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Eight Reasons Why Relationships Fail

Updated on August 17, 2020
Marissa Raymond profile image

I love writing because it helps me share my knowledge and insights on different issues and also it allows me to help out other people.


Falling in love is such an easy thing to do but staying in love might not be as easy as we all think it is. Perhaps that is why the rate at which people experience failed relationship keeps increasing as each day goes by, despite the fact that most of us just want to meet and settle down with the ‘right’ person, and most importantly, we want such a relationship to last. At the same time, the majority of this relationships end in dissolution. The question is, what are the reasons why relationships fail?

With the rate at which failed relationships has become rampant these days, there is a need to know why relationships fail since we all yearn to achieve that thing called ‘forever’ with our partner. The first step to achieve that is by knowing the key reasons most relationships fail. Maybe when we do, we would know what to avoid in our relationships.

Bear in mind that there are different partners and different personalities. This implies that the reason or list of reasons that make relationship ‘A’ fails are most likely not going to be the same that makes ‘B’ fail. Therefore, as factual as the reasons given below are, they do not cover for or represent the whole reasons why relationships fail. They only represent some of the key reasons behind failed relationships.

Now, let’s take a look at eight reasons why relationships fail.


A relationship without trust is like a house without foundation.

1. Lack of Trust

A relationship without trust, misses two of the key anchors to a strong bond: safety and security- which are the foundation of a healthy relationship and in order to have a healthy relationship, you have to trust your partner no matter the situation even if you hear something strange about them. There is a need to be patient and authenticate the rumour. It may be the work of someone trying to destroy your relationship. Therefore the importance of trust in a relationship cannot be over emphasised. But when there is lack of trust in a relationship that is the first recipe in preparing for a failed relationship.

Lack of trust can be a nagging doubt of emotional infidelity, unreasonable rigidity to a physical affair or something that just doesn’t feel right about the situation. As time goes on, these unresolved trust issues grow deeper resulting in a relationship breakdown or failed relationship. Which is why any relationship that lacks trust can just as easily end in failure as it has begun.

The problem most people in relationships face is that they don’t trust the partner that they are with. However, it is pertinent to note that if you struggle to trust your partner, especially when he or she hasn’t done anything to violate your trust, as times goes on, your partner will get tired of your inability to trust them, and the relationship will break down. Basically because when you don’t trust them, you’ll do all kinds of crazy stuffs, often unconsciously, that will sabotage your relationship.

Hence, lack of trust is one of the major reasons why relationships fail.


Communication is the fuel in any relationship, the lack of it means that the relationship has gone cold.

2. Lack of Communication

Communication is key in any relationship that the lack of it can cause great havoc. In fact, several studies has identified lack of communication as one of the top reasons for couples therapy, as well as one of the top reasons for breakups. Lack of communication could come in any form; it might be an unwillingness on one or both of your parts to admit fault in a situation or take constructive feedback. It might manifest as constant arguing where nothing is resolved. It might happen when you keep things from one another or are afraid to discuss small annoyances that then become larger issues. Hence lack of communication leads to conflict in relationship resulting in breakups and we all know how conflicts can get really intense in a relationship without proper communication.

When you meet someone for the first time, and you start a relationship with them, for the first few months or even years, you can communicate smoothly but as times goes on, you would inevitably run into some challenges on the road. However, to successfully navigate and come out victorious from these challenges you need to communicate well with your partner every step of the way, mainly because lack of communication in a relationship leads to misunderstanding which is one of the primary reasons why relationships don’t work out.


Compatibility is one of the strong pillar to build a relationship on.

3. Compatibility Issues

Lack of compatibility has led to a lot of failed relationships not because both partners didn’t love each other but because they were just not compatible in any way. No matter how much they try to get along, they are not just compatible because they hang on superficial differences that don't matter a bit.
When compatibility is in play, there is a need to understand that there are four major categories of compatibility. So, one of the major reasons why relationships fail is because both partners are not completely compatible in these four categories. The four categories of compatibility includes:

  1. Physical compatibility: Do you have chemistry and are you attracted to one another?
  2. Emotional compatibility: Do you feel safe and secure when you are with each other? There is a need for you to ‘click’ when you’re together.
  3. Intellectual compatibility: Does he/she light up your brain? Are your conversations engaging?
  4. Spiritual compatibility: Do you have the same big picture about what you want from your lives and how you want to make a difference? It is important that you do, it might not exactly be the same but there should be a similarity one way or another.

