It’s Too Late You Gotta Go

Even though my work with couples is highly restorative, there are times when either one or both parties have concluded it’s too late you gotta go leave the relationship. There’s just been too much damage, pain, disregard, betrayal, let downs or other water under the bridge. The trust has eroded, the love is gone, and there is nothing left to work with to build something new.

When this moment has come, one of the partners might be resistant to the idea of dissolving the relationship for good, but for the other partner, who is now exhausted from the constant destruction and rebuilding process in an effort to make things work, it is time to stop the madness and just walk away.

Not that it might not be painful for both parties, but when the pain of staying together outweighs the benefits and adequate solutions, growth and change cannot be embraced or applied over time, the energy it takes to maintain a successful relationship wanes over time.

One of the partners may protest and proclaim their undying love and commitment,

“But I’ll do anything”

In an effort to save the relationship, but it’s too little too late, there is nothing left to work with. If only he or she could have come to that conclusion when there was something left to salvage. And in many cases, a partner will offer up the “I’ll do anything,” plea to prolong a relationship but not the commitment to make the changes necessary to bring the couple closer together. If that is the case, then now, those words are meaningless.

How did we get here?

Sometimes even with the best intentions, two people can let resentment and emotional wounds build up over time. They just sort of gloss-over the hurt feelings and hide them away because they believe this is in the best interest of the relationship. Things just tend to go easier when there is no conflict. It’s easier just to let it go. But you’re not letting it go, you’re storing that pain away, building up an emotional equity that when it reaches critical mass will create a huge conflict in the relationship when it goes off, like a time-bomb.

There may have been things about your partner that you did not recognize (or did not want to see) in the beginning, or the honeymoon phase, of the relationship, but as time has gone on, these things have become more and more apparent, and it looks like there is little hope for change. These can range everywhere from annoying personality quirks to infidelities or harmful addictions, and could have been deal-breakers were you able to grasp the idea of their existence in the beginning. You might not have noticed them because you wanted to believe the best (which is true most of the time) or your partner may have hidden them and now you’re starting to see your partner’s true colors, and it looks like there is no hope for change.

Incompatible core issues, which may have been overlooked in the throes of love, may be a constant irritant, if not the destructor of a potentially otherwise successful relationship. These might be differences of religion, sexual appetite, recreational preferences, childrearing, money issues, work, and retirement plans, among others.

This is why we suggest digging through as many of these potential pitfalls before they become conflictive and barring their disclosure or appearance in advance, it is highly important to have a plan for having difficult conersations and potentially solving conflicts before they arise. If there is no such system in place, you have few (if not no) tools at your disposal for rectifying such opposing views and further deterioration of the relationship is the result.

Insurmountable obstacles and challenges may weaken the energy and resolve of an otherwise healthy relationship. Sometimes something can happen to a couple that rips at the very fabric of a good union, leaving only shreds in its wake, and the result is unsalvageable. Some of these issues might include significant loss of income or resources, change of life or lifestyle, major disease/illness, death in the family (especially a child), etc. While a truly synchronistically-empowered couple may be able to muster the strength to overcome such obstacles, it is next to impossible for a couple on the brink to survive such challenges.

Finally, after it all, one or both partners dies. Not in the physical sense, but more in a mental, emotional, or spiritual sense. They have given up the fight for what they want, let go of their passion(s) and/or desire for a better life. They have selflessly resigned themselves to a life of mediocrity, hoping for the best (an early death for either themselves or their mate). It’s sad but true. Although, in a moment of clarity, this person might awaken enough to feel like extricating him or herself from the relationship is the only way out of such a meaningless life.

These are a few of the ways a couple can suffer irreparable harm which has caused such damage to the relationship over time that it may not be salvageable. At any rate, the truth of the matter is,

It’s Over

The best you can do is to part ways with as much integrity as possible in the best way that you can, blessing your partner and hoping that he or she has a better life to live waiting for him or her. Retain the lessons learned, remember the good times, let go, and find a way to move on.

