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Partner regularly threatening to break up with you? (14 things you can do)

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A relationship will always have its ups and downs, but to feel as if it’s on the brink of falling apart every time you disagree isn’t good for anyone.

So, what do you do if your partner threatens to break up with you every time you get into an argument?

Not only is it hurtful, but it’s difficult to feel secure and start imagining a future with someone who’s ready to take it away at any moment.

Read on for some tips on what to do if you find yourself with a partner who keeps threatening to break up with you.

Speak to a certified relationship counselor about this issue. Why? Because they have the training and experience to help you figure out what you should do about your partner’s regular breakup threats. You may want to try speaking to someone via for practical advice that is tailored to your exact circumstances.

1. Ask if they are doing it out of self-preservation.

If your partner keeps threatening to break up with you, it might be because they are scared you’re going to break up with them first.

Emotions can get out of hand in an argument, and some people try to take back control by doing something extreme to end the conversation or be taken more seriously—in this case, threatening to break up with you.

Your partner might never actually go through with their threat if they regret making it once they calm down.

But, they might keep repeating the same cycle and using it in every argument.

2. Find a new way to communicate.

At what point does your partner usually start threatening to break up with you? Is it at the end of a tense argument?

If so, it could be a sign they don’t know what else to say rather than really wanting to break things off.

At the end of an argument, they’ve reached the point where they have nothing more to give. They say they’ll leave you if anything more is said simply because they don’t know how else to move on from the argument.

This statement stops any retaliation toward them because the threat that they will walk out is there.

If this is what’s happening, you need to find a more effective method of communication so that you both feel heard and respected, and so your partner doesn’t reach the end of their emotional rope, so to speak.

3. Find out if they’re stressed.

In a relationship, we often take out our emotions on our loved ones because they are the ones closest to us and understand us the most.

If your partner is being particularly abrasive toward you and keeps threatening to break up, it might have nothing to do with you and everything to do with how they are feeling.

If your partner doesn’t know how to process and communicate their emotions, and they have been extra stressed recently, they could be taking out their frustrations on you and your relationship.

Understanding that the hurt they are putting onto you isn’t about you or your relationship will help you see through their threats and not escalate the situation into something even worse.

Of course, your partner should find some coping mechanisms to help them deal with their stress in a healthy way.

Extra reading: 12 Tips For Dealing With A Stressed Partner And Helping Them Relax

4. Give them some space.

When your partner keeps saying they’ll break up with you, it could be their way of trying to get some space from the argument.

If your partner struggles with confrontation, then telling you they’ll break up with you could be the only way they know to end the argument so they can have some space to gather their thoughts.

Try giving each other a little more space if the tension between you is rising. Let each other process your emotions and work through your thoughts before speaking.

This might not just stop your partner from threatening to break up with you, but it could help you understand each other better and cope with obstacles in your relationship in a much more productive and collaborative way.

5. Get them talking about their emotions.

Some people don’t know how to process their emotions or articulate what they’re feeling, so the simplest option seems to be to remove themselves from the relationship entirely.

If you think this could be why your partner keeps threatening to break up with you, then you need to try to get them talking.

They might have grown up being afraid or uncomfortable sharing their emotions, but it’s important to create a sense of safety and trust between you so you can both share how you feel and work through your emotions together.

If you are struggling to get through to them, or they are still finding it difficult to open up, try seeking help from a relationship expert who can help you better communicate with each other.

Alternatively, they may benefit from some time with a trained therapist to address their reluctance to let their guard down.

6. Find out if they’re scared of commitment.

With the constant threat of your relationship ending hanging over your head, it must be hard to feel settled and trust that you’re in a committed relationship.

This could be exactly how your partner wants you to feel.

Reminding you that they have the power to walk away and end your relationship at any moment could be their way of retaining the upper hand.

They are making it clear that they aren’t ready to commit and that they don’t have to stay in this relationship.

Your relationship will never work if you’re not on the same page, and if your partner isn’t ready to commit then you should think about finding someone who is.

Extra reading: 10 Not-So-Subtle Signs Of Commitment Issues

7. Think about if they are willing to compromise.

By saying they will break up with you every time you have a disagreement, you have to question whether your partner is ready to be in a relationship.

Relationships take compromise. If every time you and your partner disagree it ends with you doing all the compromising so that they will stay with you, it’s not an equal relationship based on mutual respect.

Does your partner ever try to understand your point of view? Are they willing to change the way they approach things for your sake? Are they capable of apologizing, or do they avoid admitting their fault in an argument and instead threaten to break up?

If there is little sign your partner is even attempting to be more flexible, you might want to ask whether you want to stay in a one-sided relationship.

