If You Need A Sign To Leave Your Rotten Relationship — This Is It

What's that smell? Oh. It's your relationship.

sad woman sitting at diner table Olesya Kuznetsova / Shutterstock

Maybe you’re the one still in a relationship with a person who treats you like garbage — and has for years.

You vacillate between blaming your partner and blaming yourself. You feel miserable in private, and angry and bitter in public. You’ve told your partner how you feel, and he or she promised things would change "soon" … but they haven’t.

Because "soon" is just a code word for "someday" and "someday" actually means "never."


Days and weeks pass, but you’re afraid to end your relationship — your practically dead, unhappy, passionless, predictable, unsatisfying relationship. Your friends and family are sick of hearing about it, and you’re tired of feeling like crap all the time. But still, you stay.

Do you know who’s responsible for all of this? You are. Not necessarily because you created the situation. Not because you’re a bad person. And certainly not because you’re unworthy of love and happiness.

You’re responsible because you're aware things just don't work between you and your partner anymore.

You know you're unhappy — and that your partner isn't happy either. And that awareness means you are not a hapless, helpless victim — you are a participant. You're actively participating in your own misery. You wish things were different, but you aren't doing anything about it. You hope things will change, but you aren't changing them.


If you’re looking for a sign from the universe that it's to fish or cut bait, this is it. If you want a life and relationship that's better than what you have now, you are the one who must change it. 

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Here are five ways to prepare yourself for a better relationship — and end a bad one:

1. Believe that you're worthy of better

Stop what you're doing and go look in the mirror. The person you see is worthy of love. Stop trying to convince yourself otherwise.


Too fat, too thin, too out, too in, too busy, too broke, too much trouble, too many jerks, too much baggage, too little time, too much drama, too many bills, too late, too old ... stop! Just as you are, you are worthy. We're all works in progress.

2. Really examine your relationship

Seriously, really look at it with honest eyes. Someone who loves you builds you up and doesn't break you down. Someone who loves you and supports your passions. He or she doesn't make you feel inadequate. That partner looks for ways to add to your happiness, not insist on being the entire source of it. A real partner loves who you are, not just what you do for him or her.

RELATED: 5 Disturbing Signs Of A Toxic Relationship You Should Never Ignore

3. Accept that you can’t make your partner change

Stop trying to twist your partner into the mold that works for you. Right or wrong, good or bad for you — your partner is his or her own person. Your bewilderment or frustration won’t change anyone and only hurts you. People change when they're damn well good and ready.


If someone won’t address your needs, it doesn’t necessarily make either one of you bad people. It means you two aren’t compatible. Period. End. Full stop. 

4. Stop trying to make it all better

You can’t take care of someone else or yourself through a breakup or separation. Breakups suck, which is why so many people stay in relationships that make them miserable rather than leave.

It’s easier to stay and remain silently miserable than leave and face the mystery of life on your own. But here’s the thing: You will never find the light unless you risk the dark.

RELATED: I Stayed In A Toxic Relationship Because Of Love — Big Mistake


5. Know that moving on means actually moving on

Unfriend. Delete. And quit stalking your ex from your best friend’s Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. You aren’t fooling anyone, and you look desperate. Maybe you and your ex will become friendly acquaintances later but that’s later (which is far, far away from today). 

For now, you need a clear separation to let go of what was, and then move on to what will be. There is no way to start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

Your life is your own to live, but when you dwell in the past, you prevent yourself from creating a happy future. Get real with yourself and accept that things don’t always go the way we think they should. It sucks, but it’s part of adult life.

RELATED: 10 Subtle Signs You're Addicted To Toxic Relationship Drama


Change is as easy as you let it be

Now, is all this easy to say and hard to do? Absolutely not. But the secret is to just start and it will get easier as you go.

You may ask, "Why is this my responsibility?" Because you are in charge of yourself. Every day when you wake up, you have the same choice: Live a life that makes you happy, or not. Reach for what you want, or not. Create a positive life or not.

So far, your choice is "not" and that will never work out long-term for you. You'll remain stunted, depressed, unhappy, and leading a life that's unfulfilling, empty, and lacking passion.


So, is this straight up enough for you?

Are we on the same page yet? Yes? Good! Because anytime someone orchestrates their own unhappiness, they need a wake-up call — a proverbial slap in the face.

If you’re wondering what to do now, that means you're shifting your thinking. You are now — perhaps finally — getting out of your own way and are ready to make changes that will increase your satisfaction in life and love, and get you what you say you want: happiness.

It's time to detox your love life, and the best way to do that is by being honest with yourself.

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Charles J. Orlando is a bestselling author and relationship/interpersonal relations expert who has spent the last 10+ years connecting with thousands of people.