How To Know When To End A Relationship

I like to post things from consultations when they are broadly relevant. In this case, a client (a young woman) is about to lose her love of 7+ years.  They’ve hit a rocky patch and the investment on both ends is about to be wiped out.

“Now you may fail but if you do, you absolutely want to know that you did everything humanly possible. This is for your own protection!! If you do everything in your power to stop a course of action that you think is wrong, and you are unable to stop it, you will be able to take some comfort. On the other hand, if you slack or behave like a baby or some kind of punk, you’ll have that to live with. I think this is compelling and I hope you do as well…”

I feel really bad for this gal and anyone else in similar circumstance. It is horrible when relationships between people who actually love each other end, due to over stubbornness, immaturity, lack of experience or lack of support from friends and family who just don’t care enough to help a person keep it together.

At this point in time, there are more forces out there to encourage people to separate than there are forces who will help you keep your love in tact.  This might mean the odds are against you but if you know you love the person and you know they love you (regardless of what flies out of people’s mouths at times), it is most definitely worth your while to fight for your love. I don’t care if you have to clutch it up, grow up on the spot, transcend their bullshit or your own or whatever. It is worth doing because as we all know, deep down, real love does not grow on trees.

It is true, you may fail. But at least you won’t have to live with the knowledge that you were a coward or that you stood by and waited for *them* to do something when you could have done something yourself.

I also think it would be nice if people supported their friends and family through a troubled patch in a relationship that is mostly good and worth saving. It should not be against “girl rules” to say, “I think you should keep your husband.”  I just can’t believe how easy it is to wind up on a path to misery by trying to avoid short term angst or pressure.

These two are heading into their Saturn returns. If they’d marry, I bet they’d solve 80% of their problems. I hope for this and you can join me if you like because this gal is well-loved around here and none of us want her to suffer.

Have you ever made an error ending a relationship? Have you seen others do it?

32 thoughts on “How To Know When To End A Relationship”

  1. I could write the proverbial book on this one.

    I did everything I could to kill my relationship with Mr. Libra, but it simply wouldn’t die. Why? Because we love each other. And not just the love Hollywood teaches us about, although now and then we can go there. I mean love as service, respect, honor, care and trust.

    I found that after 10 years of learning to love, honor, serve, care, know and trust one man who was learning to do all those things for me, I didn’t have it in me to give those privileges to any other guy.

    People go through shit. They hit dark periods and do bad things. When you stay together long enough, you start to see those periods as temporary cycles to be endured instead of exit signs.

    Every farmer endures a drought season now and then.

    Love is rare. Love is worth fighting for. And by that, I mean enduring the fights. Love is hard to kill. Love builds character.

    When you hit 45 and your tits and ass aren’t what they used to be, it’s nice to have a partner who will stil love them.

  2. Always do everything you can to keep a relationship going if you both truly love each other and are capable of sustaining a mature relationship together. If you’ve been together 7 years, you will already know deep down if you can keep it going because it’s based on love, respect, solid care and shared values.

    I don’t know what the crisis is that is making both sides considering ending the effort, but that needs to be be dealth with if it’s a major sign that something has been wrong. Sometimes when we are young we hide things from ourselves that only as adults do we admit to ourselves need more room in our lives.

    But if your partner has shown themselves to be capable of maturity, communicating wtih you, being responsible, loving, and cares deeply for you, then there is every reason to stay together! Growing up together is just as readily done together than apart. No matter what, you can always work through it or grow beyond it, with a steady partner at your side.

    Examine yourselves deeply, and then share what you find together. You’ll know deep down if it’s right to get married.

  3. Hmm. Looking back, I’ve never regretted breaking up because there was always a reason.

    Though, I was sad that I had to break up with my Sag ex. He was two years younger than me, but we got along great.

    We had lots of Saturn aspects:

    My Saturn sextile his Moon
    My Saturn conjunct his Venus
    My Moon sextile his Saturn
    My Venus trine his Saturn
    My Jupiter trine his Saturn
    My Pluto square his Saturn (but I didn’t notice this much since it was a shorter relationship)

    He also had his moon exactly conjunct my DSC. Sun opp. Sun, Sun conjunct Moon, etc.

    So yeah, I think if I hadn’t moved to a different country, we probably still would be together. Being with him was so comfortable. 🙂 But I have no idea how to make a relationship work across such a long distance or else I would have never cut it off because it was a relationship where I could finally be myself. So that’s probably the only one that I really regret and wish could have turned out better. The other relationships always had a very good reason for not continuing.

