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Know when to leave a bad relationship


There are a number of reasons why people stay in bad relationships. There may be kids involved, the fear of being alone, financial security, or for some, sex could be the reason too. People sometimes choose to say in a bad relationship because of pure bedroom chemistry.  It’s sad to say, but it does.

We often go into a new relationship hoping to find blissful companionship filled with love, care and compatibility. And the majority of the time relationships start off that way. But how do we know when we’ve reached a dead end and most importantly, how do we get out?

Common red flags of bad relationships often blind us because we tend to confuse abuse with love. News flash: if a spouse has to show their love by verbally, mentally or physically attacking their loved one, then that’s the definition of a bad relationship. Run Forrest, run.

I was once told, by the father of my childre, that a woman knows when her “man” really loves her is when he starts to hit her. I know, how absurd. And what’s even more ridiculous is that I believed it at one point. No one should have to experience abuse in any form, especially if that person has supposedly declared their love. Here are four red flags on how to know when to leave a bad relationship:


Words are sometimes more powerful than a slap or a punch in the face. It’s something about hurtful words that seem to sit in a persons mind longer. Don’t get me wrong, a bloody nose or black eye can never be forgotten. But cruel words stick like open wounds stick to band-aids.

Many are oblivious to the fact that verbally attacking someone is abuse and it only prevails after that. If you start believing you are “worthless, lazy, and stupid,” you have begun to pass judgment on yourself and in that case, now would be the time to run as far away as you can. But many don’t because, again, we often mistake verbal abuse as love. Some may find themselves defending the heartless actions of their spouse even though it’s their own self-esteem being chopped down like a tree.

If a woman starts making excuses using the words, “Oh he didn’t mean it. He had a long day at work, that’s all.” Or if a man says, “She’s just stressed from the kids and work, I know she loves me,” then that’s an eye opener to a bad relationship. Genuine love isn’t degrading, hurtful or selfish. And if it is, then that’s just counterfeit love fooling you. It’s as fake as a $200 dollar bill.


OK, so maybe the insensitive phrases or comments weren’t enough to leave. But will emotional abuse be enough to leave? Frequently being criticized, not being allowed to socialize with family and friends, or having to constantly “walk on egg shells” are sure signs that you need to let it go, as Keyshia Cole would say.

For five years of my life, I walked on egg shells, emotionally draining myself to make sure I was careful not to crack any; which is impossible to do. My five year relationship was like a Magic Mountain roller coaster ride. The first half was the high point of a roller coaster ride, we were inseparable and the other half was like the drop from the Superman ride, it was complete shock, scary actually.

In the beginning, I was showered with affection and then it came to a screeching halt when he preferred to sleep on the living room floor rather than in the room with me. I was an emotional wreck. How could someone just abruptly stop showing compassion for the person they claim they love? Real love doesn’t stop; it continues. A red flag like this blatantly demonstrates a bad relationship.


Being afraid of expressing thoughts, feelings and/or ideas to a significant other should never be frightening for anyone. A relationship that lacks communication because of fear is like a car without oil; you’re doomed to blow a head gasket or even worse an engine. That engine is the heart of the relationship and once that’s blown, its time to invest in another vehicle.

It’s obvious when someone is in a bad relationship because it’s like a one-way street. Any other way causes disruption. In other words, expressing your dreams and suggestions would cause your spouse to blow a lid.

I was fed up with the one way street in my relationship so I finally took another direction.  Although the outcome resulted in a restraining order, the fact of not riding on a one-way street was the best decision I made.


A man or woman who hits you is never love. This red flag should be the number one reason to depart. Someone who uses physical force to quote on quote, “show their love” is someone who feels like they have lost control. And in order for them to gain that power back, they belittle or cause pain to their spouse.


  1. Forrest Sep 14, 2010

    This of course is my opinion, and I must state there is no such thing as a red flag in marriage or relationship issues. The marriage was never based on the most valuable principles knowing and loving thy self first. No one can take from you that which is written in stone of self. Any one can be abusive to anyone and call it love or fear of leaving what they believe is a form of love from lack of self knowledge and understand of self love. And truth to your words, love won’t allow you hate, hurt, beat, or still. True love is not an idea or someones opinion of an emotion from a physical form of blood flow.
    It matters not the situation of the day, love and commitment requires unequivocal fortitude of selflessness under all circumstances meaning no matter what, you must always consider the other person state of being if there is to be the ultimate togetherness two becoming one. This is not taught in any medium and it is a lesson acquired by constant gathering of information of the opposite sex to the betterment of a communion. The greatest book on earth does not teach this, this can only come from the spiritual being seeking a higher level of comprehension. I make no excuses for mankind but it goes much higher than the words you read here to the effect of greatness. It is a choice to have an outstanding relationship and it begins with self not the partner, but both must be of the understanding and commitment of desiring the same and what are the odds of that if one does not know that even such a thing is possible? Hoping for something does not give way to its existence and creation. Since the highest function in which a human being is capable, is thought, it is only the mere beginning of the possibilities of two becoming spiritually one in love.

  2. Charlene Aug 10, 2010

    I’m 50 and he is 42. He lives at home (OW Income $600/mthly) with Mum (employed p/t local drug store) an Uncle (home sick) right beside my apt bldg. We met 7-8 yrs ago. Relationship on-again off again moreso serious past 2 years. I’m financially independent living on my own. I pay for everything. Our 2-minute sex has improved since we got back together after my affair of almost a year. It wasn’t serious but did to the extent my new bf wanted to move in with me. We never broke up because my bf kept constant contact with me never giving up. Calling me all the time. Him calling all the time means he calls 10 times or more daily. I’m tired of supporting an going no where with him. We usually stay home every weekend. Drinking, dancing, talking. My friends over. He has no friends or has not introduced them to me including his mum. I settled for the sex due to working so much. I want out. I feel I am not strong enough or fear loneliness or hate the idea of starting over again. I hate when he can’t tell me or show me who calls him on his cell. He says he loves me. I hate when its time for him to go home. He usually stays over wed to Sunday. He starts an argument and runs out the door. He stays home mon & Tues to watch his TV shows. I hate that. I think it is controlling or a bs excuse for something else. Everybody knows that he is the biggest BS’er. But I’ve learned to keep the truth and filter the bs! Since Sunday until tomorrow I have call blocked him. What is your advice?

  3. Martel O. Mar 11, 2010

    I believe those facts as well, but now what about if a women is the one who is faking the relationship. Not all man are abusive, women can be too.

    At least from my experiences I’ve heard from other people and seen with my own eyes.

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