How to Know When to End a Relationship

By Bridgette Petrino | healing

Jun 19

How to Know When to End a Relationship

Some Relationships Aren’t Meant to be…

I know that most of us would love if everything just worked out all the time. But, some relationships aren’t meant to be. Some are only meant to be for a season of life. That’s okay.

Why Relationships End

This is a difficult blog post for me. It’s not something I talk about often, but it’s something I think about often. Especially because Father’s Day just passed.

I haven’t seen or spoken to my own father in years. He has come in and out of my life for a long time. I have no idea why he won’t speak to me. I used to think it was me. And, I would try my hardest to earn his approval. I often fell short and it was devastating.

I have only recently begun to accept the fact that my worth has nothing to do with why I don’t have a relationship with my father. I put a great deal of effort into building a relationship with him. But, unfortunately some relationships just aren’t meant to be.

Yes – I am sad about it, and I wish my daughters had a grandfather. The thing is that my dad is actually a really nice, funny and super smart guy. He’s probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. But, I also know that everything I do sets an example for my daughters. After years of trying to contact my father only to be ignored, I don’t want my daughters to think that it’s okay to be ignored or for people to walk in and out of their lives.

Now, I've chosen to look at what I do have instead of what I don't have. Click To Tweet

Safe relationships

I always think of the song “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson. I am grateful to have a husband who (in Clarkson’s words) has been able to show me that “a father can be great and a man can stay.” Now that is something I’ve learned and my daughters are learning as well.

Safe People vs. Unsafe People

Now, even if my dad decided he wanted to come back into our lives, it would take me a long time to say yes. Because I’ve learned that love and trust must be earned. I read a book called “Safe People” by Dr. Henry Cloud and he teaches how distinguish between safe and unsafe people.

  1. Unsafe people avoid closeness instead of connecting.
  1. Unsafe people are only concerned about “I” instead of “we.”
  1. Unsafe people resist freedom instead of encouraging it.
  1. Unsafe people flatter us instead of confronting us.
  1. Unsafe people condemn us instead of forgiving us.
  1. Unsafe people stay in parent/child roles instead of relating as equals.
  1. Unsafe people are unstable over time instead of being consistent.
  1. Unsafe people are a negative influence on us, rather than a positive one.
  1. Unsafe people gossip instead of keeping secrets.

What to do?

If you are like me, you are probably reading these traits and categorizing some safe and unsafe people in your life. Good. It’s not your job to completely avoid unsafe people, only to recognize them and act accordingly. You may recognize unsafe people as co-workers, long-time friends, even family. These are not people that you go to for advice.

Remember to be vulnerable with the safe people in your life and also practice being a safe person.

And, if there is an unsafe person in your life who is unwilling to work on the relationship, it might be time to end that relationship. At the very least, some strict boundaries must be set.

I want to know…

Who is one “safe person” in your life? Are you a safe person? Drop a comment below.

PS – If you want to read the book, check it out here. I highly recommend it.

safe people

PS – Don’t forget to head over to to be entered into a fun summer raffle!


About the Author

Bridgette is Founder and CEO of Mommy Needs a Timeout. She empowers moms to reconnect with their identities OUTSIDE of being a mom, without the guilt.

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