  4. when i was fifteen. though it wasn’t so much that i ended it so much as i didn’t know how to play my part in keeping it together. took a long time to start to figure that out. still working on it… there have been others… where i was really in love… that if i could have figured out how to keep things together, i would have.
    a lot of those skills need to be learned, i think. initiative, for one. how to talk to people about difficult things. when to relax and when to speak up….
    when to realize you’re being sabotaged, and what to do about it.

  5. I think my experience of having stayed too long says more about my craziness than not so I’ll not weigh in here.

    So, “cheers” to the woman in question and may she find the courage to make a decision out of love and joy, not fear.

  6. Well, I want to support anyone who has a relationship worth fighting for. My relationships were not. But I do have to say that fighting for your relationship is sometimes not the best thing to do especially if you are a young woman.

    The fact of the matter is, if you are young, there will be someone else. Not necessarily someone better — different surely — but maybe better, or maybe you’ll be better.

    If you stay in a relationship without marriage for too long, chances are the tables will turn and you will be without too many options while the guy can go out and catch himself the same woman you were ten years ago.

    I’m not saying anyone should turn their back on true love. It’s always worth fighting for. But eventually…if it’s really not going to happen, and you do want marriage and a family, you only have so many years to make that a reality. On the other side of 30, time is getting short. Not for them, for you. So defend the relationship, but quit intelligently if you can’t win.

  7. “Have you ever made an error ending a relationship? Have you seen others do it?”

    Yes, and yes I think so (hard to tell, with other people). My First Great Love and I met when we were 20. I didn’t so much finish the relationship three years later as put it on hold until he’d got his act together – I’m a Cap and can’t keep a man financially. He reacted to this by shutting me out, or rather, when I’d seen what a terrible mistake I’d made by handling it the way I had, by keeping me on hold then constantly pushing me away… classic Scorp Moon reactions to a hurt you’re not prepared to forgive.

    If only we’d both acted with more maturity… if only. We’ve had the extraordinary experience this month of telling one another after 40/45 years, how very sorry we feel, and asking one another’s forgiveness. There was something complete about that first love which I’ve never replicated, and it seems he feels the same.

    That may of course all be ‘Neptune with benefit of hindsight’, but it always felt like unfinished business to me. And now he’s finally admitted the same… and taken the lion’s share of the blame, though God knows my arrogance was a big part of it. I must have thought love like that grew on trees…

    I hope nobody else will end up feeling the way we do now, because in their pride they turned their back on something worth fighting for

  8. He has just ended our relationship one hour ago.. we have been together for 9 years and have a 4 year daughter. Lots os Saturn aspects (natally, in synastry ans composite).. I tried so hard so many times. I’m 32, he’s 30.. there have been an open dishonesty many times. I just feel like my world has ended. I tried post something here before but now I felt it was the right time.

  9. You know, in all my recent marriage angst, I’ve been talking to my mom a lot and even though her marriage to my dad was hell all the time, pretty much (not to mention how little they had in common to begin with), even she said she wished she could have made it work because divorce is SO. HARD. She said she didn’t have lingering “love feelings” for my dad, but she wished she could have transcended their differences. My dad says the same thing, 12 years later.

    My mom said “he was just a man — could I really not figure things out?” It put into perspective for me that my husband is not abusive or terrible, he’s just boneheaded — he’s “just a man,” just a person, like me. And I am boneheaded too. I think in our culture, to make up for the legitimate bullshit women have endured over the centuries, now we want to say that women are never at fault and that they “deserve” to feel and be treated like a full-on princess in order for “true love” to be found. I think this is a load of crap. There’s a difference between basic respect and decency and being a PRINCESS. Let that myth go — to me, love is a feeling of safety, of being joined together somehow, of feeling at home with/comfortable with a person. The zing and the zip is only the divine trick to get you to bother with another human being 🙂

    There’s lots of good in being partnered, for sure. But it’s painful as all hell when you realize how lame human beings can be — and how stupid even YOU YOURSELF can be. *shiver* That one just slays me. But facing that brings immense opportunity for growth. In the case of abuse or addiction or someone not caring for shared children? Yeah. Let it go. But if people are just dumb? Shortsighted for a time? Weird? Different all of the sudden? That’s what I’ve dealt with, and I do think it’s worth adjusting to.

  10. “I don’t care if you have to…transcend their bullshit or your own,”
    Roaring with laughter about that :).

    To answer the questions, no I haven’t and no I have not seen someone else error by ending a relationship. I have however seen someone prolong a very bad situation, mostly out of fear (it worries me for her with saturn being in libra, I don’t want to see her go thru 28 more years of this pain),

  11. One of the lonely times in my life was sitting in a room with someone who didn’t really love me. Every day I would be reminded of my shortcomings. While I was with him, I felt bad about being me. We were together and apart, huge drama filled rifts, cheating and passion for three years. I was worn down and finally removed myself.

