Have you ever known someone wanted to break up with you, but instead, they started acting so insane that you had to break up with them? One of my exes did just that. He stopped inviting me to events. He'd come home late. He texted irregularly. He was a jerk when he was home.
Finally, I had to break up with him, although I'm pretty sure it was his deliberate actions that planted the seed in my head. His actions were all signs my relationship was doomed, but I had no idea my BF was really just self-sabotaging.
I asked relationship experts April Masini and Alexis Nicole White about signs that your partner secretly wants to end your relationship, because sometimes, it can be hard to figure out. Do you recognize any of these tactics?
1. They'll Go Elsewhere For Emotional Support
If your partner wants to end your relationship, they might start being emotionally unfaithful, or at least developing a new, independent, personal life without you, according to Masini.
"If your partner secretly wants to end the relationship, he or she will start looking for support outside the relationship, for when the break does occur. This support will show up in other singles — as new friends," she says. "These friends don't hang around when you're around, and you'll mostly hear about them from late-night phone calls or text messages that you're not privy to, or your partner will meet up with them, seemingly innocently, without you."
This technique also sounds a lot like "cushioning," which is when you start to line up other potential partners before your relationship even ends.
"What your partner is doing is giving himself or herself a support system to help them make the break," Masini continues. "These new friends may be potential romantic partners or just other singles who think your partner will meet his or her potential without you."
2. They'll Start Dividing Assets
Money plays a big part in relationships, and if your partner is secretly wanting it to end, they might start dividing funds early. While emotional bonds might be hard to break, financial ones can get even trickier.
"If your partner secretly wants to end the relationship, they will start moving money around and creating or dissolving legal documents that make a split more cumbersome," Masini explains. "If you notice new bank accounts, credit cards, or property you didn't know your partner owned ... chances are, they are preparing for a life without you by moving around money and property in advance of separating from you."
If your significant other suddenly buys a paper shredder or gets their own checkbook, then girl, they're gonna dump you.
3. You'll No Longer Be Their Plus-One
Not getting invited to office parties with your partner anymore? No longer their plus-one at weddings? Do they not want you to come along to their family dinners? Uh oh.
"If your partner secretly wants to end the relationship, they'll stop including you in family events — specifically their side of the family — as well as bringing you as a plus-one to business events, and even casual events," says Masini. "Consciously or subconsciously, your partner will start separating within the relationship before separating from the relationship. Your partner will want his or her family and friends to see him or her as single and separate from you, and will use these opportunities to test the waters and redefine him or herself."
In other words, when you're in a happy, healthy relationship, you and your partner are seen as a unit. You're expected to come to most functions together, whether they're family dinners or fun parties. If you're suddenly left in the dust, then your partner might secretly be trying to end your relationship.
4. They'll Self-Sabotage
White explains that a partner who is trying to ruin the relationship might "sabotage the relationship by finding fault in issues that do not exist." She says they might also try to "distance themselves" from you by ignoring plans you've made or phone calls and texts.
When someone doesn't want to be in a relationship but doesn't have the courage to actually break up, they might turn minor road blocks into large hurdles to cause tension in your relationship. But self-sabotage is the coward's way of ending a relationship, when your partner doesn't have the tools to be emotionally vulnerable, authentic, and to work through their own feelings.
If you recognize any of these signs in your own relationship, then it might be time to address whether you and your partner are happy and healthy together. Because if he has a paper shredder, is opening a new bank account, and is heading to weddings without you, your relationship might be doomed.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!