15 Most Astonishing Reasons For Relationships Breaking Up

By David Small •  Updated: 11/02/16 •  15 min read

Relationships breaking up arise when one or both parties feel the need to end the relationship they are in. All romantic relationships undergo difficult times. There are trials and challenges that test your love towards your partner.

This can be helpful in strengthening your bond and making the relationship stronger. But then, trials or problems can sometimes escalate and result in a breakup.

Relationships breaking up

No one enters into a relationship expecting it to end badly, but sadly, that is what often happens. Sometimes it’s because when you first meet someone, you might choose to overlook some of the differences between you.

Sometimes, people just change, or they stop hiding their true self after a while and the love just isn’t enough to paper over the cracks in the relationship anymore.

If you have ever wondered why so many relationships don’t work out, then read here the 15 Most Astonishing Reasons For Relationships Breaking Up

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  1. Lack of Trust In the Relationship

Lack of trust is the number one cause of relationships breaking up in the world today. When you commit yourself to a person, you automatically put your trust in that person. You wouldn’t have committed yourself had you not loved the person from the start. The trust you give a person encompasses faith, love, and security.

You trust that your partner will remain faithful to you, and will love you wholeheartedly. But sometimes, out of recklessness, or stupidity; trust is broken by the one person you have willingly given it to.

Approximately one-third of people say that a lack of trust was to be blamed for the end of their relationship. Even a small loss of trust can make it impossible for many people to continue on in a relationship.

Love dies along with trust. Sometimes, when that trust is broken and love is gone, you don’t want to be in the relationship anymore.

  1. Dissimilarities

Many loving relationships break up because the two partners are going in separate directions in their lives. Perhaps, they once shared the same life goals and those goals have since changed.

For example, one partner may have made drastic changes in religious or political views, whether children are desired, or even where in the world he or she would like to live.

When things just aren’t the way they were before and if that commonality isn’t there anymore, the relationship may wither and die.

As relationships mature, they become comfortable. And as the saying goes; “comfort often breeds contempt.” Even if contempt isn’t the right word, boredom often sets into a mature relationship.

In a compromising relationship, the couple may be able to reach an agreement on these factors. However, depending on how rigid these goals are for both partners, it may be a warning sign of incompatibility.

  1. Abuse in the Relationship

This is one of the major factors that result in relationships breaking up. This is caused by the sadistic attitude of one of the partners, which was kept covered up before a marriage. The spouse who gets the brunt of it is kept under control and is intimidated and manipulated. There is less chance for such a relationship to continue for long.

Obviously, physical abuse signals an unhealthy partnership that should not continue. However, other more subtle forms of abuse such as emotional and verbal can prompt someone to want to get out. It’s important to remember that no form of abuse is ever right. If you feel unsafe in your relationship, ending it is the healthiest choice.

Substance abuse, whether it’s alcohol or drugs usually puts the other spouse in a weird place. They don’t know whether to stay or go, but all while fearing the worst each time their spouse comes home intoxicated or high. Eventually, he or she won’t be able to take it anymore. If the spouse with the problem doesn’t get help then divorce is usually the result.


  1. Infidelity

As you would expect, cheating is always high on the list of reasons for relationships breaking up, but surprisingly it is rarely the top reason. When we learn that our partner is lying to us about something that we think is important, our trust towards him/her slowly fades. We begin to doubt whatever he/she says, especially when we notice changes in our partner’s behavior.

When a spouse begins to get attracted towards an unmarried person or one who is married, intimate relationships between the two develop and deepen and if the developing intimacy is not noticed by anyone, it may end up in infidelity. This may go one for a long time until it is discovered causing devastation to the relationship and result in breaking up.

Dishonesty is often associated with infidelity because most people who tend to be dishonest to their partner are committing infidelity. Some of us make excuses to our partners, especially if we are interested or slowly developing a relationship with someone else. If you are being unfaithful to your partner, this can lead to break up and moreover can even cause emotional trauma to your spouse.

  1. Loss of love.

Sometimes, even if things seem to always be right when love leaves, relationships have to end. It is true that most of the time love is the reason two people got into a relationship in the first place, but it also is the reason why couples drift apart.