    I wouldn’t know a healthy relationship even if it smacked me in the face! Been alone so long that I wouldn’t be the right person to say stick it out!

  12. (((Patrice))) I’m so sorry. 🙁

    I had an 8-year relationship dissolve on me within a month.
    Within the first year the split, this same realization hit me: “I TRIED.” And I did! I tried so hard to hold it together. I was just consistantly getting undermined from thirteen different directions and there was no way I could win the war.

    Once I realized this, there was a peace I felt that can’t really be described. Absolution, baby! *grins*
    I still miss that relationship, I won’t lie. I know that shit don’t grow on trees. But I’m secure in my knowledge that no matter what, I fought for what I wanted. And it makes a BIG difference in how I feel about what happened.

  13. Yes, I tried alone.. he didn’t even care.. now he apologises for not talking to me all these years about our problems… i’ve tried so hard to talk to him so many times, have forgiven so many things, but all he did was act like a child.. putting the music out loud, calling me bad names, trying to destroy my reputation, etc. At the end he apologises (for the first time) and says he doesn’t love me for about 3 years? Until 2 days ago he has been just great pretending.

    I’m not able to express my feelings here, my english isn’t that good. I know it’s all my fault staying in this relationship. For a long time I felt like this was a stupid game to him.. the manipulation, there has been psychological abuse and games at times in a way I couldn’t even be sure if I was being manipulated or not. Because at other times he was gentle and seemed like he cared.

    I just feel Ive lost good things about me, wasting my time. The love I have given and that I still have to give could have been used for better purpose, with people who deserve it. I don’t know why I’m crying about this person.. I should be thanking he’s getting away.. but I just can’t stop crying.. I feel so alone. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. I used to be so independent about that. But now all I do is crying cause I will never be huged or kissed by him (he didn’t even use to hug me or kiss me anymore). Why everything in my life has always to be so difficult?

  14. I met the love of my life when I was 23. I loved him so much and thought what we had was so special,I did everything humanly possible to be the best wife I could be. And when we hit rough patches, I just worked harder. This effort was never reciprocated by him. He didn’t really love me. After 16 years of being the Perfect Wife and not loved or appreciated, I crashed and burned. Our marriage counselor laid down the law with me and told me to stop trying. That marriage takes two and if he wasn’t going to do his part, then there was nothing I could do to make up for that. Like SaDiablo, I know I tried and there is definitely peace in that. Please know Patricia that you tried and that is all anyone can do.

    Its been almost seven years since I left. And being divorced is so so hard. Dating is awful and all I’ve found so far was a repeat relationship in which I was the Perfect Girlfriend and it didn’t matter – you can’t make someone love you.

    I would have gladly worked even harder to have had a different outcome in these situations. But you can’t make another person do something they don’t want to do.

  15. Avatar

    I can look back and realize I tried, at first I really tried. I can also look back and see where I coulda done better on me! Not on him! The parts that were him were for him to do better on.

    Next time around I hope because I have been doing and will continue to do so much on me I hope I will be better equipped to start on a more even ground.

    I’m not sorry I ended it and I’m not sorry I waited so long to end it. I tried and now I’m trying on me 🙂

  16. I think what Elsa is talking about is very rare. I don’t see a whole lot of relationships in trouble where I think the relationship can and should be saved. Usually there are huge reasons that people are trying to ignore in order to attempt to keep together what shouldn’t be.

    I think the only case of this type I’ve ever seen is my friend who very nearly ended up divorcing her current husband. As in, she called me up and was all, “I’m getting a divorce.” Thankfully, they didn’t get a divorce. But in their case what was breaking them up was her kid from her first marriage, who is a very difficult child and an extremely difficult personality from the rest of the family. (That kid unfortunately has been shipped back and forth between parents and grandparents, but there were good reasons. Turns out he does a lot better in the middle of nowhere than in California where he can find lots of trouble.) Once the kid moved out of state to live with his dad, and my friend went back to community college (because she hadn’t had a job in over a decade and would have no way to support herself while single), the relationship perked up marvelously.

    But most of the time I think there are a lot more relationships that are bad and need to end (and are yet saved “for the children” or “but I love him” or “he’s my soulmate”), but limp along anyway.

    But if the kid HAD had to stay

  17. Er… but if the kid had HAD to stay living with his mother and there wasn’t another option, I think the marriage would have ended. Because really, she would have been stuck and both of them just are oil and water with the kid no matter what they do, but at least he could have gotten away. I think it would have been like that: we still love each other, but we can’t tolerate this situation.

