When to Stop Trying to Save a Relationship

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March 31, 2015

One of the hardest things anyone can do is walk away from a relationship they’ve been trying to save. Usually, there is a lot of love between the two people involved but, for whatever reason, things just aren’t working out. Even with counseling, things may not improve enough that both people are happy. At some point they may need to acknowledge that they are spending way too much time trying to fix something that is irretrievably broken. Here are some signs that it might be time to try walk away and move on.

Lack of Respect

If things have deteriorated to the point where there is name-calling, ignoring of boundaries, infidelity or just a general lack of respect in how each person, and the relationship, is treated, this is a clear indicator that you need to back away from the situation. Respect is the foundation of a loving, trusting relationship and without it, you’re pretty much lost.

Being “Right” Is Too Important

It can be so difficult for people to know when to let go of the need to have the upper hand but you have to ask yourself this question: do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?  Sometimes, you can have both but, really, if a partner needs their significant other to admit to being wrong in order for things to be good between them then the priority isn’t on them working together as a team but, rather, is about one individual’s ego. It’s easier said than done but somethings you have to agree to disagree and work on being happy with that.

When Bad Outweighs Good

Are you finding it harder and harder to spot the good moments in your relationship? When you spend time together, do things start well and then quickly turn sour? When the time you spend together is more negative than positive, no one benefits. You are simply wasting each other’s time and preventing yourselves from feeling good about life. It’s a harsh lesson but it’s an important one to learn.

Needs Are Neglected

Everyone has needs. Some people feel guilty about it but we all have core needs that must be met in order for us to feel content and fulfilled. Sometimes, it’s about what we do for ourselves and sometimes it’s about what we expect from a partner. If a relationship prevents us from having either of those types of needs met then it may be better to call it quits.


It’s an unfortunate reality but many people experience some sort of abuse in their relationship. If you and your partner have sought professional help and are working on the situation, it’s fair to give it a chance (within reason!) but if the abuse continues that should be the end of things. Despite what some people may think, we cannot change an abuser – they have to want to change themselves. We put ourselves at risk emotionally, sexually and physically by trying to save an abusive situation when it’s beyond our control.

Have you ever stayed too long in a relationship? How did things work for you? What did you learn?

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