This can be a really tough one to deal with because there is no hatred, no one has really done anything wrong and there is no one reason for it to happen, it just happens. It is, however, the top reason that has been given in many surveys conducted on why relationships break up.

You may certainly feel so in love with your partner now, and your partner in love with you, but there may come a time, as there have been for others, that love will leave you or them behind. It’s an unfortunate fact, but people fall out of love every day. When love leaves, there is no reason to for you or your partner to stay.

“It is love that put you together, and most of the time it will be a lack of love that will break you apart”…Anonymous

  1. Control Issues

An uneven distribution of power can prompt relationships breaking up, too. This relationship problem can rear its head in a number of ways and may even go on for years before one partner decides enough is enough. Most of us don’t want to be dominated by our partner. We hate it when we are constantly being monitored and especially when we are controlled by our partner.

Control issues may include: one partner making all the decisions without consulting the other; manipulation; controlling the money and requiring that the other partner asked them when cash is needed; requiring that one’s partner check-in or ask for permission before going out with family or friends.

In many relationship breakups, one member of the relationship is to blame for being relentlessly jealous or controlling of the other.

Though it can manifest itself as a mild to severe problem, having a spouse who is constantly jealous of who you are hanging out with, or controlling of where you go and what you wear in some cases is something hardly anyone can deal with.

Relationships breaking up

  1. Unresolved arguments and issues.

All arguments, issues, and problems should be settled before the day ends. Couples should never allow problems to escalate and reach the maximum peak where it might result in relationships breaking up.

Be honest with your partner on how you feel so he/she will understand your sentiments and try to understand also the side of your partner when you discuss a problem. Arguments that are left unresolved can result break up when one gets tired and fed up with constant debate and dispute.

Generally, people handle conflict in different ways. This doesn’t necessarily mean handling conflict with one another. This also means how one handles conflict with others as well. Let’s say one spouse is very passive when it comes to conflict and the other is vengeful, this can cause major division among married couples.

Not to say this will always end up in relationship breakup, but there are those that do not know how to come to that happy medium within the relationship and allow their difference in the way they handle conflict to be enough to want to go separate ways.

  1. Different Aspirations

This can cover a whole range of different things, but when two people’s goals and ambitions in life don’t coincide, then that can lead to irreconcilable friction in a relationship.

This could be that he has no ambitions to further his career, but she is a career-minded woman, or, of course, that one person wants to have children and the other does not. There are some things that just can’t be compromised on and that will, and should, lead to a relationship breakup, or one person will be very unhappy.

Believe it or not, but this is more common than you may expect. One spouse believes in working hard to support his or her family. In his/her mind, they believe that providing for their family financially is the most important thing they can do to show love so they become workaholics.

This behavior usually works well to satisfy the physical needs of the family, but it does just the opposite of the emotional needs of the family. You need to agree together as a couple to avoid any change of your relationship breaking up.

  1. Dominating partner and constant nagging

Constant nagging also leads to relationships breaking up because it causes pain to one party or to both so they will mostly decide to part ways.

This is again an attitude of a partner/spouse to keep the other at his/her beck-and-call. The targeted partner has to bear up with the other partner’s constant faultfinding, complaining, scolding, criticisms and frequent sarcastic remarks. There is no concern for the feelings or the respect of the partner.

The tendency to nag is more common with women than with men. This is done in an effort to adjust their partner to their standards of living. When the targeted partner does things to please his/her partner, s/he comes up with new ‘points of improvements’. The suffering partner may tolerate it for a long or a short time, but the breakup is inevitable.

Breaking up

  1. Finances

The money itself usually isn’t the reason for parting ways. Instead, couples tend to break up over continuous disagreements about their finances.

These run the scope of excessive spending, debt, or risk-taking activities such as gambling. Plus, extended periods of debt can wear on a romantic relationship, especially when one partner blames the other for their circumstances.

Money also regularly appears near the top of the most surveys on this subject. Money, though, is often a symptom of other underlying issues, such as lack of trust or lack of communication.

The main money reasons given for breakups are, one partner controlling all the spending or a partner wasting money. The only way to avoid money becoming an issue within a relationship is to talk about it, agree what you will spend money on and be honest when money issues arise.