  18. Relationships are very hard. And you are right, the atmosphere today is more conducive to break-up than cohesion. I speak as if Ox and I get along all the time. But we do fight. And, when we do it’s ugly and there is NO support from our immediate environment. As a matter of fact there are many who would LOVE to see us break up. But, love is worth getting over yourself sometimes ya’ll. Pride is not worth it. If you have something you KNOW that works then it is worth toughing out the bad times. And if you can hang, the relationship gets much stronger as an after effect. I’m not talking the battered spouse or things like that. I’m talking real rewarding growth opportunities where there is LOVE involved. You know whether it’s there or not. You just do.

  19. jenfullmoon thanks for your post. My ex and I were slogging it out, both on anti-depressants, for *years* just to say ‘we tried’.

  20. And we tried, and tried, at the behest of our couples therapist. Finally she suggested that I cheat on my partner. Argh. That did it and I got rid of that toxic bitch. Put me right off therapists.

  21. One of my favorite encounters with a romantic corpse was running into my first boyfriend on facebook a couple of years ago. We were kids when we dated and he was jealous, a liar, a cheat and totally emotionally manipulative. When I saw that he was married with 3 beautiful children and a marriage counselor as an adult I thought WOW! He really has found how to work through his issues from dating as a youth. I didn’t request his friendship but it wasn’t long after he saw me around that he requested mine, so I was ok with that thinking he was “all grown up”
    He hit on me. LOL. I was like, are you kidding me right now? You have a beautiful wife and lovely children and you are a marriage counselor..someone people go to for HELP and you are hitting on me. What a joke. I called him on it and told him he should be ashamed of himself and of course he got all defensive and was worried that I would tell his wife..etc..etc..
    I let him know that was her problem and it really wasn’t worth my time but that I truly thought he was the biggest joke on the planet. Still do. These are the types you are dealing with out there. You can only give so much weight to what other’s say or advise..professionals or not.

  22. Oh I agree there are definitely some relationships which are not worth saving, because they were ‘wrong’ in the first place. I married on the rebound, I settled’. I worked hard to keep my marriage going, very hard – in fact I;d never have left; but in the end when it imploded I regretted spending so much energy on it. The marriage was never meant to be.

    Then there’s something like my relationship with the Man. There was so much there which was good, very good – but he was never prepared to work at it in any way, to give me what [little!] I needed from it. Too much Leo!! = everyone has to bend to his will and feed his needs. So he kept losing me – kept getting me back, but has now finally lost me. And so we BOTH lose: it’s sad, and makes me pretty angry.

  23. Patricia <3 <3 <3

    Josi, have you ever read anything from Melody Beattie? I like her books, the bits I've read, anyhow, and she talks about her ex-husband being this wonderful counselour, or being seen as such, but he was a *mess* at home. He hadn't overcome anything, and was hiding addictions whilst she was doing her best to remain on the straight and narrow. She writes about co-dependence, grief, etc.

  24. Before both of my divorces, I did everything I could to make it work, just so I could KNOW I did everything I could. That way, I have no regrets. The only problem with this is that I think I stayed way too long in both situations, but synchronicity happens for a reason. When it’s time, it’s time.

    I also was the only one trying to make it work, both times. This time should be easier for me because I’ll be looking to see if he puts in as much effort as I do. No more of this one-sided shit. Most important – what he SAYS is reinforced by what he DOES.

  25. ((patricia))
    there are some relationships that aren’t healthy.

    but… in my experience, real love isn’t terribly common. (also, hard for me to define.) i’m lucky i’ve found it a few times, but making a partnership out of it is real hard work.
    and i think people don’t want to do real hard work, these days.

  26. My husband and I have been together for 16 years (7 of which we’ve been married). I’m 57 years old and he’s almost 43 yrs. As an astrologer, I very much know he’s going through his Neptune SQ Neptune as well as Uranus SQ – his natal Mars in Scorpio is Conjunct his natal Neptune, so that’s getting the hit as well. Although I can intellectualise this dynamic, I’m finding it VERY HARD to stomach on a day-to-day basis. If it were not for my age and my complete lack of desire to find another relationship (I’ve been married before), I chuck him out on his ear.

    A couple of nights ago I found myself acting out his repressed aggression – I literally grabbed him by the collar and thought of doing a whole lot more. This is so unlike me I had to stop and give it lots of thought.

    I hear what you’re saying about about long term rewards vs. relief of short term angst – but that angst may be so hard to bear it literally can make one ill.

    I’m pleased to say his Neptune SQ should be tailing off with the new calendar year – and I’m in regular contact with an astrologer in NYC whom I trust – she keeps tell me that a Neptune transit isn’t cause to leave someone – it’s a good thing I have her.

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