People assume cheating is a major reason for ending a relationship, and if it happens, it is. It can be a deal-breaker because people find it hard to trust a partner who has been unfaithful. But infidelity is not usually the cause of a break-up.

What are the most oft-cited reasons for couples splitting?

Poor Communication. You’ve heard it before and it’s still true. But what does it mean to communicate? You don’t have to tell your partner every detail of your life to be happy. In fact, maybe it’s a good idea if you don’t. But you do have to take time to talk about problems that arise. Sometimes the problems have always been there from the start, but they haven’t been addressed.

The Real Reasons People Break Up Nancy'S Counseling CornerIn the first blush of romance, it’s easy to gloss over the disturbing way he spends money like water. So you never really talk about it until finally it blows up and becomes a real issue in your relationship. The fact is, when you become aware of the conflict, you need to communicate that the issue is troublesome to you. And try to find a way to resolve it.

Unrealistic Expectations. Face it. Passions fade. It’s a law of nature. Your knight in shining amour will get tarnished over time. People are fallible, and so are you. So when you enter into a relationship with unrealistic expectations, you will be disappointed. And you may well transfer that disappointment to your partner when it really isn’t his fault.

A decline in passion is harder for some people to accept than others. If this is your problem, there are ways to re-ignite those feelings. And there are many compensations in long-term relationships that outlive those first feelings of fire. Like the glories of intimacy, understanding and commitment.

Maintain Quality. Statistics show that couples who are not terribly happy to begin with, but who maintain the quality of their relationship, may remain together. And couples who are happy at the outset, but who later experience a decline in the satisfaction with their relationship, may be vulnerable to a break-up.

So maintaining the quality of your relationship is important. That means, when changes arise, pay attention. It’s important to address new problems and old ones that have been festering—as we said, communicate. And understand that passions will fade for most people—as we said, have realistic expectations. Maintain the quality of your relationship by remembering not to take your partner for granted.

Often a good relationship declines because people let their positive responses to their partner dwindle. So it may not be so much that they become more negative—just less positive. So be kind, empathetic, caring. It never hurts.


Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her by phone at 949-510-9423 or here: