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Can You Be Honest With Yourself When A Relationship Isn't Working?

Updated on September 21, 2015
Miss-Adventures profile image

My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.

The hardest thing to admit to yourself is when a relationship you are in isn't working.

When a relationship is no longer working, you either aren't seeing eye to eye on basic issues: religion, politics, finances, family views, etc., or you are fighting the majority of time—games, nitpicking, etc., or there is blatant disrespect or mental or physical abuse. Yikes! Regardless of the issue(s) that arise, acknowledging them enough to know that they are destroying the relationship you are in can be hard, especially when you do love someone.

Believing in the power of love can give you hope to believe that any situation can get better with time or possibly therapy, but when it doesn't...can you be honest with yourself to do the right thing for you?

No one wants to see major red flags, general qualities, or characteristics that you are ultimately looking for in someone that are not syncing in a relationship that you really want to work. However for many women, it can still be emotionally hard to end a relationship that isn't working since the thought of "starting over" or being single again seems much worse.

Why does starting over again seem worse? For many women it has to do with their own pride—worrying what other people might think. Who cares! When you sacrifice your own happiness just so you can save face from your friends knowing that "another" relationship didn't work is frankly unhealthy and immature.

Not every relationship has a guarantee of working—if it did that would make life easy—and if life were that easy, no one would try or learn anything. Relationships that don't work out are learning lessons. If you don't see that, you will continue to attract similar men until you finally learn your lesson. Do you really want to let happiness pass you by before learning that lesson?

I have friends that have not only stayed in relationships for years with men who had major red flags but also continue to date men that are doing exactly what they claim they don't want in a relationship—but due to a guy’s financial success, status, or good looks they will find another excuse to keep this type of guy in their life.

Why would you want to be in a relationship with any guy that you have to tolerate more drama and heartbreak with versus finding a guy who doesn't play games, is truthful, honest, a great communicator and who truly wants the same things as you?

When I was in my twenties, it was easy to stay in relationships longer that weren’t on the road to happily-ever- after because I honestly didn't think much about the future. Having kids and getting married was the last thing on my mind therefore my expectations were lower. I wasn't concerned with "life partner" future stuff, as long as the relationship for the most part was still tolerable....I didn't care.

As I got older and grew up emotionally, I started to realized what I really wanted in a long term relationship—like a dim light-bulb that finally switched brightly—and when that happened, my tolerance level changed tremendously.

Let's be honest, we all have tolerance for bullshit. Some women have a shorter tolerance while others have a much, much lower, longer—and drawn out tolerance level—which is basically led by their ego. This tolerance threshold that women form ends up happening for many reasons:

  • She's on the fast track to having a baby.
  • All of her friends are married and she feels she needs to get married—STAT!
  • Her parents/relatives are pressuring her about marriage.
  • She's in financially rut and wants a man to take care of her.
  • She thinks she's unworthy or loved unless she has a boyfriend/husband.
  • The idea of being single is her worst fear. (Eek!)

Creating a higher tolerance in order to get what you want—boyfriend/husband is only setting yourself up for a potentially disastrous situation as well as an unhappy ending.

I have found that many women who have a higher tolerance level for the crap that men give out will purposely ignore Major Red Fags. These women will boost and brag about how great the guy they are dating is—rarely revealing anything bad or negative about him. They will also make lots of excuses for a guy’s unacceptable (but not to them) behavior. And when the relationship finally does end—they will have a Major "I'm the victim" pity party for themselves. Ugh, wake-up! I did.

I dated a guy who I thought I was going to marry. We lived together, talked about marriage and I even tried on rings. Our relationship was like a fairy-tale that I was joyously dancing around in. We got along so perfectly and he even told all his friends—including mine—that he finally found the women he was going to spend the rest of his life with—Me! Unfortunately, some fairy-tales can have an unhappy ending.

Slowly as time progressed so did my ex's uncontrollable anger, insecurities, jealously and bipolar outbursts. When his emotional stuff first started showing up—many months into dating him—I thought I was hearing and seeing things. How could this guy who I loved and wanted to create a future with be wonderfully sweet, kind, loving, supportive, giving and generous one minute but then the next minute be an angry psychopath that I couldn't understand nor wanted too? It just didn't make any sense. All the red flags were right in front of me but I didn't want to throw in the towel—I loved him.

Luckily for us—and to help save our relationship—my ex agreed to go to therapy. Therapy seemed to work (hurrah) and I felt as though we could get back on track to our happily-ever after...until he had a breakthrough. Although you would think that a breakthrough would be a great thing, in his case, instead it caused a huge emotional set back.

The breakthrough he had exposed his vulnerability which in turn made him back away from therapy—causing even more emotional outbursts to occur—and this time they were very frequent and scarier. As hard as it was, I had to be honest with myself that this relationship— regardless of how great I wanted it to be—was not. Ending things was hard, but once I moved out and moved on with my life, there was a huge sense of relief to not be in such a toxic relationship.

Ladies, when you are honest with yourself that a relationship isn't working, it can empower you. Stop caring what other people might think and start embracing the fact that you are a strong, intelligent woman who deserves and should want the best for herself. Life is too short to be with a guy who you aren't completely happy with or who isn't willing to work on himself as well as your relationship to build a stronger foundation together.

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 21 months ago

      Great advice!

      "However for many women, it can still be emotionally hard to end a relationship that isn't working since the thought of "starting over" or being single again seems much worse." This often is the case!

      Some women quickly introduce their new man to their "circle" (friends, family, and co-workers). They strive to cement the relationship between him and them . When the relationship starts to come apart they're too embarrassed to announce it didn't work out.

      Each time they go through the same cycle they start to feel as though each failed relationship is a bad reflection on them. After all the only thing all of her bad relationships have in common is (her).

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      If someone is having one bad relationship after another it's probably time they re-examined their "mate selection criteria".

      Learn to become a better shopper!

      "I have friends that have not only stayed in relationships for years with men who had major red flags but also continue to date men that are doing exactly (what they claim they don't want) in a relationship...etc"

      The above statement has been known to drive "nice guys" crazy!

      Since each of us gets to (choose) who we spend our time with you know you're heading down a wrong path when you convince yourself you are a "victim". The reality is a door lets those out who (want out)!

      Anyone who is unhappy in a relationship and chooses to stay is (choosing) to be unhappy. It's unrealistic to expect them to "change".

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them as (is) or move on. :)

    • profile image

      MaryRB 21 months ago

      These are very wise points. I hope the women who are dating pay close attention.

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