You’re searching for ways to know when to give up on a relationship – and you’re not alone. These ideas are inspired by a reader who is unhappy about how her boyfriend treats her.
The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags: Relationship Warning Signs You Totally Spotted… But Chose to Ignore is a fantastic book that explains all those relationship warning signs you saw but chose to ignore. It offers tales of dating disaster along with advice on how to handle similar situations in your own relationship. Once you’re aware of some of the red flags, you’re in a better position to decide when to give up on a relationship. You’ll also learn how to evaluate what you’re okay with, what you’re so not okay with, and, hopefully, gain a better understanding of what kind of man, and relationship, will work best for you.
Here’s what my reader’s question about giving up on her boyfriend: “I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 4 years, and everything has changed,” says Beauty on How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With. “He no longer spends any time with me, he is always on his phone and is never home, he comes home at midnight every night. I have been through so much with him and every time I leave I find myself going back to him. My boyfriend cheats, stays on his phone late hours, comes home whenever he wants. No matter how much I express how I feel, nothing changes. How do I know when to give up on a relationship? I just need to find to strength to leave but it’s so hard.”
When to Give Up on a Relationship
The problem with offering tips on when it’s time to give up on a relationship is that I don’t know if you’re in a six month love affair or a 26 year marriage. Maybe your relationship is over, or maybe you just need a reality check. Every relationship is different, every couple is unique, and every woman has her own tipping point.
I hope you find a few things to think about in the questions below. I can’t tell you when to give up on a relationship, but I can show you that you’re not alone. You might also see your boyfriend or husband differently, which may help you make this difficult decision.
Are you bored with your relationship?
This is NOT a good reason to give up, especially if you’re married with children! All relationships go through ups and downs. We fall in love and we’re intoxicated with the passion, chemistry, and sweet kisses. We expect our whole relationship to be as exciting as it was in the beginning.
Relationships can’t be continually passionate and exciting. It’s hard to be with the same man for years, to live with him, raise kids with him, figure out finances and elderly parents and retirement. Being bored isn’t when you give up on a relationship…it’s when you start digging in and remembering why you fell in love in the first place.
May you renew your love for your husband. May you find ways to reconnect and rebuild your relationship, and my you find peace and joy with him.
Is your relationship damaged beyond repair?
On Does He Love You? 7 Signs Your Marriage is Over, a reader said that she tried for years to forgive her husband’s affair. She doesn’t trust him because he doesn’t let her look at his phone and calls her paranoid. She also believes he’s cheating with someone new, even though he tells her she’s “nuts.” For her, this is when to give up on a relationship: she doesn’t trust him. His behavior doesn’t inspire love, communication, or respect.
What is “unrepairable damage” to you? It’s different for every woman. If your boyfriend is mistreating or abusing you, then you need to give up on your relationship. If you or he has damaged or destroyed the trust, love, fidelity, respect, or hope in your relationship, then maybe it’s time to let go.
I pray you find wisdom and strength to make a good decision about your relationship. Take time to think. Don’t rush into an impulse decision.
How does your partner feel about giving up on your relationship?
Saving a relationship is much easier when both partners are on board. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to talk to you, listen to you, or change, then he’s already given up on the relationship. You can’t create a strong, healthy relationship by yourself.
Here are a few signs your partner has already given up on your relationship:
- He is physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually abusive
- He is selfish and refuses to listen to your perspective
- He refuses to accept responsibility for any problems
- He doesn’t talk about how he feels or what he thinks
- He refuses to go to couples counseling, workshops, or retreats
- He doesn’t care about working on your relationship
- He criticizes you and makes you feel like dirt
- He ignores you
If you recognize your partner in that list of negative qualities, read 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship.
I pray that you find freedom. May you untangle yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically from your relationship. I pray that you find God’s grace and Jesus’ love. You are loved! You are valuable, unique, and precious. Your life has so much potential. If you want to be the woman God created you to be, you need to lift your heart and bow your head. Give Him your heart.
Why are you wondering when to give up on a relationship?
Write down your reasons for questioning your relationship, either in the comments section below or in your own private journal or diary. Don’t just talk about your relationship with your friends and family. Take time to express yourself in writing, because it’ll help you decide what to do. Writing can help you sort through your emotions and clarify your thoughts about giving up on your relationship.
A related question: How have you tried to save your relationship? There are so many resources available: marriage therapy, individual counseling, relationship retreats, relationship and self-help books, pastoral counseling, even marriage encounter weekends. What have you tried? The more ways you try to save your relationship, the more confident you’ll be in any decision about when to give up on a relationship.
I imagine you’re still struggling with this decision, because it’s huge! Read How to Know When to End a Relationship for more thoughts.
Believe in yourself. Trust God. Know that all things are working together for your good, and you will make the right decision. You are smart, strong, brave, and beautiful.
I welcome your thoughts on when to give up on a relationship, but I can’t offer advice. You may find that writing brings you clarity and insight, though, so I encourage you to share your experience.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
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