Once you have checked to see if your potential partner fits into any of these categories mentioned above and he/she does not but you still went ahead with the relationship, then you must know that the relationship is likely to end in tears. Premium tears!
Compatibility is one of the strong pillar to build your relationship on as it helps with little things and it makes certain things effortless and it generally just makes the relationship interesting as you would not have to bother about certain things that you would probably bother yourself about if you were not compatible. For instance, couples that often complain about how their partner doesn’t get them and how indifferent their partners can be to what matters to them. You would not have to deal with all that because there is a beautiful thing that compatibility does for you -it saves you a whole lot of energy trying to let your partner see things the way you do. Although you might not be compatible in all things but you should be compatible in certain areas that matters to you. Since, what lack of compatibility does is that- it causes frustration that can eventually tear apart the relationship.

Do you have common goals?

4. Different Goals

A lot of relationships with great potential has been cut short due to the case of different goals between partners. One of the major reasons why relationships fail is because the goal of one partner concerns the future while the goals of the other partner may have nothing to do with the future. For instance the lady is saying, ‘I want to settle down, give birth and have a family.’ While the man is saying, ‘I want to start a new business, save up and travel the world.’

In this scenario above, one would see that both the lady and the man want different things out of life. It would be hard to have a long term relationship together. There is absolutely no way things can work out between them especially if no one is willing to compromise. As time goes on, one of them would constantly bring this issues up and fight about how immature and selfish their partner is or how their partner’s priorities are screwed up. Also, at this stage the difference in life goals such as in societal and professional goals leads to a re-evaluation of the relationship. Consequently this can lead to both partners going their separate ways and before you say jack, another relationship is down the drain.

5. Lack of Time

People with quality time as their love language can fully attest to this as one of the reasons why relationships fail. In fact generally, the fact that people do not spend quality time with their partner is one of the reasons why relationships fail nowadays. When people spend quality time with their partner it gives them the opportunity to know their partner on a more deeper level and beyond that, it makes them happy but in the case where you do not have your partner’s time, it makes them unhappy and consequently creating room for a breakup.
No matter how busy you get, there is a need to create time and spend time with the person that you claim you love or else you might lose them forever.


The absence of honesty between partners in a relationship leads to conflicts.

6. Dishonesty/ Cheating

When there is a breach of honesty in a relationship, the relationship is ultimately set to fail. This is because honesty is one of the bed rock pieces of a relationship, however if the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do? Just like anything in life, honesty is necessary when dealing with people, so also in a dating relationship. You need to be honest with your partner as it is a must use tool in any relationship especially if you want that relationship to be a long lasting one. Unfortunately, cheating is one of the major reasons why relationships fall apart. Cheating has pushed a lot of people to be dishonest to their partner and it shows the lack of respect they have for their partner.

The absence of honesty between partners leads to conflicts in relationships and consequently it leads to a breakup when your partner can no longer deal with your dishonest behaviour.

Your partner is not assistant Holy Spirit.

7. Unrealistic Expectations

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t have expectations from your partner, but are they realistic? Most people start a relationship with the mind-set that their partner would ‘constantly meet up with their needs’ ‘fix all their problem and make everything alright’ ‘know exactly how they are feeling even without saying a word’ ‘provide all their needs according to his/her riches in glory’ but guess what? Your partner is not God almighty! He/she can’t do all of that for you, only God can supply you with all your needs according to his riches in glory.

Hence, as much as we all have an idea in our heads of what we want a relationship to look like and what we expect from our partner- Maybe you as a lady want a man who makes you feel safe and loved, someone to take you out on lunch dates every day and buy you gifts, someone who rubs your feet and pays your bills. And maybe you as a man want a woman who will cook for you and have your laundry done before you get back from work. We can only wish for all these things, the fact remains that nobody is perfect, we are all working towards perfection.

The truth is, a relationship really never lives up to our expectations fully. We idealise what we want and then we feel let down when we don’t get it. This has caused a lot of people their relationship.


Abuse in any form should be a deal breaker in any relationship.

8. Relational Abuse

Relational abuse simply means the repeated maltreatment of an individual or a person. Examples of relational abuse include: Verbal, emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse. In any form that abuse is served, it is one of the primary reasons why a lot of relationships fail although it is sad that some people still stay in abusive relationships for reasons best known to them.

Love is a beautiful thing but it takes hard work.

As you can see, keeping a relationship alive requires hard work, determination, and inspiration. The good news is that you can avoid these common killers of relationships which can ultimately lead to the collapse of your relationship. If any of these things stated above applies to your relationship, this is a time to take a step back and look within, consider where change needs to take place and commit to doing the hard work required to make your relationship last. Remember, nothing will happen if you do nothing at all.


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