Every relationship has its ups and downs, but knowing when to make amends or call it quits can be tough for even the most experienced lovers.
Of course, we all know that couple who stays together when it’s clear as day they should have broken up. And yet, perhaps you’ve found yourself regretting the end of a relationship you wish you’d fought for.
So, how do you know the best choice?
Fox News turned to relationship pro Samantha Burns, a licensed psychotherapist, dating coach, and founder of lovesuccessfully.com, to figure out when it is — and when it’s not — worth trying to save your relationship.
Scenario: They lied about something big
What to do: Healthy relationships are built on honesty and open communication, so it’s only natural that you feel torn when learning your S.O. has been lying about something big. "Ask yourself, ‘What was the purpose of the lie and how does it realistically impact your relationship?’” Burns told Fox News. “Was he embarrassed, insecure, or trying to impress you? And was it a straight-up lie or just an exaggeration? If you’re not able to get over the fact that he lied and feel that you’ll always question him, it may be time to break up.”
Scenario: They’re still using the dating app you met through
What to do: If you haven’t yet defined the relationship, you can’t assume you’re monogamous. Therefore, it is OK to stay together. “However, if you’ve committed to each other and agreed to delete your dating profiles, discovering that your new S.O. is still chatting with women is a substantiated reason to break it off,” Burns said. “He flat out broke your trust.”
Scenario: They cheated — but they’re sorry
What to do: Physical and emotional infidelity often leads to breakups and divorce. However, it doesn’t have to spell out the doom of your relationship. “I’ve helped many couples successfully overcome an affair and come out stronger on the other side,” Burns said. “People’s capacity for forgiveness varies wildly. For one couple, infidelity may be a clear deal-breaker, while for another they are open to working through it together as a team.”
Scenario: They’re paying less attention to you
What to do: Less time with you and more with their friends, ignored texts, and a reduced tendency to make future plans all may indicate your partner’s investment in the relationship has waned. Burns said this issue is also addressable, but communication is key. If you two are not willing to talk it out, it may be time to walk away. “Ideally, a mature man who is relationship-ready will communicate his interest in you,” Burns said. “This lack of communication may be reason enough to break up.”
Scenario: They made an important life decision without your input
What to do: Being in a relationship means being teammates and helping each other make those crucial, potentially life-changing decisions. “Oftentimes when you don’t consult your partner in making these types of decisions, this can cause significant conflict, break trust, and make your S.O. feel undervalued,” Burns pointed out. But knowing when to stay or leave is simple in this case, she said: “To figure out whether to break up or make up, it’s important to sit down and first listen to your partner’s rationale for not including you in the decision. If your partner lacks empathy, can’t understand why you are hurt, or blows off your feelings, walk away.”
Scenario: They always put their needs first
What to do: If you’re constantly giving your love, time, finances, gifts or effort in the relationship, but this goes unreciprocated, you will likely wind up resentful and hurt. “Whether it’s always hanging out with their friends and never yours, or scheduling dates around their availability, this is a one-way relationship, and you should get out,” Burns said. “Don’t settle for a selfish relationship. Do yourself a favor: Break up, and find someone who appreciates you and recognizes your worth.”
Scenario: They’re back to their bad habits
What to do: “If you’ve identified your partner’s bad habits as a relationship deal-breaker, then it’s important for you to set clear expectations with your partner so that he or she is aware of the consequences,” Burns said. Whether it’s spending or drinking too much, or just being a complete slob, if your partner is willing to get back on track, you can consider sticking around. However, if they’re lying or not taking responsibility for their actions, you need to set a firm boundary and walk away.