One of the best ways to safeguard your relationship from doom is to familiarize yourself with the top 10 reasons why relationships fail and fall apart.
If knowledge is power, then awareness of what not to do is just as important as anything else.
After spending much of my time researching relationship red flags, I’ve come to understand that it never works out well to ignore bad traits and underlying issues because they will creep up eventually, particularly after the honeymoon phases subsides.
With that being said, here’s a list of the 10 reasons why relationships fail and fall apart:
- Trust issues.
- Lies and deceitfulness.
- Insecurity and possessiveness
- Excessive bickering and fighting.
- A lack of respect and consideration.
- Poor communication.
- Compatibility issues.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons why relationships fail so that we can attempt to fix or avoid these problems in the future.
1. Trust issues
The very foundation of any relationship is built on trust. Without it, the probability of a relationship failing is high.
The interesting thing about trust is that it relies heavily on faith.
If you are willing to accept that your partner will honor you and the commitment he or she made even if the relationship is very new, the trust will grow organically.
However, if you struggle to give your partner the benefit of the doubt, it will eventually catch up to you.
On the flip side, if your partner is the one with trust issues then it will be increasingly difficult to maintain a happy and drama-free relationship if he or she refuses to see reason.
They may accuse you of cheating and lying, expect you to constantly justify your decisions and expect unrealistic things from you like cutting off people you have been friends with for years.
These unhealthy behavior patterns of someone with trust issues will eventually make you resentful and bitter towards your lover.
At which point, the relationship will crumble because it sucks the joy out of your life.
According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 20 – 40% of divorces in the USA are caused by infidelity. I’m sure a similar statistic carries over to other relationships as well.
Which explains why so many people have such a tough time overcoming the fear of being cheated on.
If building trust is difficult, destroying trust is easy. All it takes is one instance of infidelity to shatter the foundation of a relationship. It is the ultimate form of betrayal and is 99% of the time unjustifiable.
Sure, some couples manage to move beyond a single instance of cheating but more likely than not, it will have long-lasting repercussions on your life and relationship.
3. Lies and deceitfulness
I realized how easy it becomes to tell white lies as we get older.
And yet, during childhood, it weighed heavily on me. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Why? Because you often justify it by convincing yourself that nobody got hurt so it must be okay.
But just because a white lie may not hurt your partner doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t chip away at the level of trust in a relationship.
If anything, telling lies and being deceitful even in small ways creates a reason for doubt.
When you light the fire of suspicion, don’t be upset when your partner becomes more critical and uncertain of your character.
4. Insecurities and possessiveness
Understandably, we all have insecurities to deal with but when they start to affect the health of a relationship, it has to be addressed. From what I’ve studied, insecurities and possessiveness go hand in hand.
The problem with being possessive is that it can become almost obsessive.
Rather than give your partner the space to live their life, you start to impose unnecessary and unwarranted restrictions.
Why? Because your feelings of possessiveness often stem from a state of insecurity.
If you can fix your insecurities, you may find yourself being far less overwhelming and possessive.
The quickest way to drive someone out of your life is to be overbearing and controlling. Both of which are primary traits in possessiveness.
Start by tackling your insecurities. Most of the time, they exist within you rather than out in the world. So, the first step to overcoming insecurities is to avoid projecting them into the world and going back to the source.
5. Excessive bickering and fighting
At one point, pop media like cinema projected this idea that a perfect couple is one who bickers.
It’s not actually the case. The reason why this idea was so popularly used in cinema and literature is that it makes for an entertaining watch or read.
Bickering and fighting is an excellent and easy way of projecting passion for these mediums of art.
Be that as it may, bickering and fighting does not translate well in real life. If anything, it leads to stress, anxiety and mental or emotional fatigue.
At which point, the passion dies down incredibly fast and you’re left feeling resentful and annoyed by the relationship.
Eventually, this will suck the joy and love out of your relationship until there’s nothing but feelings of annoyance, anger and resentment.
6. A lack of respect and consideration
To be respectful, all you need to do is be considerate. They go hand in hand as well.
And yet, couples who don’t think or consider the feelings of their partner tend to do things that drive a wedge between them.
Sometimes it’s not even intentional. They just didn’t think about what it would do to each other which is a problem in and of itself.
When you agree to be in a relationship, it comes with responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to consider how your actions will affect your loved one.
It starts with actions and trickles down to the way you talk to and about each other.
