It takes no time, and almost no effort, to fall in love with a person. But it takes months and years to build a relationship and a lot of effort to sustain it for long. When falling in love, you are most attracted to the positives of a person. But to make a relationship work, you need to accept both the positives and the negatives of your partner. And when you don’t, the relationship may fail.
While the reasons why relationships fail may vary one couple to another, we try to list a few common ones in this MomJunction post and also tell you how you may overcome these to make it work.
Reasons Why Relationships Fail
Adjustments, understanding, and loyalty are a few essential components needed to maintain a long-lasting relationship. Without this, the foundation of the relationship becomes weaker.
Other common reasons for the failure of relationships are discussed next.
1. High expectations
“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”
– Brandon Sanderson, Science fiction and American fantasy writer
One of the common reasons for failing relationships is expecting too much from your partner. Initially, your expectations get fulfilled quite easily. You expect romantic dinners, gifts, and much more, which your partner would have been more than willing to give. But with time, individuals, as well as priorities in life, change.
While you may be expecting marriage and children, your partner might be having career goals in mind. You must be looking forward to traveling together and enjoying life, but your partner wishes to settle down. A mismatch of expectations like that could create a conflict in your relationship.
What to do: You are one couple, but two different individuals. There might always be differences in opinions but keeping high expectations from each other may not be a good idea. You may, however, let each other know about your aspirations in life and how you can move further together.
Open and transparent communication is one of the essential aspects of a healthy relationship. Whether you are trying to hide something important from your significant other or you are not getting enough time to communicate, miscommunication might create cracks even in a solid romantic relationship.
Lack of communication could make a partner feel lonely, and they might look elsewhere for love and affection. Miscommunication between you and your partner may also buildup negative feelings between you two, which could damage your relationship.
What to do: When you identify a communication problem between you and your partner, address it before it gets out of hand. Understand and give importance to healthy communication, as it can clear most of the problems arising in a relationship. So, make time and sit down once in a while and get clarity on issues that are creating a gap between you.
3. No room for compromises
Balance is a key element in maintaining a relationship. Not adjusting or not compromising to anything and sticking to what you say even when your partner is not happy with it could create problems in a relationship. Not respecting each other’s choices could make it difficult for the relationship to last a long time.
What to do: Sometimes, it is okay to let your partner decide. A smooth, long-lasting, and healthy relationship is all about how much you care for your significant other. Love should be selfless, not selfish. Make room for some adjustments and compromises and see how easy your relationship can become.
Someone said, “love doesn’t break hearts, the ego does.”
Ego is a small word but quite powerful in damaging a relationship. Even a hint of egoism could destroy the bond between two loving people. A relationship lasts long when partners understand each other. Ego is all about oneself, one’s self-esteem, and one’s desires. And expecting adjustments and compromises from the other to satisfy your ego is not a part of a happy relationship. With ego come a lot of differences, which are harmful to the relationship.
What to do: If you are an egoist, you always want to be right. But know that it is totally okay to be wrong. So, try to be content and let some things go for the benefit of your relationship. Pause for a while and think about what would happen if you let your ego win the case. Would your partner be happy about it? And would you be satisfied if the relationship is at risk because of your ego? If the answer is no, just stay calm and let it pass.
5. Trust issues
The foundation of every romantic relation is trust and loyalty. Some of the factors that contribute to a lack of trust in a relationship include too much dependence, possessiveness, jealousy, cheating, and past negative incidents, to name a few. When there is no trust, there seems to be no security in a relationship. That means that the relationship sees no bright future or, in some cases, no future at all.
What to do: Don’t always look at your partner with suspicion. Everything is in your mind, so put a brake on your thoughts. Give your partner some freedom: don’t ask too many questions, believe what they say, and have faith in your relationship. If you have had some bad incidents in the past, give it a chance and try trusting them by giving them the benefit of the doubt.
It is okay to get angry, but if the emotion is not controlled, then it can lead to aggression or violence, which are not okay at all. Aggression hampers the behaviors and decision-making skills of a person. When you are angry, you may say anything or abuse or make wrong decisions about your relationship.
Anger can not only spoil your relationship with your partner but can also damage your quality of life. If either one of you is dealing with extreme anger issues and is not able to control it, then your relationship could be in trouble.
What to do: Learn to avoid impulsive reactions. Take a moment and think and ask yourself – what may happen if you react aggressively? The situation may go overboard, and your partner might be hurt. Is that what you want? If not, be calm for a while and talk to your partner about it later. When you are angry, you need to try managing yourself and not your significant other.
7. Lack of compatibility
One of the greatest authors, Leo Tolstoy, said, “what counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”
You and your loved one are two different individuals with different sets of likes and dislikes. So, it is possible that you may not like what your partner wants. But that is what a compatible relationship is about – respecting each other’s desires and adjusting accordingly. Without this, your relationship may fall apart.
What to do: Discuss your needs and wants with your partner. It is okay if you don’t have shared interests between you. You should respect each other’s preferences, accept them, and move along with them. And if there are any conflicts, try to figure out the solution instead of quarreling about it.
8. Messy priorities
We all have many priorities in life, and a relationship may be one of them. If these priorities are not managed well, you may run into relationship problems. For instance, you may be too busy with your work, or you spend your free time with your friends, or you always keep your family problems at the end of the list. Such disorganization of priorities could be one of the reasons why relationships fail.
What to do: When you don’t like some of each other’s habits, then let each other know about it. If your partner doesn’t like you spending more time with friends instead of with them, then try to organize your time such that you are giving time to your partner too. Make sure you adjust so that no more conflicts arise. And if you think some patterns or behaviors of your partner cannot be changed, then learn to accept them and let go. Understand that you cannot mend everything, and some things are to be ignored.
Although it is not so common, any form of abuse that contributes to narcissism most probably results in a failed relationship. Manipulation, cheating, playing with emotions, threatening, and such negative characteristics of a person involved in a romantic relationship cannot be tolerated for long. In such scenarios, it is difficult to go a long way.
What to do: The first thing you need to understand when dealing with a narcissist partner is that it is going to be really difficult for you to manage your relationship. But if you are committed and love your partner, and you think you can help them get better, then you may take some strict measures to bring it back on track. Establish boundaries, make your partner understand what you are going through, and also seek help from a counselor if necessary.
10. Too dependent
Emotional dependency is harmful not only for your relationship but also for you. We all need someone to share our happiness with or listen to us and bring us up when we are down, or to share our happiness with. But looking to your partner for managing your feelings, and even for happiness, may not be helpful in the long run. Your partner may be stressed to deal with all the emotions, and an imbalance may be created within the relationship, leading eventually to its failure.
What to do: A relationship should be interdependent so that it lasts long. You may want to be with your partner, but you should also want a life outside of the relationship. Spare some time for yourself and give some space to your partner. This is essential when you want to have a mess-free relationship.
Some other common reasons that could be responsible for damaging a relationship include monetary issues, disrespecting each other, taking the relationship casually, boredom, taking each other for granted, and even infidelity.
What to do: In case of petty issues, such as boredom, or minor disagreements, you can make some small amendments and bring your relationship on track. But if your relationship is at risk due to issues such as disrespect and finances, it is essential to work on them by talking about it with your partner.
One or more reasons could be responsible for a charming romantic relationship to fail. If you have realized that now and do not want your relationship to fail, give a thought, work on your own self, help your partner, and try every possible way to bring your relationship on track.
Do you have any tips or experiences to share? Leave your comments below.