The Ethics of Relationships: What is Due Diligence in Love?

When experiencing problems in long-term relationships, it is normal occurrence to continue seeking satisfaction and trying to rebuild trust. Patterned problems from a partner can feel like rejection, weakness, and helplessness. Even after the same problems occur, there still exists hope for the potential of a healthy relationship. Still, in this process holding this hope can sometimes place your own emotions at risk for harm. Whether through experiencing deception or lack of respect and trust from your partner, this hinders the opportunity for the relationship to grow and evolve. If these factors are the case, we must acknowledge that you have done “due diligence” by giving previous chances. 


Giving due diligence in a relationship means that you have made your partner aware of the issues, attempted to understand and compromise, and given enough chances for your partner to change. In addition, due diligence means that through this process your partner has been made aware of their faults, accepted responsibility for their actions, and shown consistent efforts to change. If after due diligence is given and issues have “worsened”, it may be the time to center your thoughts on your individual wants and needs to protect yourself from further hurt and pain. Fairness, justice, and respect towards the relationship matters. This may mean determining the worth of your relationship in terms of compatibility and the risk of trauma or harm. Ask yourself, “What is the benefit of remaining in my relationship? Do the chances that I gave the amount to the love, effort, and care given back to me? What is the risk for more trauma?” 


Remaining in trauma can have damaging effects on your health and mental stability. If determined that the relationship is no longer good for you, it will be important to seek support from trusted friends or family. Individual counseling could be helpful to gain clarity and understanding when deciding upon how to proceed with or without your relationship in terms of honoring your standards and values in relationships. Also, it will be more important to show yourself self-compassion and understand how this relationship can impact your self-esteem and emotional wellbeing in the long-term. On the other hand, if you wish to improve your and determine that it is worth the effort, then professional help through couples counseling could be an option as an appropriate way to redefine boundaries and morals of your relationship.

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