how Do you know when your Re­la­tion­ship is over?

With new re­search claim­ing that 60 per cent of us have stayed in un­happy re­la­tion­ships, how do you know when it’s time to go?

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He told me to calm down

Ican re­mem­ber the ex­act moment that I re­alised my four-and-a-half year re­la­tion­ship was over. It was my birth­day, and af­ter two years of be­ing very un­happy, I looked at my boyfriend and felt noth­ing. It had taken count­less rows, hun­dreds of tear­ful phone calls and dozens of ru­ined nights out, but I had fi­nally got there.

Af­ter my friends of­ten telling me to dump him, I’d even­tu­ally done it. Why? Be­cause he told me to calm down. Af­ter years of be­ing told I was over­sen­si­tive when I ex­plained how I felt, it was the fi­nal straw.

I’d al­ways thought I was un­usual for stay­ing in an un­happy re­la­tion­ship but ac­cord­ing to re­search from Yougov, a mas­sive six in 10 of us have. End­ing a re­la­tion­ship is a big deal. Whether it’s been a few months or many years, when the sex has siz­zled out: break­ing up is hard to do.

Ellen, 31, from Kent, told me she stayed with her fi­ancé for five years, de­spite know­ing it wasn’t right. ‘When we got en­gaged it felt like it would be em­bar­rass­ing to break up and some­times it would work for a day or two. The tip­ping point came when, af­ter work­ing away for six weeks, he went straight out with his mates in­stead of see­ing me. It showed me how self­ish he was.’ Salama Marine, psy­chol­o­gist at elitesin­gles.co.uk, ex­plains: ‘Many women stay in un­happy re­la­tion­ships for se­cu­rity or by habit. Over time, their ex­pec­ta­tions to­wards their part­ner de­crease and they com­pletely for­get their needs.’

Which might ex­plain why the re­search found 23 per cent of us have stayed in a re­la­tion­ship af­ter lies, 37 per cent of us have stuck around de­spite in­con­sid­er­a­tion for our feel­ings and a stag­ger­ing 14 per cent for­gave cheat­ing.

Every­one goes through rough patches and no-one wants to end a re­la­tion­ship only to re­gret it. So how are you sup­posed to tell when it’s time to call things quits?

Ac­cord­ing to life coach Lisa Palmer, you should ask your­self three ques­tions: ‘Has it been go­ing on for a long time? Is it a new prob­lem or some­thing you’ve tried to fix be­fore? And, are you stay­ing to­gether be­cause you want the re­la­tion­ship to work, or be­cause you’re scared of be­ing alone?’

In a nut­shell, if it’s a re­oc­cur­ring prob­lem, you’ve had sec­ond thoughts for a long time and are scared of be­ing alone, it’s time to call it quits. Also, if you stay with some­one who doesn’t make you happy, you won’t be look­ing for some­one who does.

Laura Bourne, 30, says meet­ing her cur­rent hus­band was a cat­a­lyst for leav­ing her ex. ‘We were plan­ning our wed­ding when my now hus­band, started work­ing at my place. I drunk­enly told him I liked him and wished I was sin­gle. He said he felt the same. I went home and broke up with my fi­ancé. It was a hor­ri­ble time but ul­ti­mately led to my re­la­tion­ship with my hus­band.’

Break­ing up is hard – no mat­ter how long you’ve been to­gether

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