, if they’re a devout, creationist evangelical, while you’re a staunch, scientific-minded agnostic, these conflicting ideologies and world views are bound to cause some friction, isolated cases aside.
While you may be able to overlook differing values in the initial stages, once the honeymoon period fades, that may no longer be a sustainable practice.
You want someone on your wavelength, with similar core values, to stimulate you mentally and intellectually through the years.
Anything less and you’re asking for heartache; if not now, then some time down the line.
5) You’re constantly repeating the same arguments
I finally replaced my fifteen-year-old, hand-me-down fridge last week.
Every time I tried to fix it, after running for a bit, it would break down again after a few days.
I realized that the repairs were costing far more than buying a new machine altogether.
So, I decided to just cut my losses and purchased a gleaming new refrigerator complete with a built-in icemaker and adjustable shelves.
I can confidently say that I’m infinitely happier, and less stressed, with my new appliance, despite the hefty investment.
If you are in constant conflict about the same issues with your partner, despite many attempts to address underlying issues, then, like me finally buying that new fridge, consider that it may be time to move on.
Constant conflict doesn’t mean you or your partner are bad people; all this means is that you’re with the wrong person and you’re incompatible.
You deserve better and so do they. There’s no shame in letting go.
Remember, you want someone to bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.
6) They’re holding you back
One of the most common reasons for breakups? Growing apart.
As we evolve, so do our criteria for what we look for in a mate.
Not everyone is meant to be in our lives permanently, something that very much extends to our partners.
Sure, when we’re young, we might want someone good-looking and exciting, valuing the superficial as much as anything.
But things change over time.
And if your relationship isn’t encouraging personal growth and self-improvement, then you might end up feeling stagnant and held back from reaching your potential in life.
I went through this.
My relationship with my ex started strong: there were butterflies, there was quality sex, we were always in sync… I thought I had finally found the one!
But as time passed, as the novelty of new romance faded, her true colors began to reveal themselves.
I was working full-time, and she quit her job, relying on me for support.
I didn’t mind, since according to her, the setup was temporary, until she found something stable.
Well, the latter never came.
She was content spending her days on the couch, playing video games, eating junk, drinking Miller Light, and binging Game of Thrones
My career started to thrive and the future was bright. I was growing as a person, but when I came home, I felt I would regress.
Suddenly, it felt like she became my dependent; like a father taking care of a child.
This wasn’t sustainable for me.
I wanted someone to evolve and grow with me–and when I expressed my concerns, she got defensive, which eventually spiraled into our permanent falling out.
You may well be the average of the five people you surround yourself with; and if you have a live-in partner, as I did, their influence will rub off the most.
Moral of the story? If you aren’t aligned in terms of growth, you’re with the wrong person.
7) They walk all over you
Nobody likes to feel like a doormat.
If you feel there’s a double standard at play in your union, chances are that suspicion is accurate.
Maybe you do all the household chores, and your partner never lifts a finger.
Relationships are supposed to be about teamwork, about equality.
When one of you is regularly doing all the work, then you’re nothing but a glorified servant.
This means if you’re cooking dinner, your partner should do the dishes. And vice versa.
Or if you walk the dog in the morning, your partner should reciprocate in the evening or afternoon.
By staying in the relationship and passively perpetuating the status quo, you’re just enabling bad behaviors.
If you get too caught up, it becomes hard to see things objectively.
You may feel like something is chipping away at you, telling you something’s off, so listen to that hunch.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
And where there’s incompatibility, there’s a voice inside you telling you to break free.
You’re reading this now for a reason. You know deep down something needs to be done.
Whether this means breaking up for good or talking things out, you have to get moving.
As established, both you and your partner deserve better than your current reality.
This is a temporary problem; true, lasting contentment and joy are just around the corner.
Now get out and get it.