How Do You Know When It’s the End of the Road?

Going through a ‘bad patch’ is something that happens in most relationships. Be it due to the actions and behaviours of one of the parties involved in the relationship, or due to other external factors that create pressure and tensions on day to day life, with a concerted effort, many couples can come out the other side of dips.

However, there is a fine line between trying to make a relationship work and getting to a point where you grow to resent each other, therefore making the steps after separation much more painful and fraught.

So how do you know when the time has come to end a relationship?

Don’t make snap decisions

There is no right and wrong answer and your eventual decision on whether to stay together or separate will depend very much on the circumstances involved and the reasons why the relationship has broken down. You will need to think long and hard about whether the root cause is something you will be able to overcome mentally, and therefore be able to move forward from.

Couples that go through particularly rocky patches or have multiple issues to deal with may find it beneficial to seek external help from relationship counsellors or other professionals.

Going down the road of initiating a divorce/civil partnership dissolution is rarely something a relationship can recover from.  So you firstly need to be sure that there is no way back.

Only stay for the right reasons

Ending a relationship in any circumstances can be difficult, but the decision is made even more so when there are children involved as whatever you decide will have a knock-on effect on their lives too. It is for this reason that many couples stay together longer than they otherwise would have. For some couples, this choice may prove to be a workable solution, at least for a time. However, children have a tendency to pick up on tension and if it reaches a point where civility can no longer be maintained, let alone any sense of love, it is possible that staying together may in fact be causing more harm than good.

Couples that are able to move on from a relationship amicably can set a good example to children; that even though they are no longer together, they are still able to provide love and care and work together as co-parents.

Make the decision your own

Many people have a fear of being alone, especially in later life, which can lead to prolonging a relationship where there is little or no love remaining.

Others may worry too much about what others, such as family and friends, may think and the stigma they think it may result in.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to end the relationship should be made by the two people involved, without letting how others may think or feel unduly effect the decision.

If you do decide that you have reached the end of the road, seeking advice at the earliest opportunity can go a long way to giving you the peace of mind you need to move forward. By speaking to a family lawyer to explore your options, you will gain a better understanding of your position and how the impact of the actions you take going forward.

Anthony Jones is head of Family Law at O’Donnell Solicitors and can be contacted on 01456 761320 or 07444582804 or

O’Donnell Solicitors are offering virtual consultations by phone or video call and are also seeing clients at a safe social distance by appointment in our Covid-secure offices.