All relationships go through ups and downs. But some couples start wondering whether they are headed towards a breakup. They are going through some unusual downs in their relationship, and are unsure what’s going on. Consider the following signs, and get more clarity about where you stand in your relationship.
- Excessive criticism
If you find yourself criticizing your partner, think of it as a sure sign of trouble. Criticism can prove to be very harmful to a relationship because it is an attack on the character of a person. A more constructive thing to do when differences arise is to positively and calmly voice your feelings and needs. You can make a complaint in ways that make it easier of your partner to hear and understand. Understanding how to soften your complaints can help you have a positive outcome.
- Wrong assumptions and mind reading
Making the wrong assumptions or mind reading your partner‘s intention can hurt a relationship. For example, you may blame your partner for not loving you or you may assume that they are ‘careless’ if they get late in coming home and forget to inform you. A disconnect in communication is evident from such behavior. It may be possible that your partner got stuck in traffic and his phone ran out of power. Yet, you may adopt a cold behavior towards the person thinking you have been wronged. Misinterpreting your partner’s intentions and arguing can create problems. This does not mean that you are passive and only assume the best. It means that you talk with your partner about it and ask for clarification in a caring way.
- Attitude of contempt
Contempt is a sure sign of an ailing relationship. An attitude of contempt leads to disrespect, ridicule and sarcastic behavior between partners. Calling each other names or shouting at each other is detrimental to a relationship. The reason behind this kind of contemptuous behavior has some kind of resentment. If a person has been hurt in the past by his/her partner, such contemptuous behavior can creep into a relationship. John Gottman, a famous relationship researcher, stated that contempt is one of the biggest predictors of an eventual divorce. Talk with kindness and compassion to your partner, no matter how you feel. It will go a long way towards healing old wounds and new hurts.
- Lack of fun and passion
The fading away of sexual chemistry between partners is a serious concern. Relationships need work to keep the passion alive. Sex is a big part of feeling connected and energized by the relationship. When couples feel connected sexually they also tend to feel safe and get a deep sense of comfort.
There are other elements of fun in a relationship that also need attention. Couples connect when they share some common interests and talk about their day.
If the couple can’t create pleasure in each other’s company, the relationship is likely to struggle. The clock is ticking for such a relationship because the partners are not connecting and creating shared meaning. They tend to become absent even while being together.
- Restricted individualization or personal pursuits
Happy and healthy relationships thrive when individuals can pursue their hopes wishes and dreams. If one finds a partner’s jealousy or possessiveness is keeping him/her away from doing the things they love then the relationship is bound to turn sour. An individual can sacrifice his/her interests for a short while. If one partner’s control issues are taking away from the other’s personality, then anger and resentment are going to begin to develop. If such behavior is not checked in good time, it could kill the relationship. No one is comfortable living a restricted life as it hinders personal progress. If an individual does not flourish, the relationship will also suffer.
If your relationship need help then couples therapy can move your relationship in the right direction. Couples therapists are trained in communication and conflict resolution. They can also help couples reignite passion and bring excitement back.