The 13 Most Common Reasons Relationships Fail - And How To Rescue Yours

Mohamed Hassan - Pixabay

If you're in a relationship and anxious about whether you'll stay together, you probably have reason to worry.

After all, 70% of unmarried couples go their separate ways in just a year.

That's a frightening number, but the fact is every breakup has its warning signs.

If you can already recognize one of these 13 common reasons for a split, you can also avoid them.

1. Cheating

Cheating couple
Thought Catalog

Research says that about 6% of all relationships end because one partner is unfaithful.

But a Cosmopolitan study suggests 39% of women have ended a relationship because of cheating.

In either case, there are definitely a lot of two-timing partners out there.

Warning signs: Spending a lot of unexplained time away from home, hiding phones or other technology from you, a sudden drop in romantic time together.

What to do: If you catch your partner cheating, you obviously can't trust them. The first step to patch up your relationship is rebuilding your trust.

Start by explaining how your partner's actions hurt you, and ask them to explain their choices honestly.

2. Bad habits

Annoyed wife

From small problems (messiness, belching) to big ones (alcohol abuse, being rude to your friends) your partner's nasty habits can get under your skin.

Warning signs: Other people complain about his/her habits that you don't notice. Things that didn't bother you once now do. Your partner doesn't apologize for their bad behavior.

What to do: If these habits are starting to drive you nuts, intervene ASAP. Tell your partner how you're feeling and ask them to commit to change.

If the habit is serious (like an addiction) asking your partner to get counseling may be necessary.

3. Control issues


A lack of trust can mark every part of your relationship, but this is the ugliest type of trust issue.

Warning signs: Your partner makes all the decisions in your relationship. They have complete control of the household finances. They force you to check in when you're away from them.

What to do: These are very serious and borderline abusive behaviors. Confront your partner about them and seek outside help if they don't stop.

Your partner's behavior might be because of their anxiety, or leftover feelings from past relationships. Try and ask what's motivating them and see if you can help.

4. Social isolation


Plenty of lovey-dovey couples only have eyes for each other, and are happy to spend every moment together.

But if you're starting to miss your friends and family, something is wrong.

Warning signs: You're spending less time with friends and family, even if you want to see them. You feel smothered by your partner.

What to do: Try to get your partner and friends/family involved in something together. Remind them you need to spend time apart once in a while.

Check if your partner has some kind of serious disagreement or concern with your friends/family, and tell them if it's not reasonable.

5. Financial disagreements

Marko Vench - Flickr

Money, money, money. It makes the world go round, but it can also tear your love apart.

Warning signs: You and your partner disagree about what's "expensive." Their spending habits bother you. Your debt is growing. They have wasteful habits like gambling.

What to do: Every couple needs a budget, and plenty of communication about your spending habits.

Set a monthly limit - that both people agree to - and stick to it. Make sure you both agree before any big or unexpected purchases.

6. Falling out of love

Adam Kusmierz - Flickr

This may sound like a cop out or excuse, but some couples really do find their passion fades after some time together.

Warning signs: You can't remember your partner's last sweet, romantic gesture. You don't feel the same passion or desire for your partner that you used to.

What to do: Either you, your partner, or your circumstances have really changed since you met each other.

Identify what's different about your relationship now. Have you stopped going on weekly dates? Do you stay in instead of doing fun activities?

Step out of your routine and see if a little spontaneity will rekindle the flame.

7. Arguing constantly


We all know a couple who can never see eye-to-eye about anything. Usually, the days are numbered for those relationships.

Warning signs: You fall to bits over very small disagreements. Stressful fights last for multiple days, with no end in sight.

What to do: Learn to mediate, compromise, and focus on problem solving - not assigning blame.

If you fight over nothing then you must really be upset about something else.

Focus on what matters in your relationship and practice de-escalating pointless fights.

8. Low self-esteem


All sorts of things can make one partner more anxious or concerned about the relationship, which will start to rub off on their partner eventually.

Warning signs: One person is constantly unhappy, and anxious that they are not "good enough for their partner.

They'll usually be a little paranoid that their partner is unfaithful or uninterested, and won't pay enough attention to themselves.

What to do: The only solution for unfounded worrying is reminding yourself what your partner actually thinks.

Have an open and honest conversation about why you are concerned. But accept that your anxiety may be hurting your partner.

9. Laziness

Lazy husband
On the Road

After the "honeymoon period" is over, it's normal for couples to become more relaxed.

But when one person starts getting complacent, it can stress our their partner.

Warning signs: Your relationship is "going nowhere," and you have to pick up slack for your partner.

They don't show interest in the same goals, milestones, and opportunities as you.

What to do: You may be at a mismatched point in your lives together - your career is rising while your partner's is stuck in a rut.

It's important to set goals as a couple, based on your shared values and expectations.

If your partner won't commit to those targets, you may be a bad match after all.

10. Different life goals

Some couples are just apples and oranges, and destined to split up. But other people will change their character gradually, causing stress over time.

Warning signs: Your partner has radically changed his/her life in a way that you have not.

They start expressing new and different views about important things like having children, or religion.

You have always disagreed about something, but now those differences are causing strife.

What to do: Couples compromise all the time, but it's unfair to give up everything important to you for your partner's sake.

Explain the practical results of your feelings ("I am very religious, and I want you to come to church with me every week.") so there are no misunderstandings.

If you are just too different, splitting up may be unavoidable after all.

11. Abuse

Domestic abuse
The Beijinger

Even today, domestic abuse is worryingly common. It's important to recognize the signs of abuse so you can protect yourself from a dangerous relationship.

Warning signs: Violent behavior, verbal harassment, or psychological abuse (a partner who plays hurtful mind games with you).

Also be on the lookout for controlling behavior (emotional, physical, financial) or if your partner mistreats other people.

What to do: Contact the authorities or get help if you are being abused.

Insist that your partner gets counseling while you spend time apart.

Do not feel obligated to give an abuser "a second chance." Only return to your relationship if you truly believe your partner has changed their ways.

12. Lack of communication


In a survey on YourTango, 65% of mental health professionals singled out a lack of communication as the leading cause for divorce.

It's not just about sharing your feelings - good communication is the cornerstone of every relationship.

Warning signs: You don't feel like you understand your partner, and vice versa. You keep your guard up around them, or feel ignored.

You have conflicts regularly - big or small - and can never seem to resolve them.

What to do: Practice stepping into your partner's shoes: how do they feel about you, your behavior, and your relationship.

Encourage them to do the same thing.

Take time every day to talk about what's most important in life, your goals and plans, and check that you both feel the same way.

13. Clingy behavior or neediness


Modern relationships are like a business partnership: they take an equal amount of work from both partners to flourish.

So if one partner is more needy or selfish, it can be very grating.

Warning signs: Your partner monopolizes all your time, and has no interests or hobbies of their own. They insist on tagging along with you 24/7.

What to do: Both partners in a relationship need to take time to cultivate their own interests. Encourage them to find new friends, activities, and hobbies to enjoy by themselves.

Insist on having "alone time" for your own interests, and don't let them butt in.

Have you noticed any of these warning signs in your relationship?

[H/T: Couples Counseling Chicago, Reader's Digest, Psychology Today, Cosmopolitan, the Art of Charm]

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