22 Reasons Why Relationships Typically Fail

Breakups are hard and they do happen a lot. Even though you might not want to think about breaking up when you’re in a happy relationship, more than 50 percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce, according to American Psychological Association.

But how can you know for sure if your relationship is going to last and your partner is a keeper? Well, there are some early signs that typically indicate if you and your partner are going to make it as a couple. For instance, things like arguments, bedroom habits, and communication are among the most common reasons people usually break up.

Read on and find the 22 reasons why relationships don’t work! For more relationship deal-breakers, click here!

You always tend to withdraw during fights

As Keith Sanford, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Baylor University wrote in his 2015 study published in the journal Psychological Assessment, people who typically withdraw during arguments and fights are unhappy and more likely to break up, compared to couples who communicate every problem.

According to Sanford, withdrawal is one of the most problematic aspects when it comes to relationships. He also explained that most people see it as a defense mechanism and use it when they feel attacked. Also, withdrawal usually leads to a toxic relationship. Wonder if your relationship is toxic? Find out here.

You just can’t ever be on the same page

Some would say that “love conquers all” but sometimes things are not as easy as they seem. While it is true that love can overcome many things, there are some things that not even love can conquer, like not being on the same page with your partner.

And I’m not talking about small differences of opinion here, because those are normal, I’m talking about important decisions where you just don’t seem to be on the same page. For example, if you want kids or not, where to live, how to save money and what to spend your money on. If you can’t be on the same page regarding these topics, then I’m sorry to be the one that tells you, but it’s not going to work.

According to Lesli Doares, a certified relationship coach in Cary, North Carolina, “67 percent of disagreements in a relationship never get resolved and they don’t need to, but the other 33 percent, if not resolved, can lead to the end of the relationship.”

Doares also explains that couples must be on the same page with their personal beliefs and values, the desire to have a serious relationship, marriage, having children, lifestyle, and where to live. If they’re not, chances are that relationship is not going to last.

You have unrealistic standards that your partner can’t live up to

No one’s perfect and you shouldn’t set unrealistic standards that your partner finds it impossible to live up to. If they’re doing the best they can but it still isn’t enough for you, it’s a sign that maybe you two aren’t going to last.

Everybody makes mistakes, everybody’s going to mess things up from time to time, because we’re human and this is what we do. Being in a healthy relationship means supporting your partner even when these slip-ups appear and loving them anyway. But if you can’t get past these minor inconveniences and you constantly treat your spouse like they have to be perfect all the time, both of you will probably end up frustrated and your relationship will inevitably fail.

“When your partner doesn’t measure up to something they didn’t even sign up for, there is a tendency to try to change them, with no understanding that your own behavior plays a huge role,” Doares explains. “By focusing on your partner, it allows for justification as to why they are the problem.”

You fear being alone

Many people are in a relationship just because they don’t want to be alone. The fear of being alone makes people avoid any kind of argument with their partner, so they end up ignoring every bad thing that happens.

But this strategy won’t work forever. Eventually, every bad thing that went on unresolved will come back, and this time it might be too late. According to Doares, the fear of being alone and ignorance towards any kind of behavior, no matter how bad, usually ends up in a breakup.

She also explained that proper boundaries are a must in a relationship. You can’t accept any unhealthy and toxic relationship just because you don’t want to be alone.

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You’re using body language as a way to express your feelings

Usually, at the beginning of a relationship, people make sure to let their partner know everything they like and don’t like, and they talk about their feelings and emotions. As time passes, however, people assume their partner already knows everything about them so they don’t think it’s important to tell them anymore. Most people use body language as a way to express what’s on their minds.

According to relationship experts Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola, authors of It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, the talking is now being replaced with eye rolls, silence, and negative energy, ultimately leading to a breakup. And that’s because we get too comfortable with our partners, we’re becoming lazy and we assume they can read our minds.

You tend to compare your relationship with other people’s relationships

First of all, the grass is always greener on the other side, and other people’s lives or situations will always seem better than your own. There’s absolutely no point in comparing your relationship to other people’s relationships because you can’t know what happens behind closed doors.

By constantly comparing yourself and your partner to other people, you’ll only feel worse. They’re not you, and you’re not them, and that’s ok because we’re all different and that’s the beauty of life. Plus, you can never know what those people are dealing with. By comparing, you’ll end up sabotaging your own relationship, to the point where it can’t be saved.

According to Behrendt and Ruotola, the comparison is the thief of joy. Instead, try to concentrate on your own relationship, accept that you’re not like them, but that doesn’t mean what you and your partner have it’s not worth having. The grass is greener where you water it, and believe me, every relationship seems perfect from a distance.

You just won’t ever compromise

And by compromise, I don’t just mean letting your partner choose what movie to see or which restaurant to go to every now and then. As Laura Schlessinger, a relationship expert and the host of the Sirius XM radio show The Dr. Laura Program explains, compromise means accepting your partner for exactly who they are and loving them anyway.

If you want to have a healthy, committed relationship, you need to stop the urge to control everything all of the time. Compromise can be healthy if you’re not the only one that’s compromising.

You’re never expressing your emotions at the same time

Have you ever been in a fight where you began crying out of rage, and your partner just stood there, not shedding a tear? According to relationship experts, it could be a sign that your relationship is not on the right path.

Alongside other things, emotions need to be on the same page as well. According to marriage researcher John Gottman, PhD, meta-emotion mismatches are often linked to a higher chance of getting a divorce. He also explains that the conflict itself is not the problem here, but rather the way people tend to handle the conflict.

