Have you ever struggled with the question of when it’s time to leave a relationship? Are you plagued with doubt about whether or not you will have made a mistake in breaking up with your partner and will suffer regret?
Sure, people often leave relationships too soon, before they have healed their own issues that they’ve brought to the “relationship system.”
If you choose to leave during a state of blaming your partner for your unhappiness, then you may take unhealthy patterns with you and re-create the same problems in your next relationship. Ending a relationship requires care, consideration, and questioning.
However, there are non-negotiable signs that it’s time to leave your partner. Here are three urgent indications that it’s time to end your relationship:
If you are in a physically abusive relationship, it’s time to leave. Period. Even if your partner agrees to get help, you need to leave until change actually occurs. Leaving the relationship will feel hard, but it is the right decision.
Even if your partner simply threatens physical abuse (but doesn’t act on it), you need to leave. Threats have the potential to be physically dangerous, and are emotionally abusive. You don’t want to put yourself in such a position to be manipulated.
If your partner is consistently verbally and emotionally abusive, this is another sign you need to leave. Verbal abuse can tear down your self-esteem, and that can have further, detrimental effects — both on your body and your mind.
It’s absolutely essential that you accept the fact that you have no control over whether or not your partner is abusive. You are not the cause.
2. Personality Disorder
If your partner has a personality disorder, such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, and is not getting help, you may need to leave. It can be very painful to be at the other end of some of the behaviors of those dealing with a personality disorder.
Many people don’t know about what constitutes a personality disorder, even if they are familiar with some of the behaviors that might indicate a personality disorder. Expert Randi Kreger has referred to those with personality disorder as “high conflict persons.” They exhibit common behaviors — they tend to idealize you and then criticize you, project their emotions onto you, embarrass you, take advantage of you, demand things from you, lie to you.
It’s true that personality disorders can be healed with a lot of inner work. But it can be incredibly self-destructive to feel like you are waiting around others to improve themselves so your relationship can heal. You don’t deserve to sit around waiting while they continue to detract from your life by causing emotional destruction.
If your partner is an alcoholic, drug addict, gambler, sex addict, spending addict, or addicted to anything else that may be causing them, you, or anyone else harm or pain, you may need to leave — especially if they are not receiving help for the addiction.
Your partner may be able to deal with and overcome the addiction, but it might not be the right time for them to be investing in a relationship.
To get over an addiction, your partner will need to dedicate serious work toward personal growth, and it might be a struggle for him or her to put in the necessary work toward self-improvement, while also trying to be an attentive partner.
These three signs are some of the most common non-negotiable reasons to leave your relationship. Of course, a common — and very important — reason may simply be that you feel stuck and disconnected in your relationship. This may not be abuse. But it is a reason to leave.
For instance, if you are interested in personal growth and your partner has not been interested in changing at all, you might find that you have outgrown your partner. When you met each other, you both might have been abandoning yourselves in various ways, but through your personal growth, you might now be taking responsibility for yourself.
Leaving isn’t easy. Ask yourself, “Is leaving an act of self-care? Is there more for me to learn in this relationship, or can I best learn and grow outside of this relationship?” If you are honest with yourself, you will know the answers to these questions.
For more information on abusive relationships, visit HelpGuide.org.