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Esther Perel answers; "How do I know if my relationship is over?" with one word.

How do you know when it is time to call it quits in your relationship?

People sometimes find it easier to stay in a relationship rather than face the distress of heartbreak and pursuing an uncertain future. But according to psychotherapist Esther Perel, there is one sign that your relationship is too toxic for it to continue: contempt.

Talking on the The Tim Ferris Show podcast, Perel insists that if you have the feeling of contempt in your relationship, you need to end it.

Perel interprets contempt as “the belittling, the infantilising, the demeaning, the degrading, all of these categories of a relationship which ultimately amount to abusiveness. To me, that is the moment where a relationship really is done. Because what it means, is that in order to protect one self, one needs to leave.”

The relationship expert says contempt “really involves a profound sense of dehumanisation” and a “sense of self-loathing” that is extremely hard to ever come back from for any couple.

How do you know when your relationship is over?
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She clarifies that "you can fight, you can be critical, you can complain, [and] you can be volatile" and still be able to repair your relatioinship. Perel tells listeners that to go through the cycle of "connection, disconnection and repair" is the "triad of relationships". But, contempt is the "kiss of death."

However, while contempt is the ultimate deal breaker, Perel told Mia Freedman in a recent No Filter podcast, that couples can come back from infidelity, and it can actually make their relationship stronger.

"Affairs can either break it or make it" Perel says.

The psychotherapist explains that cheating can either end a relationship that was already ruined, or it can be a "powerful alarm system".

LISTEN: Esther Perel talks to Mia Freedom about why happy people cheat...(post continues after audio)

"Affairs, often, will leave relationships afterwards to a level of honesty, that many people tell you 'we have never been as honest before, we are way deeper, way more connected, way more intimate than we used to be'."

Perel continues by saying it is ineffective to a judge a whole relationship, by just one affair, because many times infidelity occurs in "good relationships, good marriages."

"The vast majority of people that stray are actually people who often act in a way that is actually contrary to their own values. They believe in monogamy no less."

So there it is, according to a relationship expert, contempt is the deal breaker, not infidelity.

What do you think are the other signs that a relationship is over?