Sometimes it’s easy to tell if a relationship is over; other times it’s confusing and unclear. But, even when you know for sure that your relationship is finished, it’s still painful and sad to let the man you love go.
First things first. Let the idea of letting go or breaking up fall aside for awhile. Take this time to ask yourself a few questions to help you know if your relationship is over…because only you can determine the truth about your relationship.
You may see the truth of your relationship in this reader’s comment: “My boyfriend and I have been together for a while, we have a kid together, and I really feel like our relationship is falling apart,” says T. on When Guilt Keeps You in a Marriage You Wish Was Over. “We don’t even hug in bed at night anymore. He says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, but I don’t think he sees how much he is hurting me and affecting our relationship. We don’t spend any time together alone anymore, and I’m getting really depressed about it. He say that he won’t go to couples counseling. I don’t know what to do anymore, but I know I don’t want to lose him.”
If your boyfriend isn’t interested in working on your relationship — or if he can’t or won’t see how much he is hurting you — then your relationship may be over. If you don’t feel good when you’re with him, then your relationship may be over. If you can’t tell your friends and family how he acts or what he says to you, then your relationship may be over.
There is no one single “right” question to help you make such a big decision about your relationship. But, I can ask you a series of small questions. Take time to look at yourself, your boyfriend or husband, and your relationship with him.
Most importantly, open your heart to God. Talk to Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance. If you don’t know how — or if you believe God doesn’t hear your prayers — take time to get spiritually and emotionally healthy.
The healthier you are, the more clarity and wisdom you’ll have about your relationship. It still won’t be easy to know it’s over and say good-bye, but you’ll have an underlying sense of peace and strength. This will get you through the valley, into the light and love your faith.
How Do You Know if Your Relationship is Over?
Write your thoughts about these questions, either in the comments section below or your own private journal. Don’t ask anyone for advice or answers. These are questions only you can answer.
Is your relationship meeting your needs?
Something isn’t right about your relationship. I know this because if you and your boyfriend or husband were healthy together, you wouldn’t be asking “is my relationship over”? How is your relationship meeting your needs…and how are you meeting your boyfriend’s or husband’s needs? What is the root of your relationship problems, and how much control do you have over the possible solutions?
Is your boyfriend or husband unwilling or unable to change?
If his actions or words make your relationship difficult, painful, or excruciating – and he refuses to acknowledge his behavior or consider changing – then perhaps your relationship is over. But, it’s also possible that the relationship as you knew it is over…and now it’s time for you to enter a new stage of your relationship. But, remember that you can’t and do all the work in your relationship! Don’t force yourself to stay with an abusive, unhealthy man who doesn’t love or respect you.
Are you staying in your relationship for the wrong reasons?
Women stay in loveless marriages for a variety of reasons, including their religious beliefs. “If God or some divine being told you it was OK to leave your relationship, would you feel relieved that you could finally leave?” asks Steve Pavlina. “If your religion is the only reason you’re still together, your relationship is already long dead.”
If you’re questioning your boyfriend’s or husband’s feelings for you, read 8 Signs He Stopped Loving You.
Do you like and respect him – and does he like and respect you?
When a man disrespects or dislikes a woman, he ignores her. He belittles her, calls her names, and disregards her thoughts and feelings. Does your boyfriend or husband treat you with love, kindness and respect? If he doesn’t, then you know your relationship is over. The next questions is: Why are you staying with a man who doesn’t like, respect or love you?
Are you attracted to your boyfriend or husband?
This isn’t the best question to help you decide if your relationship is over. Passion comes and goes, attraction fades. True love isn’t determined by chemistry or physical intimacy! It’s determined by a solid, healthy foundation of mutual respect, honesty, communication and shared values. Healthy love relationships have an element of physical attraction, but it’s not the main source of connection. Your relationship isn’t necessarily over if you’re not attracted to your husband or boyfriend. It just needs some work, some TLC (tender loving care)!
Do you and he share the same values and vision for your life together?
Your boyfriend or husband’s job isn’t to “make” you feel good about yourself.
He isn’t supposed to”make” you happy or fulfill all your dreams and goals! Only God can fill the emptiness in your spirit, the hole in your heart. Only Jesus can save you from yourself, your weaknesses and flaws. Only the Holy Spirit can give you the wisdom, strength and guidance you so desperately need.
Do you and your boyfriend or husband share a faith in God and a vision for your life together? If not, maybe your relationship isn’t just over…maybe it never really came alive.
Have you forgiven your boyfriend or husband for his mistakes and betrayals?
We all make mistakes, we all have weaknesses and flaws. If you can’t forgive and let go of anger or bitterness about the sins your boyfriend or husband has committed, then resentment will gradually replace love. Resentment and bitterness will destroy your relationship, even if it’s not over yet. What is holding you back from forgiving your boyfriend or husband? From forgiving yourself?
Do you and he have fun together?
Life is far too serious and short to stay in a relationship that makes you sad, depressed, or unhappy! When was the last time you and your boyfriend or husband had fun together? Laughed, loved, and lived a beautiful experience? Shared happy memories, shared a secret, shared an ice cream sundae? Maybe you know your relationship isn’t over…and you also know you need to breath new life into your connection with him. How will you do that?
Are your life goals compatible with your boyfriend’s or husband’s?
What are you and he working towards? Are you in a relationship with an unmotivated or lazy boyfriend? You know your relationship is over if you want a career as a travel photographer, and he wants six kids and a 50 year mortgage. If you and your boyfriend or husband don’t have mutual goals and dreams for your future together, then you need to talk to him.
Ask your boyfriend or husband how he knows a relationship is over. What does he say, think, and believe? What does he think about you, him, and your relationship?
Help Knowing if Your Relationship is Over
In Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can – and Should – Be Saved Lundy Bancroft helps readers:
- Tell the difference between a healthy-yet-difficult relationship and one that is really not working
- Recognize the signs that a boyfriend or husband has a serious problem
- Stop waiting to see what happens, and make their own growth the top priority
- Prepare for life without their husband or boyfriend – even as they keep trying to make the relationship work
If you’re confused, frustrated or unfulfilled, this book will help you know if your relationship is over.
How do you know if your relationship is over? Your thoughts and stories are welcome below! I can’t give advice or predict the future of your relationship, but you may find it helpful to write your answers to the questions above. You need to look within yourself, and find the answers to your questions. Only you can decide if your relationship is over.
If you’re a Christian, you might find 5 Signs of God’s Blessing on Your Relationship helpful.
You may know the truth about your relationship…but you can’t accept it. That’s the hard part. That, and taking action to move forward.