By Leigh Goessl
Most people don’t go into a relationship anticipating the end. Instead, there are probably feelings such as fluttering butterflies in the stomach, happy thoughts in the mind, and anticipation in the heart.
The emotions are all about the excitement of getting to know this new person better. It is during this time the seeds of the relationship are planted. Sometimes these seeds flourish, develop deep roots and grow into sturdy and hearty plants. Other times they wither and don’t get too far beyond the seedlings and budding stage.
Whether a relationship is long-term, short-lived, or believed to be a permanent commitment, it is hard to say at the beginning what the future holds for any relationship. Despite high hopes and hard work, sometimes even the best of the deeply connected relationships can sadly come to an end for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes it’s due to bad judgment, circumstances, or other unexpected changes. Other times it just happens.
Why Do Relationships Die?
The reasons for the ended relationship may vary but, for most people, many of the same kinds of feelings exist when a relationship ends. The most common feelings associated with breakups are sadness, despair, longing, anger or fear. (Although, in some cases, there is probably relief or even happiness, depending on what transpired that led the couple to end things).
With so many negative feelings linked to breakups, why would anyone want to experience the heart-wrenching emotions that tend to go along with breaking up with a significant other? Why does any relationship, regardless of length, die? There could be several reasons why a relationship runs its course. Below are some of the most common reasons why either one or both partners realize it is time to end things and move forward in a new direction.
Lying and/or Cheating
While these two could be separate or linked together, the end result is often similar because both behaviors lead to trust being broken. Lies, big or small, can permanently harm a relationship. Trust is the primary building block to any relationship, and once this piece of the foundation is cracked, it is not uncommon to find the crack widens until the foundation crumbles completely.
While it is true many relationships can survive white lies, and even sometimes the biggies, dishonesty from one partner to the other often causes irrevocable damage. When cheating occurs in a relationship, a serious issue of trust has been breached. The cheating may be physical or emotional, but both kinds of infidelity put a wedge between two people because in each case, one partner seeks some form of gratification outside their primary relationship.
Whether a couple can survive either lying or cheating depends on the people involved; some people can get past deception and/or infidelity, and others cannot survive the pain and heartache it causes.
Outgrow One Another
Over a long period of time, sadly, some people simply outgrow one another or outgrow the relationship. This can occur at any age, but it is not uncommon for couples who get together in high school or college to find as they mature further into their adult years, they have a lot less in common than they did in their youth.
However, it can even happen to people who met later in life. Most people continue to grow throughout their adult years. With experience comes wisdom and, occasionally, one partner grows into their own at a far faster pace than their partner is moving. This can lead to a relationship dying as interests and priorities in life change.
There are times when people sometimes simply stop caring about their relationship. This is probably more frequent in short-term relationships because not a lot of time, emotion or energy has been devoted to one another, but it can occur in relationships of any length.
Indifference is a hard one to get past because if one partner doesn’t care, it isn’t always easy to turn things around. Chances are the issue is an internal struggle with the apathetic partner which has led to indifference.
This isn’t to say repairing the relationship can’t happen, especially if there is another root issue causing the indifference that needs resolution, but it isn’t usually easy. It takes hard work on the part of both partners.
The person who is indifferent has to want to figure out what the problem is. Or, if he or she already knows what is causing the apathy, has to want to work beyond it and try to rekindle what attracted him or her to their partner in the first place.
When a relationship is new, hopes are usually pretty high and with this people often focus more on trying to connect and might not immediately notice the more fundamental incompatibilities that exist.
While opposites do indeed attract, sometimes the differences are not issues that can be reconciled which lead to frequent clashes.
Inability to Communicate
Communication is an important foundational block in a relationship. If two people in a relationship have difficulty communicating with one another, this can lead to misunderstandings, wrong assumptions or other serious communication issues.
Often two people who cannot seem to effectively talk things out with one another will decide to end the relationship since communication isn’t a part of the equation. This is because they hadn’t cemented this important block. Often when the end of a relationship is near, one or both partners can feel surprised, devastated, and, in some cases, a feeling of relief when it’s over.
There are many reasons why relationships die, but despite the common things which cause a partnership to be over, each situation is unique. Relationships take a lot of work and unless both partners are willing to work together to iron the problems out, it’ll be hard for the relationship to survive.