There’s Just No Fixing These 15 Relationship Issues — It’s Over

Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone or how hard you try, there are just some issues that can’t be fixed. It’s not about giving up too easily or not being willing to put in the work – it’s about recognizing when a relationship has become toxic, dysfunctional, or just plain unsalvageable. If you’re dealing with any of these 15 relationship issues, it might be time to call it quits and move on to greener pastures. Brace yourself, because this is going to be a tough-love truth bomb.

1. Chronic infidelity

If your partner can’t keep it in their pants and has a history of stepping out on you, it’s time to face the facts: they’re not going to change. Infidelity is a massive breach of trust, Verywell Mind notes, and if it happens once, it’s a mistake. If it happens repeatedly, it’s a character flaw. Don’t waste your time trying to fix someone who doesn’t respect you enough to stay faithful. Cut your losses and find someone who values monogamy as much as you do.

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2. Substance abuse

close-up of man drinking beer

Addiction is a serious issue that can destroy even the strongest relationships. If your partner is struggling with substance abuse and refuses to seek help, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t force someone to get sober, and you can’t spend your life playing babysitter to a grown adult. At some point, you have to prioritize your own well-being and safety. It’s okay to love someone and still walk away when their addiction becomes too much to bear.

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3. Physical or emotional abuse

This one should be a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: if your partner is physically or emotionally abusive, it’s time to get out. No amount of love or history can justify staying with someone who hurts you. Abuse is never acceptable, and it’s not something that can be fixed with couples therapy or promises to change. The longer you stay, the more damage you’ll sustain. Leave now, and don’t look back.

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4. Fundamental incompatibility

Sometimes, two people can love each other deeply but still be fundamentally incompatible. Maybe you have different values, goals, or lifestyles that just don’t mesh. Maybe you want kids and they don’t, or you’re a city mouse and they’re a country mouse. Whatever the reason, if you’re constantly struggling to find common ground or compromising your own needs and desires, it might be time to admit that you’re better off apart.

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5. Lack of respect

woman with creepy guy

Respect is the foundation of any healthy relationship. If your partner consistently belittles you, dismisses your feelings, or treats you like a doormat, that’s not love – that’s disrespect. You deserve to be with someone who values your opinions, supports your dreams, and treats you as an equal. If your partner can’t give you the basic respect you deserve, it’s time to show yourself some respect and walk away.

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6. Constant criticism

Constructive feedback is one thing, but constant criticism is another. If your partner is always pointing out your flaws, nitpicking your every move, or making you feel like you can’t do anything right, that’s not a healthy dynamic. It’s emotionally exhausting and can seriously damage your self-esteem over time. You need a partner who builds you up, not one who tears you down.

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7. Lack of effort

Relationships take work, plain and simple. If your partner isn’t willing to put in the effort to maintain your connection, resolve conflicts, or support your needs, that’s a big red flag. You can’t be the only one rowing the boat while they sit back and enjoy the ride. If they’re not willing to meet you halfway and invest in the relationship, it might be time to invest in yourself instead.

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8. Irreconcilable differences in values

Values are the core beliefs that guide our decisions and shape our lives. If you and your partner have fundamentally different values, it can be incredibly difficult to find a way forward. Maybe you prioritize family and they prioritize career, or you have different political or religious beliefs. If you’re constantly clashing over your deepest-held convictions, it might be a sign that you’re better off with someone who shares your values.

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9. Lack of trust

Trust is like oxygen for relationships – without it, they suffocate and die. If you’ve caught your partner in lies, if they’re constantly hiding things from you, or if you just can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right, that’s a major issue. Trust takes time to build and can be shattered in an instant. If your partner has broken your trust repeatedly, it might be time to face the fact that they’re not trustworthy.

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10. Emotional unavailability

As PsychCentral points out, you can’t have a healthy relationship with someone who’s emotionally unavailable. If your partner is always putting up walls, shutting you out, or refusing to be vulnerable with you, that’s a sign that they’re not ready or willing to fully invest in the relationship. You deserve someone who can open up to you, share their fears and dreams, and create a deep emotional connection. If your partner can’t give you that, it might be time to find someone who can.

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11. Lack of intimacy

Intimacy isn’t just about sex – it’s about emotional closeness, vulnerability, and connection. If your relationship feels more like a roommate situation than a romantic partnership, that’s a problem. Maybe you’ve stopped having meaningful conversations, or maybe physical affection has become a rare occurrence. Whatever the reason, a lack of intimacy can slowly erode the bond between you and leave you feeling lonely and unfulfilled.

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12. Constant drama

Some people thrive on drama, but for most of us, it’s exhausting and unhealthy. If your relationship is always in a state of crisis, if every little thing turns into a big blowout fight, or if you’re constantly walking on eggshells trying to avoid the next explosion, that’s not sustainable. You deserve peace and stability, not constant chaos. If your partner can’t provide that, it might be time to find someone who can.

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13. Unresolved baggage

We all have baggage from our past, but if your partner is constantly projecting their unresolved issues onto you or using them as an excuse for bad behavior, that’s not okay. It’s not your job to fix their childhood trauma or heal their emotional wounds. If they’re not willing to do the work to address their baggage, it will keep showing up in your relationship and causing problems.

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14. Lack of growth

Relationships should be a source of growth and personal development, not stagnation. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with your partner, if you’re not learning or evolving together, or if you’re holding each other back from reaching your full potential, that’s a sign that something needs to change. Sometimes, the most loving thing you can do is let each other go so you can both continue to grow and thrive.

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15. Gut feeling that it’s over

Sometimes, you just know when a relationship has run its course. Even if you can’t put your finger on exactly why, you have a gut feeling that it’s time to move on. Maybe the spark has faded, or maybe you’ve just grown apart. Whatever the reason, if your heart is telling you that it’s over, it’s important to listen. Staying in a relationship out of fear, guilt, or comfort is not fair to either of you.

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Originally from Australia, Emma Mills graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics before moving to Los Angeles to become a professional matchmaker (a bit of a shift, obviously). Since 2015, she has helped more than 150 people find lasting love and remains passionate about bringing amazing singletons together.

Emma is also the author of the upcoming Hachette publication, "Off the Beaten Track: Finding Lasting Love in the Least Likely of Places," due out in January 2025.