3 Unexpected Reasons A Great, Healthy Relationship Might End, According To Experts

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happy couple surrounded by truth and a big LIE

Whether the couple has been in a long-term loving relationship, or a "'til death do us part marriage" nothing lasts forever. We are mortal beings living in a universe driven by entropy, so logic follows that a healthy relationship can end the same way everything else in time and space draws to a close.

Relationships don't have to end in an explosion of turmoil and pain, screams and yells, divorce court and lawyers. Some relationships, though appearing positive and healthy from all other indications, can end.

Fading into an unsatisfying life-long relationship just so you can say "We have a lifelong commitment, we've been together (x) a number of years" is not the path some couples choose.

These are the times when both people know there is a fork in the road coming, and they won't be continuing on this journey side by side.

Yet, why oh why would a healthy relationship end, you might still be asking. Especially if you are out there seeking and haven't found a healthy relationship of your own.

We called in the professionals to help us sort out the reasons.

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Here 3 Yourtango experts reveal unexpected reasons a great, healthy relationship might end:

1. Secrets and betrayal

When a partner reveals they have been hiding a significant secret. Whether it is infidelity, disclosure of a sexual need that can't be fulfilled within the relationship, or an unethical (or criminal) act, betrayal destroys trust. It can be the kiss of death to seemingly perfect relationships.

Gloria Brame, sex therapist and sexologist

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2. If once common paths diverge

Sometimes, great and healthy relationships end when the couple's life dreams become incompatible. For example, a couple may have gotten married with the expectation of having kids in the future. But five years later, one of them has serious health issues and decides against parenthood.

If their spouse feels like giving up parenthood is like giving up the bones of their own body - an essential part of who they are and who they want to be - the relationship might end, despite how healthy and wonderful it has been. Great relationships ending due to incompatible life dreams is usually sad, and potentially heartbreaking, but also sometimes leads to lifelong friendship as the couple may still care deeply about one another.

Susanna Guarino, LMHC

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3. Growth has stopped

One unexpected reason a romantic relationship may end is that the opportunity for emotional growth as a couple is done.

Couples often enter into a relationship to share a life with that partner. Over time couples ideally learn, grow, and evolve as individuals and a pair, often in unexpected ways. As such, we use our partners to explore who we are along the way.

Although it may sound odd, some seemingly happy couples split because they perceive the emotional journey as a couple is done. There's a perception there's nothing more to learn as a romantic couple— the core lessons that need to be learned are finished.

The relationship has run its course—it served its function while they were together, and now it's time for something else. For some of these couples—which includes those who have had very successful, fulfilling relationships for years—the end may look like shifting from a romantic partner to a positive companion or family member who is now better off as a friend.

Dr. Cortney S. Warren, Ph.D., ABPP, psychologist and author of Letting Go of Your Ex

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The flower blooms, fades, withers, dries, and drops its seeds in the hope a new flower will sprout in the future.

The rain and wind wear stone-faced mountains slowly down until magma fissures erupt new land.

A couple, happy and healthy, journey together until the time comes for a new journey.

The universe is a chaotic jumble of energies and forces we try to force our logic and meaning onto, yet the fact remains, that all good things come to an end. This holds true for everything in nature, including human relationships.

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Will Curtis is an associate editor at Yourtango.