When should someone break a relationship?


#1

Hello everyone,

This is my very first post in Catholic Answers. I'm Catholic and I was wondering, when should someone break up a relationship? Maybe some context here would help.

First, I'm assuming the relationship is healthy, they both are Catholics, they both are dating with the future perspective (I don't know how to say it in English), they both believe in chastity, go to Church...

So, according to the previous paragraph, things are going ok, but we all now that pain is part of our lives (it's part of a happy life, indeed). And sometimes one partner suffers because of the other. Everyone has flaws, and some of them make us suffer and sometimes, they make others suffer.

I don't know if someone should break up a relationship just because the other part has a flaw that makes you suffer. If that isn't the case, what would be a proper reason to break up?


#2

I'm not sure there needs to be a proper reason to break up, or if it is at all relevant.

Please allow me to explain. Since dating is about finding a partner for marriage, a means to an end, if you don't want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you break up. If you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, you stay. There is no obligation to continue a relationship you're not comfortable in, and there's no obligation to discontinue a relationship just because something bad happened or something is not ideal.

So basically you need to decide if you already know you won't be able to put up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. And if you're not sure, the right answer is often not. However, nobody is ideal, so even the best of us have flaws. :)


#3

[quote="ScarLata, post:1, topic:251166"]

First, I'm assuming the relationship is healthy, they both are Catholics, they both are dating with the future perspective (I don't know how to say it in English), they both believe in chastity, go to Church...

So, according to the previous paragraph, things are going ok, but we all now that pain is part of our lives (it's part of a happy life, indeed). And sometimes one partner suffers because of the other. Everyone has flaws, and some of them make us suffer and sometimes, they make others suffer.

I don't know if someone should break up a relationship just because the other part has a flaw that makes you suffer. If that isn't the case, what would be a proper reason to break up?

[/quote]

Well, it would depend on the flaw and what the suffering was....

If one partner passed gas for a few hours every night, the other would suffer. If each could deal with that, then OK.
However, if one partner punched the wall every time he or she walked into the room, that would be more difficult to put up with long term.

Relationships should bring more happiness than suffering, but no one is perfect, so therefore no relationship is perfect either.

More specifics are needed.


#4

At the point when one partner discerns that the other partner is not the one that he/she will be marrying than it is time to break off the relationship so that both partners can heal and find new people to discern marriage with.


#5

[quote="ScarLata, post:1, topic:251166"]
Hello everyone,

This is my very first post in Catholic Answers. I'm Catholic and I was wondering, when should someone break up a relationship?....
First, I'm assuming the relationship is healthy, they both are Catholics, they both are dating with the future perspective (I don't know how to say it in English), they both believe in chastity, go to Church...
So, according to the previous paragraph, things are going ok, but we all now that pain is part of our lives (it's part of a happy life, indeed). And sometimes one partner suffers because of the other. Everyone has flaws, and some of them make us suffer and sometimes, they make others suffer.
I don't know if someone should break up a relationship just because the other part has a flaw that makes you suffer. If that isn't the case, what would be a proper reason to break up?

[/quote]

If a serious flaw is discovered during the dating/courtship process that could have life-long repercussions, I think that would be a very good reason to consider peacefully leaving the relationship if an honest and calm discussion regarding the matter doesn't resolve the problem/potential future problem. That's the purpose of dating - to try to determine who might be an appropriate spouse and lifelong partner. I'm thinking as an example of a pornography addiction. Many marriages have been damaged or destroyed years down the road by this type of addiction, and sometimes it starts out with the appearance of a "minor" flaw in one of the partners - even before the marriage.

I think the old saying holds true - never marry someone hoping to change them. So, if there's serious suffering early in the relationship before marriage (and the key word is serious), it will likely only get worse after marriage.

Honest, open communication helps - along with praying for guidance. If we can keep Our Lord first in our hearts in everything, the answer can often be much easier to see, and praying and the sacraments helps us to do that.


#6

You should end the relationship when you are sure that this is NOT the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. If you are willing to put up with the suffering, then you should stay together and think about marriage. Only you can answer that for your own life.


#7

If there is

Adultery (cheating on the intended, even if outside marriage)
Addiction
Abuse

Leaving is quite clear cut under those conditions. Otherwise, one has to discern whether the intended is really compatible. And if there is suffering/pain in the early stages of a relationship, I think it's probably a good idea not to go any further...Usually there is a sort of blind infatuation, even with good heads on rational shoulders, that seems to take us into marriage, and lasts until we are good and bonded emotionally, to get us over the rough spots in the early years. If someone isn't getting that happy, silly, over the moon experience but suffering? Stop, put the brakes on, halt. Think, and pray. Discern what is wrong. I'm not saying that ALL relationships are based on infatuation, but that if a newish relationship is already into the pain and suffering stage? Doesn't bode well.


