When your partner decides to leave a committed relationship, leaving you to ponder over the reasons. Sadly, most intimate relationships end unevenly. Too often, one partner wants out, while the other is still attached.
No matter what the circumstances or causes, unrequited love for the person left behind is a painful and deeply distressing experience. That grief can be worsened when the reasons are given for leaving the relationship simply don’t ring true.
It leaves the abandoned partner befuddled and confused, filled with unanswerable questions:
Why didn’t I see it coming?
Why didn’t I believe it could happen?
In my 40-plus years of counseling people through relationship breakups, I have faced many of these grieving partners.
Most had some idea that the relationship was faltering, but didn’t anticipate or predict an end game. Sure, there were some conflicts, but they just didn’t seem that serious.
From their vantage points, the make-ups still seemed adequate, and the benefits clearly outweighed the costs.
Listening to their stories, I have felt both compassion for their distress and sadness at their confusion. I wondered why they’d seemed so unprepared for the ending.
Their reasoning was that they truly believed the love between them was still basically secure and didn’t get that the relationship was over until their partners actually walked out.
They were, in fact, totally confused.
Searching for answers, they come into therapy asking if I can help them gain some sanity as to why their partners left. They want to let go and move on, but can’t resolve their grief, because they don’t know what to let go of.
As a relationship therapist for over 40 years, I have also been on the other end of the partners who chose to leave.
Because of those many exposures, I can often help the partners left behind by sharing what other partners have told me as to why they left or leave a committed relationship.
If you are one of those devoted partners who have faced this kind of unexpected and unpredictable abandonment, I hope I can help.
From the generic pool of information given to me by the men and women who have left a partner behind, I’ve accumulated the following ten most common reasons why people decide to leave a committed relationship.
They certainly do not cover all of the possible explanations but do encapsulate the core of those motivations and decisions.
10 reasons, people decide to leave a committed relationship.
The most common reason that a partner leaves a relationship is because he or she has connected with a new love interest.
More than half of the couples I see in therapy come in, because one or the other has been unfaithful.
Initially, most of the straying partners deny, avoid, or even challenge the obvious truth with outrage. Eventually, the evidence usually emerges, and the couple must face that crisis.
Unless the affair has been long ongoing, most couples initially choose to try to make their relationship work, but the specter of lost trust can severely impair the outcome.
Though many people don’t realize it, relationship security and comfort does not always bring happiness to both partners.
When intimate partners know so much about one another that they can accurately predict the other partner’s every thought, feeling, and reaction, they may concurrently lose the excitement of discovery. This is one of the main reasons why people decide to leave a committed relationship.
Often, it is only one partner who begins to feel bored, but doesn’t want to hurt the other by admitting it.
After all, he or she co-created the security they share and should not be complaining if constraints come with the package.