Is it really time to leave?

15 Signs for Relationship Ending

Let’s face it, if you’re open to having an effective romantic relationship with another person, you probably already know you’re swimming in shark-infested waters. Still, we want to believe true love is possible – and I believe it is – so we continue to allow ourselves to be open and somewhat vulnerable because we know that is the only way to have a truly meaningful relationship.

15 Signs for Relationship Ending

The earlier you notice the warning signs of a potentially problematic or toxic relationship, the better. Although unfortunately we find ourselves in relationships and are only able to see the red flags after they have established a level of comfort and let down their guard. At that point you have to decide if it’s time for you to conduct your relationship ending to allow for a more healthy relationship to appear on the landscape.

15 Signs for Relationship Ending

1. It’s All About Me

If your partner is self-absorbed there may be no room for you in his of her life. Certainly, you might be invited to participate in their life but more as an accessory than a partner. You might be able to see signs of potential narcissistic personality disorder on their facebook or other social media accounts. Look for obsessive selfies and little else. If it’s all about them on their social media, it’s a good indicator that any relationship will also be about them, too. Look for someone with the capacity to have relationships with friends and family if you hope for them to have the ability to become a team player in your life.

2. Do This, Don’t Do That

If they have a long list of rules they expect you to follow and more often than not making suggestions to change you, this is likely never going to change, and you shouldn’t be expected to. This may also be a warning sign that you might be getting involved with a psychopath or someone in the anti-social personality disorder spectrum. If they’re expecting you to change to meet their requirements, consider changing prospective mates.

3. More Interested in What You Do

If your partner appears to be more interested in your career (and you have a good job with benefits, opportunities for promotions or influential in the community) then he or she might not be interested in you at all. It’s likely not just about liking what you do, but they’re more focused on what you can bring to the table for them. If it’s not about you, who you are as a person, it’s because they’re not interested in you and they lack the capacity to connect in a real way.

4. Not Interested in What You Want to Do

If you’re constantly trying to invite our partner to participate in activities that you enjoy and he or she is resistant to going along or could care less, how long could you live like that? Though, they might be quite expectant that you participate in their activities. If they’d rather you go alone and administer endless guilt trips for doing so, these are not signs of a potentially successful long-term relationship. It’s not up to you to always be the sacrificial lamb or the martyr. A true partnership includes a bit of give and take if it is expected to last.

5. Conversation Domination

Are they constantly talking about me, me, me and don’t seem to be interested in you? You can clearly see it when you’re trying to communicate with them. They rarely if ever ask you about you, and when you find yourself intimating details about you, your day, your life, they interrupt and make it about them. Try disagreeing with the. If they are more focused on defending their position than listening to your point of view, then what’s the point? Conversation – just like your relationship – needs to be a two-way street, if you want to be more in someone’s life than an audience member validating their sense of importance.

6. Doesn’t Keep Promises

Your prospective mate is armed and ready with a long list of excuses about why he or she was unable to d what he or she said they would do and may even look to blame you in some way for his/her inability to fulfill his/her obligation(s). This is not only shirking responsibility, but may be a clear indication that this person has no sense of integrity to bring to the relationship. How can you be expected to trust someone who won’t keep their promises?

7. Could Care Less About Others

If someone is self-centered, inconsiderate or rude, they may be borderline narcissists. You see it every day, the person who dominates the fast lane at low speed not aware of anything or anyone else being on the road, they stand in doorways unaware of others who would like to use the egress point, they talk out loud with their blue tooth device stuffed in their ear in public, are constantly checking their phones at inopportune times and places, holding up foot traffic or disrespecting other people attempting to engage with them. You are not likely to be truly seen by this person as the person you truly are, only a less than visible passer-by. Don’t hold onto the false hope of making a genuine connection with this type of person.