You think your partner is inferior to you

According to Gottman, if you consider your partner is inferior to you, it’s a pretty good indicator that the relationship won’t last and a divorce is inevitable. In his study, he asked participants to describe how many times they behave with disrespect, criticism, defensive attitude, and stonewalling towards their partner. Then, he analyzed the level of satisfaction in a relationship and found that the couples who showed those types of behaviors were 90 percent accurate in leading to a divorce.

Additionally, seeing your partner as inferior is a relationship deal-breaker. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, couples who behaved disrespectfully towards their partner were more likely to end up in divorce before their 16th wedding anniversary.

Not sure if you want a divorce or not, click here and find out what you need to ask yourself before making the big decision. 

You’re stuck in the past

You can’t live in the present if you’re still thinking of the past. And this applies especially in relationships, where you must be present both emotionally and physically in order for the relationship to be successful.
Therefore, if you don’t want your relationship to end, leave the past behind. After all, you can’t change it anyway.

You have trust issues

A relationship without trust is certainly going to fail. While it’s true that trust must be earned and sometimes it can be very hard to trust someone who betrayed you in the past, if you truly want to spend your life with that person, you need to find the courage to trust them again.

You can’t build a strong relationship on a foundation that lacks trust. If your partner does these small gestures, they totally deserve your love!

You keep secrets from your partner

You can’t have a healthy, trusting relationship and keep secrets from your partner at the same time. According to Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW, a relationship expert and therapist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the worst part about secrets is that sometimes the one that keeps them is also the one that blames the other person for calling them out.

So if your partner is lying to your face and then blaming you for calling them out, maybe it’s time to let them go, as they’re probably not in for the long ride.

You never take the blame

Fighting is normal in every relationship, but it’s important how you communicate. Also, both partners need to apologize and take the blame every now and then. If you’re never taking the blame, even though you were the one that did something wrong, then you will never have a healthy relationship.

You can’t always be right and the other can’t always be wrong, so if you want your relationship to last, you shouldn’t act like you’re always the victim. According to Carey Davidson, CEO of integrative healthcare company Tournesol Wellness, most people like to play the victim when feeling powerful emotions.

You’re not empathetic

For a relationship to be successful, you must always take into consideration the other person’s feelings. According to Davidson, we shouldn’t try to recognize each other’s needs and then find a way to meet both ends.

Your partner doesn’t respect you

Love, trust, and respect are the most important aspects of a relationship. If your partner is not respecting you and treating you right, then you shouldn’t spend any more time with them, because a break up is imminent.

According to Alexis Dent, owner of wedding vow company XO Juliet, relationships often come to an end because there’s no respect between the partners. Lack of respect in a relationship is the formula for disaster, she adds.

You only think about yourself

When you’re in a serious relationship, everything you do is affecting your partner as well, so you can not only think about yourself. A relationship is about giving and taking, but if you take more than you give, then we have a problem.

For a relationship to work, balance is needed. And according to relationship experts, this is called the Social Exchange Theory, meaning that if people feel like they’re not equally appreciated, they will seek comfort in other places.

Photo by Andrey_Popov From Shutterstock

Your partner doesn’t show gratitude

If your partner doesn’t show gratitude whenever you do something nice for them, like cooking dinner, for example, then they don’t really appreciate you. This can lead to a lot of frustration, especially if you feel like all your efforts have gone unnoticed.

According to Poppy Spencer, MS, CPC, a certified counselor and relationship expert in Florida, taking someone for granted is a good indicator that the relationship is not going to last. The key to a successful relationship is feeling appreciated and valued by the other person, otherwise, it’s almost impossible to build a future together.

You constantly want to change your partner

You know you truly love someone when you accept them with all their flaws and you’re not trying to change them. By constantly wishing your partner was different you only create a false version in your head that your partner probably can’t live up to.

Love should be unconditional, but if the love you have for your partner comes with many conditions, then clearly they’re not the right ones for you.

You don’t forget, nor forgive

The secret to a healthy relationship is forgiving and forgetting. According to California-based psychotherapist Tina Tessina, PhD, holding a grudge and resentment is the easiest way to destroy a relationship.

So if you don’t want your relationship to end, make sure you’re not holding the other person responsible for every little thing that went down between you two. Also, try to identify the underlying issues that make you not wanting to forget and forgive.

You never go out on a date anymore

After getting married, couples usually don’t see going out on dates a priority anymore. Also, as time passes by, it becomes harder and harder to maintain the spark in a relationship. According to Tessina, after years pass by, romantic moments tend to become more rare and you tend to focus more on paying the bills, doing chores around the house, and taking care of your children.

Even though adulting can be hard and take a lot of your free time, you should always make time to take your wife out on a date. Believe me, everything else can wait.

You’re just too different

Opposites do attract, but sometimes if you’re not compatible with your partner, a long-lasting relationship seems almost impossible. And I’m not talking about the small differences of opinion here, because it’s absolutely normal not to have the same taste in music or the same movie preferences, but if you and your partner have nothing in common, a breakup is imminent.

For instance, if you two have different political views, beliefs, and spending habits, then it’s almost impossible to make things work.


Infidelity is one of the most common reasons why people break up and according to a 2001 survey in Oklahoma, one of the most popular reasons to get a divorce was “infidelity or extramarital affairs.”

Do you suspect your partner is cheating on you? Check out: 18 Social Media Habits That Are Still Considered Cheating




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