Cussing each other out amidst arguments and playing on each other’s insecurities will tarnish the sanctity of your relationship. Eventually, this becomes just another reason why relationships fail.
Prioritize respect in your relationship. Don’t be insulting or disingenuous. Consider how your actions may affect your partner and consult with them before making such a decision.
7. Poor communication
I’ve seen many good relationships fall apart just because of poor communication.
People assume that communication in a relationship dictates being sweet. It’s more nuanced than that.
Proper communication relies heavily on the ability to listen and to speak clearly.
Most couples break up because someone doesn’t listen or someone doesn’t speak about their feelings and thoughts.
The fix is fairly simple – actively work on communication. Approach each other with the intention of discussing feelings, thoughts, opinions and so forth.
Let this become a part of your lifestyle and the relationship will take a turn for the better.
If you notice a problem in the relationship, rather than ignore it, sit your partner down for a discussion which means avoid blame and focus on the issues itself.
8. Compatibility issues
I wish this weren’t the case but sometimes relationships fail simply because there is an underlying issue that cannot be reconciled.
- Conflicting personalities.
- Different ideologies.
- Cultural differences.
- Religious differences.
As much as you may love and care for each other, the relationship fails because these differences or compatibility issues are too prominent to ignore.
It may be difficult but at some point, we all meet someone we love who we have to let go of.
According to Mayoclinic, “Narcissism is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.“
Let’s break down this definition in terms of how it causes relationships to fail and fall apart.
With an inflated sense of their own importance, how can we expect them to care for our needs and consider our feelings? It’s improbably. Earlier we discussed how respect depends on consideration. That’s not entirely possible with a narcissist.
A deep need for excessive attention and admiration draws attention away from the relationship towards just one person. In other words, it leads to possessiveness and manipulation with the intent to control how the other person shows up in the relationship. Rather than ‘US‘, it becomes all about ‘ME‘. The perfect recipe for a disastrous relationship. Also, they’ll make you chase after them like a crazy person.
A lack of empathy for others is pretty self-explanatory. Not being able to turn to your partner for compassion, love, care and empathy defeats the point of a relationship.
Narcissism is one of the worst reasons why relationships fail and fall apart.
Physical, mental and emotional abuse are real and serious reasons why relationships fail.
Just because we don’t hear about it as much doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
The more we educate people about the types of behavior that can be classified as abuse, the likelier we are to see relationships end because there are many people living in abusive relationships who don’t profess this to the world.
The very foundation of a romantic relationship is to care, respect, love and protect each other.
Abuse goes against that very foundation. There is not room for it in any relationship.
And if someone is has a history of abuse, bringing that behavior to light may be the only way they can change. Unlikely but not impossible.
How to avoid these reasons why relationships fail
Now that you know what to look out for, it becomes imperative to reflect and identify whether you are responsible for any wrongdoing in your relationship.
This may not be easy but if you truly value what you have, you will not avoid this crucial step in becoming a better lover and person.
With honesty comes growth. And the first step to improvement and change is honesty.
Thereafter, figure out how you can behave in a more loving, respectful, considerate and kind manner.
And on the flip side, look at your partner objectively. What actions could attribute to the unhappiness or unease in the relationship.
The next part is important so pay careful attention. When you identify the action that is causing disharmony in the relationship, rather than attack or confront your partner, talk about it with love and respect.
Come from a place of no judgment and profess your intention from the get-go.
Explain what you learned from this article for instance and how you want to work with him or her to improve the relationship and avoid hurting each other.
If your partner isn’t a narcissist, this simple action could really save and help your relationship.
A failed relationship doesn’t make you a failure
Don’t ever measure your worth as a person on the failure of a romantic relationship because that doesn’t serve you or anyone for that matter.
I like to think as every failed relationship as a lesson which makes me better as a person and lover.
Most importantly, don’t hold onto a toxic relationship just because you don’t want to deal with the label of a failed relationship.
It’s not worth it. Don’t sacrifice your happiness and future on something so insignificant.
The pain of a failed relationship passes when you move on with life and find someone amazing. But the anguish and heartache of a bad relationship will go on for as long as you stay in it.
I would much rather have many failed relationships than stay with someone who makes me unhappy or treats me poorly.
Eventually, you will bounce back from this and go on to have a wonderful relationship by adjusting your mindset to view failure as lessons.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below and let me know which of these reasons why relationships fail and fall apart you have dealt with.