When To Leave A Bad Relationship


So many people come on the forum and ask if they should leave their partner.  They’re confused, hurt, and scared.  Granted, there’s always some sort of story that goes along with the question.

They’re in a relationship with someone:

  • Who is over-drinking or drugging.
  • Who is not emotionally available.
  • Who doesn’t act like they are in love anymore.
  • Who is a very selfish person or a narcissist.
  • Who is emotionally or physically abusing them.

Of course, there are other scenarios as well.

Now this is a tough question to answer.  There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer for sure.

But I’d like to go over five signs or signals that indicate that it might be time to get packing.

  1. Any Type Of Abuse

Hands down abuse is a clear indicator that it’s time to end the relationship.  I’m talking emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. Abuse is never alright. Even if they’re going through something horrible or they’ve had a tough life; it’s not acceptable.  Even if you’ve acted out, made mistakes, or whatever, it’s not acceptable.

If you’re experiencing abuse in any form, it’s time to get out of that relationship.  If you need help, find the nearest domestic violence center and speak with someone who can support you.  If you have nowhere to go, they may be able to assist you. Even staying on your best friend’s couch is better than staying in an abusive situation.

Also, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They’ve got professionals that can help you sort this out and make a plan to end the abuse.  You never deserve abuse; not ever. Leaving is YOU standing up and practice self-care. It’s you taking care of you and letting that other person figure out what to do with themselves. You don’t owe him or her anything. You don’t have to be loyal to someone who is abusing you.

  1. Your Talks Amount to No Changes

Chances are you’ve voiced your wants and needs in this relationship, multiple times. You might have even screamed them a few times, to no avail. He keeps drinking himself into oblivion. She keeps flirting with every man she sees, right in front of you.  He stays out later and later, neglecting the relationship. And so on.

If you’ve had discussion after discussion, clearly stating what you want and need, and they’re not willing or able to at least work towards meeting them, it might be time to cut ties. I’m not saying to leave if they have no idea what’s going on inside your head. You’ve got to get very honest with yourself and them, and also ask them what their wants and needs are.

However, if you’ve done this over and over, and nothing is changing and they’re not looking like they’re interested in “doing the work” to make changes, it might be time to make the break.

  1. They Keep Lying

Living with a repetitive liar can feel awful. You never know if you can trust what they are saying. You want to believe them. You want to believe that they’re making a turnaround, but there you are finding them in yet another lie.

Some people are repetitive liars and for one reason or another, can’t or won’t stop.  If this has been going on for a while and your requests for honesty are not being met, it might be an indicator that this relationship isn’t going to work for you.

  1. Emotional Neglect

Feeling alone in a relationship sucks.  You want to emotionally connect with your partner at least to some degree, right? But not everyone is able to make that connection – or not everyone WANTS to make that deep and meaningful connection. And that’s alright if you want a shallow connection; it actually works for many. But if you’ve voiced your wants and needs and they’re continually being neglected, it might be time to make the cut.

  1. No Love Reciprocation

It’s not very fun to be on the other side of someone who does not reciprocate love.  You love them and you happen to like to show affection. But they don’t. You’ve asked and asked for them to level up on this end.  To affirm love every now and then. Show affection sometimes. But they don’t. They may not feel those love-type feelings for you or they just don’t know how to reciprocate them. They may have checked out long ago and are simply staying out of comfort or fear.  Either way, if you’re giving, giving, and giving and not getting anything in return, it might be time to leave the relationship.

Granted, there are other situations and solutions, but these indicators can help you gauge your relationship and get clearer on what you should do. And, if you find yourself continuing to struggle, reach out to a good therapist for some guidance. You don’t have to figure it out all alone.

You deserve a healthy relationship with someone who values and appreciates you. There’s too many people out there who CAN do that, so don’t stay connected to someone who won’t. This is your life and what you want and need matters.