  1. Incompatibility results in many Relationships Breaking Up

People tend to define incompatibility in personal terms. It may be as specific as I’m a morning person and he’s not; I’m a saver and she’s not; I’m a couch potato and she wants to go, go, go! I enjoy frequent sex and he’s not interested in sex much at all. I’m a practicing Catholic and she’s agnostic. I want children and she doesn’t.

Many couples find a way to work around these lifestyles and life choice preferences. But among couples who don’t, one of the several solutions tends to prevail

Anyone of these solutions can erode the bond between partners. One or both may begin to feel their life would be easier and more enjoyable without the other.

In certain couples, incompatibility exists on a deeper, emotional level. One partner may require greater emotional distance than the other can tolerate. The one who wants more closeness may feel rejected and unloved, while the one who wants distance may feel suffocated. This can easily lead to relationships breaking up.

  1. Poor Communication in the Relationship

Communication has been touted as the single most effective attribute of a successful relationship. On the other hand, it is also the biggest reason for relationships breaking up.

YourTango.com did a survey of mental health professionals, 65% of divorces were initiated as a result of communication problems. Furthermore, 43% of relationships failed because of an inability to resolve conflicts.

The number one reason that people break-up is that they do not know how to communicate properly. When you cannot communicate properly, the two in the relationship end up resenting the other one for whatever the issue is and imagining the person has a much different perspective than they actually do. This snowballs, until both, resent each other, and cannot take it anymore; and thus, breakup.

Both partners need to be able to share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, values, needs, frustrations, and joys. Sometimes couples avoid speaking honestly and hide their true selves. This may not always lead to relationships breaking up, but it doesn’t strengthen their bond!

  1. Boredom, lack of fun or loss of interest.

If we are used to the same daily routine, oftentimes we get bored and will lack interest. This also applies to a relationship, if one gets bored with what he/she usually does with a partner, there’s a tendency that they will look for something more exciting and new.

Furthermore, sometimes we get “too familiar” with our partner. This can be solved if you try to find ways to keep the fire burning in your relationship. Prepare surprises for your partner or try new adventures instead of just watching movies together or staying at home.

These relationship breakups are usually the least bitter of all because they don’t involve money or another person. These breakups happen because the partners have simply grown apart over a number of years.

They may grow disinterested and distant and no longer have as much in common as they once did. In fact, most couples begin to get a seven-year itch and while some relationships last much longer, that is not always the case.


  1. High Expectations:

As Sam Walton said, “High expectations are the key to everything” unless of course, we are talking about marriage. Expectations and laziness can go hand in hand when it comes to predicting whether there will be a relationship breakup.

That woman who buys the expensive wedding gown probably also has very high expectations of marriage. Men and women both make a lot of assumptions when it comes to marriage and what to expect from a marriage. These assumptions are based on many variables and problems arise when the outcome (marriage) doesn’t meet the assumptions or expectations.

Marital expectations rarely align with the realities of what life is like inside relationships. Women are taught by society that men want sex. It is all men think about and sex is just second nature to men.

According to society, if you marry a man you can expect that man to want sex with you. Communication before marriage can keep down any unrealistic expectations one may have about marriage.

  1. The intimacy disappears.

Somewhere in a relationship, there is a subtle change in the intimacy department. One person has an off day, there is a misunderstanding or someone doesn’t feel well. Then there’s the idea that he isn’t as romantic or she isn’t as sexual.

Whoever is the one with the subtle change can trigger a downward spiral in the intimacy department. Men generally need sexual receptivity to feel romantic and women generally need romance to be sexually receptive. As long as both people are getting what they need, they will provide what the other person wants.

Do you notice any of the issues above in your own romantic relationship? It may be a sign of trouble up ahead. If you want to work on your relationship or are thinking of breaking up, you may benefit from the assistance of a couples counselor.


The above reasons are all chief causes for relationships breaking up. Sometimes, one reason alone might be enough for separation, while in several cases, a combination of a few of them lead to divorce. Disagreements between two minds are bound to happen in any relationship. 

 Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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