#8

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:7, topic:251166"]
If there is

Adultery (cheating on the intended, even if outside marriage)
Addiction
Abuse

Leaving is quite clear cut under those conditions. Otherwise, one has to discern whether the intended is really compatible. And if there is suffering/pain in the early stages of a relationship, I think it's probably a good idea not to go any further...Usually there is a sort of blind infatuation, even with good heads on rational shoulders, that seems to take us into marriage, and lasts until we are good and bonded emotionally, to get us over the rough spots in the early years. If someone isn't getting that happy, silly, over the moon experience but suffering? Stop, put the brakes on, halt. Think, and pray. Discern what is wrong. I'm not saying that ALL relationships are based on infatuation, but that if a newish relationship is already into the pain and suffering stage? Doesn't bode well.

[/quote]

Really? Infatuation is something that only exist's until you are in love with someone, they both can't co-exist thus why if someone you find physically attractive which is all you have to go on when you first meet and you really like them and their character then they become attractive in different way, a way in which even if their appearance changed whether it through be accident etc you would still be attracted to them in a way that no other can match in your eye's


#9

[quote="ScarLata, post:1, topic:251166"]
Hello everyone,

This is my very first post in Catholic Answers. I'm Catholic and I was wondering, when should someone break up a relationship? Maybe some context here would help.

First, I'm assuming the relationship is healthy, they both are Catholics, they both are dating with the future perspective (I don't know how to say it in English), they both believe in chastity, go to Church...

So, according to the previous paragraph, things are going ok, but we all now that pain is part of our lives (it's part of a happy life, indeed). And sometimes one partner suffers because of the other. Everyone has flaws, and some of them make us suffer and sometimes, they make others suffer.

I don't know if someone should break up a relationship just because the other part has a flaw that makes you suffer. If that isn't the case, what would be a proper reason to break up?

[/quote]

I think when you are asking when you should break up with someone, is when you should breakup with someone. It means you already you know the relationship isn't going to progress.

Yes everyone has flaws, but even when those flaws could cause the other person to suffer, that person that could suffer doesn't usually dwell on those flaws at all. In fact, they may not even think of them at all and think of them more as "quirks" that endear the other person rather than cause suffering.


#10

Hello everyone. Thank you for your answers. I would like to add more details to my question.

I'm not sure if I would break up with someone addicted to pornography (nevertheless holding that relationship would cause me a lot of pain), but this is a very important point. I wouldn't probably do it if he/she told me that. If I am the one who discover it, I would maybe break up.

I will leave a relationship in which there is unfaithfulness or abuse.

But I would like to focus more in the pain topic. When you start dating someone, you feel that person is the most amazing guy/girl you've ever met. You feel that he/she is perfect in every aspects of a human being (beautiful, intelligent... We all know that part of the story, let's skip it.) So, the reason you start dating he/she is that you would like to marry him/her.

But always at some point of the relationship, you realize that person is not perfect (of course he/she isn't! Nobody is!) That person has just as many flaws as you have. And, what it's worse, those flaws annoy you. I see that as normal, and you have to pass through that, whether you like it or not.

I do agree when some of you guys said don't date someone with the hope of changing him/her. So, I assume those flaws are going to be there for ever (although there is always room for hope). And they will annoy me as much as they are annoying me right now.

However, another part of me likes those flaws and enjoys seeing that person knowing he/she has them and also seeing the effort that person is making to fight them despite the fact there are going to remain there forever. And I feel very connected to that person just because he/she fights against his/her flaws as I do the same with my own ones.

Another important thing, I talked about flaws, but that person also has his/her virtues. And they look for me as good as they looked for me the day I knew I was in love.

We'll I was getting romantic up there, I'm sorry. The question: "how do I make abalance between flaws and virtues in order to decide I want that relationship?"

And, if you were patient and read this far, I have another question: "how do I distinguish between a bad moment to make a decision about the relationship from a good one?" For example: when he/she is in holidays for (let's say) 15 days, I think a lot about him/her and about our relationship. Do you think I should? Sometimes my happiness and emotional state depends of things like he/she texting me that day and the tenderness of the message. As you can deduce here, I'm in a relationship in a very early stage.


#11

How early is this relationship is it that you describe as "the early stages of a relationship"? I got to be honest and say I am having a hard time remembering when my husband's "quirks" started to irk me and I can't remember them bothering me until much later in our relationship after we were already engaged and we were comfortable with each other. Sure we had arguements and different point of views, but I saw them as just that, different and each fight we learned a little bit more about each other. The trust and vulnerability we built with each other more than out weighed anything that annoyed me. I knew he was the one though. We only dated five months before we were engaged. It would have had to be a HUGE blatant "quirk" or deal breaker to make me change my mind about him.

I still love his "quirks", I find out something new about him all the time. I think its just easier to accept the annoyances because I know he accepts mine so easily.


#12

If you can live with the flaw then fine if not then leave before things become permanent. It really depends on what the flaw is. :shrug:


#13

Everyone has flaws, the question is which ones can you put up with.


#14

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