Have you ever been in a relationship that ended in heartbreak? If so, did you take time afterward to reflect on “why relationships fail?”
I’m talking about digging deep inside all the uncomfortable moments. In all those moments of feeling unloved, loneliness, frustration, and heartbreak.
If you want to move forward in life, it’s essential to reflect on and acknowledge “WHY” the relationship didn’t work. If you skip this step in the healing process, your next relationship “WILL” end in disaster too.
How Do I Know?
I’ve experienced unhealthy relationships for over twenty years. I was married at eighteen to an abusive man and endured three and one-half years of domestic violence. I lost custody of our two children and quickly moved in with another man.
This unhealthy relationship lasted for twenty plus years. Until one day, I couldn’t carry the weight of our relationship by myself anymore. Couldn’t go one more day feeling unloved and disrespected.
I left for the third and last time and for ME.
Taking some time alone with God to heal. And reflecting on previous relationships helped to discover “why relationships fail.”
Thanks to Joe Amoia from “GPS for Love,” his “Mirror Time” quote enabled me to understand what went wrong.
Identifying the reasons for the demise of the relationship will help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future. And help you recover and move forward in life.
It’s not meant to point fingers or cast blame, only to understand why relationships fail. Always remember relationships are a two-way street. Both parties involved are responsible for the demise of a relationship.
You must take responsibility for “your actions” to experience personal growth. With that in mind, here are ten reasons why relationships fail.
Ten Reasons Why Relationships Fail
1. Lack of Knowledge
The lack of knowledge is the number one reason why relationships fail.
In my early twenties, I didn’t have a clue about men, dating or being in a long-term relationship. Not a clue about healthy and unhealthy relationships. And knew nothing about God’s purpose for man and woman in marriage.
After chasing him around town for a few months, and meeting several times, we were living in an apartment together. And stayed together for over twenty years. Leaving him twice, I returned both times for the children.
Twenty-something years later we split up for good.
It’s essential to know what a healthy relationship is. When you have the proper knowledge, you can make wise choices and better decisions in life.
2. Always Putting the Man First
Always putting the man first, before yourself, is the second reason why relationships fail.
Putting him first right from the beginning of our relationship was a mistake. At the time, I had an apartment and enrolled in GED classes. Not thinking twice, I left everything behind to follow after him.
My state of mind was not healthy at the time. I recently left an abusive three and one-half year marriage. And should have been in counseling for child abuse and domestic violence, not chasing after men.
Doting over him and catering to his needs became a priority for several years. Including; make lunch, serve meals, give back massages and other things. Never asked for or received anything in return.
This behavior was acceptable for many years. However, it’s unhealthy to behave this way towards a man on a continuous basis.
He didn’t need a mother!
He needed a healthy partner for life.
3. Moving in Together too Quick
Moving in together too quick was the third reason why relationships fail.
As I said, we moved into an apartment together within a few months. This behavior is not ever acceptable.
I learned a healthy relationship develops over time. Relationships need time to nurture for long-term growth.
Make sure your relationship is going to continue growing over time. It’s necessary for you both to keep growing as a couple and apart as individuals and flourishing in life.
Unhealthy relationships are like cancer inside you. They eat away at you inside until no healthy parts remain for you to live a productive life.
Lack of communication is the fourth reason why relationships fail.
Our communication with each other was alright for several years. It was never great.
As the years went by, our communication with one another dwindled to nothing. We communicated the basics of daily living and nothing more.
We shut one another out!
I believe the core of a healthy relationship is communication. When you lack in-depth conversation with a partner, you stop being a partner of that person.
5. Making Assumptions
Assumptions are the fifth reason why relationships fail.
The act of assuming or taking for granted.
Thinking a great deal over the years, I made assumptions about love and lack of respect for me. I assumed men expressed feelings of love as a woman does. I believed he didn’t love me due to his lack of emotions, affection, and attention towards me.
When the reality was, I didn’t know what a man’s love even was. I didn’t realize that a man shows love in other ways.