8. Pointing Out Others’ Faults

If your partner is constantly pointing the finger at other people, putting them down, disrespecting or making fun of them and/or their shortcomings, then they are nothing more than selfish nincompoops. There are deep-rooted reasons why someone needs to validate themselves by putting others down ranging from lack of self-esteem to psychopathy. Regardless of the root cause of this type of personality trait, it does not indicate an openness that leads to a long-lasting, meaningful relationship, knowing all the while he or she is monitoring everything you do for use as a comedy sketch in the future. Only fools hang with the foolhardy. Don’t be a fool.

9. How They Respond to Their Past

If your potential partner lies about his or her past – or worse yet – doesn’t talk about it at all, it does not reflect well on any potential relationship you might have with this person. Either they are a sociopath covering up their long list of casualties or they are too broken and timid to participate fully because they feel they have been victimized or afraid that you might leave, if you knew the truth. Unless you can freely and openly share the wounds and scars about your past with the person with whom you can be intimate with, there is no real possibility of making a connection of any significance. That onus is on you, too. You also need to be able to conduct a conversation about this person’s past, without ridicule or judgment.

10. Living With Their Ex- (in their head)

How can you be expected to have a quality relationship with someone who is still attached to their ex-? This person is clearly not ready to move on in any meaningful way. A little dialogue about exes may be helpful in getting to know someone’s capacity for relationships, but endless stories about the ex- go far beyond annoying. You’re participation in this person’s life may be relegated to being the rebound or transition person, making them feel better as they work through their grief of loss, only filling a temporary void until someone else comes along. Look for healthy recollections of the ex- and make sure he/she has had some time to disassociate and establish some independence.

11. No Same-gender Friends

If he or she doesn’t have any friends of the same gender and insists that they just don’t get along with individuals sharing the same sex, this could be an indicator of problematic social entanglements which could rear their ugly faces in the future. If his or her ability to have friends is predominantly relegated to friends of the opposite sex, he or she may not have the capacity to engage in a high level of friendship at all, and isn’t that what you want your partner to be, your best friend? You just don’t want to be one of his/her other friends (unless that is what you want). Some speculation could be made about the reasons why he or she is only attracted to making friends with the opposite sex, which could take years to unravel. A good partner has friends who are of both genders it exemplifies their ability to partner.

12. Tries to Trip You Up

Instead of looking out for you and celebrate your individual successes, if they’re more likely to downplay your wins, they ma potentially be destructive, looking for ways to make you stumble so that they appear to have the upper hand. This can be the case when a pair of successful people gets together, especially if one of them may have narcissistic tendencies. Look for someone who celebrates you, encourages you to do better, even helps build you up along the way to success, stay away from anyone who wants to sabotage your personal or professional growth in an effort to keep or tear you down.

13. My Way or the Highway

This potentially narcissistic person is more likely than not going to insist that you comply with their expectations, or follow up with a demand to, “Hit the road, Jack,” or issue a Dear-John letter post haste. If you don’t like it, leave it. They obviously don’t care about you as much as they do themselves. Take advantage of the invitation and just leave, you’re better off without them, cut your losses, leave now, because eventually they will just throw you out anyway.

14. Financial Infidelity

If your partner is weird about finances, keeping financial agreements, or may have undisclosed sources or hordes of financing options, be on guard and be looking for clues of someone who may not be honest with the way they conduct their financial affairs. Money issues are one of the most primary indicators of relationship troubles. You don’t want to be left holding the bag, while your partner scurries off to drain his or her next victim.

15. Abusiveness

There are many discourses on catching the early indicators of a potential abuser. The last thing you want to be in is an abusive relationship. Even though predators are very stealthy early on in a relationship, you may be able to pick up on sings such as how they interact with wait staff, animals or children.

Keep in mind that all abuse is not relegated to only physical. Other kinds of abuse include verbal abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, manipulation, humiliation and/or substance abuse. Healthy relationships should be maintained as abuse-free as possible. And for god’s sake, never think that you can change a potential abuser. Is it possible? Maybe, but not likely.