8. Don’t be manipulated by them.

Don’t let yourself be manipulated by someone to stay in an unhealthy relationship.

If every time you disagree or want to do something your partner doesn’t like, they threaten to break up with you for it, they’re manipulating you.

If they make you feel guilty for wanting to do something yourself or having a different opinion, they’re manipulating you.

Any time you do something that your partner doesn’t like and you are forced to choose between doing what you want and living with the threat of them walking out on you, they are trying to control you and holding you hostage emotionally.

They are using the love you have for them against you and forcing you to do what they want by giving you an ultimatum.

This is to satisfy their own need for control, and it’s a toxic relationship to be in.

If this sounds like a situation you’re in, then you need to beat them at their own game and leave for good.

9. Don’t let them deliberately hurt you.

No one wants to hear their partner suggest a breakup. It’s heartbreaking and scary and emotionally devastating to think that the person you love would want to consider not being with you anymore.

If your partner knows how it makes you feel and yet keeps threatening it, then you have to wonder why they’d want to hurt you like that.

They could know exactly how upsetting you find it, but in that moment, they want to make an impact and make you feel as bad as they do.

It’s a sadistic and manipulative approach to a relationship, and if this sounds like your partner, then they are someone to avoid.

10. Get to know your partner’s background.

Difficult experiences from childhood or past relationships can be unexpectedly triggered in the present day.

This could help explain why your partner threatens to end the relationship at the drop of a hat.

If they’ll let you, try to learn about your partner’s past to understand the relationships they grew up around and were influenced by.

Did people they love walk out on them or threaten to leave? Did they ever have the example of a healthy relationship with two adults working through their difficulties together rather than just giving up?

When you’ve never been around a supportive, loving relationship and you’re used to people leaving when times get tough, it can be difficult not to react in the same way—it’s a learned behavior.

What can you do? Be patient and see if they’re open to learning and growing with you rather than fighting against you.

And see if they’d be open to getting therapy to help them unpack and deal with the emotional turmoil of their past.

11. Be patient with them.

Is this the first time your partner has been in a long-term or serious relationship?

If they keep threatening to break up with you, it could be because they don’t know how to act in difficult situations.

Rather than learning not to escalate a disagreement into a fight or meet at a compromise, their go-to solution could be to call things off whenever your relationship hits a bump in the road.

They need time and guidance to understand how to work through hard times as a team and not just quit.

They may have never learned to talk through an argument or make a sacrifice for someone they care about. Your partner may not realize that they can be forgiven if they mess up.

It will take patience, mostly on your part, but if they genuinely want to be with you, they’ll see that every relationship has its obstacles. It’s about how you work through them that counts.

12. Don’t ignore a non-negotiable.

Is there always one conversation that you and your partner can’t see eye to eye on and they threaten to break up over?

If they have a strong reaction every time you bring up that subject, you need to start listening to them. Their point of view could be non-negotiable.

You might think that over time they will change their mind and they will stay with you because they don’t really want things to end, but the reason you keep getting to a point where a breakup is on the table is because your partner is trying to tell you that whatever it is you’re asking of them is a hard no.

You need to ask yourself if you love them enough to do the compromising on your side, or if they’re right and you should call it quits.

13. Take them at their word.

If your partner keeps threatening to break up with you, have you ever considered that it might be the right thing for you both?

If they keep bringing it up, there must be at least part of them that is considering it as a serious option.

You don’t want to be in a relationship if you are unsure of where you stand and worry that it could fall apart at any moment.

Think carefully about whether or not this relationship is right for you. If your partner keeps threatening to leave but never goes through with it, then you might have to be the bigger person and make the decision that’s best for both of you.

14. Ask whether you are being as supportive as you can.

If your partner keeps bringing up the idea of breaking up, it might be time to talk to them about how they’re feeling in your relationship and if you’re doing anything to make them upset.

You might not be taking what they say seriously when they threaten to break up with you because it happens so often or they never act on it. You think they’re just over-emotional or trying to hurt you.

But have you considered that they could be unhappy in the relationship?

Have a conversation with your partner about how they feel. Take their thoughts and feelings seriously and understand if there are any areas where you could be a better partner to them.

Your partner may just need to feel that they are heard by you to feel more secure and stop questioning if they want to be with you.

Still not sure what to do when your partner threatens to break up with you so often?

Speak to an experienced relationship expert about it.

Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours.

Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a certified relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

While you can try to work through this situation yourself or as a couple, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix.

And if it is affecting your relationship and mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through in their relationships without ever being able to resolve the issues that affect them. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

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