Assuming he didn’t want to work on a continuous basis without quitting. Figured he didn’t want to support his family and gave up on us!
When the reality was, the lack of work meant he was failing his family. It made him feel like a failure and depressed him. Besides, I was never happy with any effort made. And he gave up trying.
He assumed I would do everything and will always be there for him. We took each other for granted.
The assumptions made over the years were all wrong. They were made not even knowing the truth about relationships, love, and men. We both suffered a great deal because of assumptions too.
6. Accepting Poor Behavior
Accepting poor behavior is the sixth reason why relationships fail.
We were both guilty of displaying and accepting poor behavior from each other. However, I was a little less tolerant or forgiving due to past abuse. Continuously allowing poor behavior from me was wrong too. Being too forgiving can cause more damage in the long run.
Neither one of us personal boundaries in place to protect ourselves. Both allowed each other to display poor behavior. And didn’t require accountability for or change from each other.
We were both too forgiving to some degree. Allowing poor behavior to continue in a relationship is unhealthy. The connection will not continue to grow, and the poor behavior will not change.
7. The Absence of an Emotional Connection
The absence of an emotional connection is the seventh reason why relationships fail.
I never had an emotional connection with a man. It felt more like we were roommates with each other. We didn’t have an emotional bond with each other.
I’m guessing that it’s difficult to have this type of bond with a man when you lack communication.
8. Lack of Growth
The lack of growth is the eighth reason why relationships fail.
Healthy things continue to grow. Unhealthy things wither away and die.
Our relationship didn’t continue to grow. We didn’t continue to grow together as a couple. In a way, we stunted each other’s growth to some degree.
Growing in a different direction, and wanting a better relationship. No longer allowed acceptance for poor behavior. I decided to leave for good.
9. Lack of Respect
The lack of respect is the ninth reason why relationships fail.
Deciding to leave for good was due to the lack of love and respect showed. Not feeling respected due to the lack of effort in supporting his family caused bitterness. It felt like he gave up on us. He didn’t help me. He hurt me.
I hurt and disrespected him over the years too. I’m just as guilty.
When a person loves you, they will try to respect, not hurt you.
I don’t think this happens on purpose. I believe years of living in a dysfunctional relationship with each other takes a toll on both people involved. In short, we were toxic to one another. I needed to leave so we could both begin to heal.
10. Bitching and Complaining
Bitching and complaining is the tenth reason why relationships fail.
This reason is for the Ladies. Men hardly ever bitch or complain. Perhaps this reason should be in the number one spot.
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Proverbs 21:9 KJV
Bitching and complaining get’s you “NOWHERE” with or “NOTHING” from a man.
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman. Proverbs 21:19 KJV
Well, I take that back, it will get you one thing.
Shut out completely!
I spent years bitching and complaining at him to fulfill my needs and the desires of my heart. The result, he shut down on me and shut me out completely.
It didn’t work!
It only deepened the divide between us.
I didn’t know how to communicate in a manner that would yield results. And he didn’t know how to talk in a way that would get me to keep quiet.
The constant bombardment of bitching and complaining made him feel like a failure. It pushed him further away from me. It had the opposite effect than what I desired.
I’ve learned to stop bitching and complaining. I’m still working on learning how to communicate better with men.
The Final Conclusion
A few years later, we sat down together to talk. I apologized for the things I did wrong in our relationship. Apologized for disrespecting and acting out of anger.
And he said;
“I feel better now. “
He was hoping for a different outcome, hoping we would get back together. But, I knew in my heart that was not healthy for either of us. We needed time alone with God to heal and experience personal growth.
The most important lesson learned from this relationship was the effect we have on others. We can love, be angry, disrespect others and learn to forgive one another.
Our actions in life can have a lasting effect on others. Always be mindful of that in your daily life. Try to live a life of love, compassion, and forgiveness for one another. And forgive even when things go drastically wrong.
Love covers a multitude of sin.
Forgiving doesn’t mean you have to accept people back into your life. It means you can move forward without holding a grudge.