Failed marriages and relationships often have tell-tale signs accompanying them nearly months or years before things fell apart. Watching out for these signs beforehand, may help couples understand what is wrong in their relationship and make fixes. Here are four signs that mean that your relationship is on the rocks.
Resentment is often at the root of contempt in relationships. Contempt is detrimental to the growth of a relationship, as no relationship can thrive on disrespect and ridicule. If you or your partner is contemptuous toward the other person, you want to talk about what makes you/them feel that way. Is it because you feel your partner doesn’t do much for the relationship? Or, you resent their past actions? A past episode of infidelity, maybe? You need to openly discuss this with your partner, so you can get to the bottom of the issue, and see how it can be resolved. If it is a serious issue like a past affair that is making you feel this way toward your partner, you may want to seek the help of a couple’s therapist or marriage counselor to begin the process of communication and rebuilding.
Do you constantly check your partner’s messages and emails? If you are snooping around your partner’s phone and other conversations, it’s probably because you do not trust them. Any relationship that lacks trust is headed downhill. As with contempt, you want to ask yourself what is fueling this distrust, so you can clear the air with your partner, seeking professional counseling when appropriate.
Do you or your partner give each other the silent treatment after fights? Walling yourself off from your partner does not help resolve an issue; you only let it sit and brew further, and develop a passive hostility toward your partner. If you are stonewalling your partner then it means that you do not think that there is any scope for improvement, as this has happened many times before, and made no difference. Healthy relationships are built on open and honest conversations, love and communication, even during fights. If you have a problem with your partner, you want to take it up with them, rather than just not talking to them about it, and waiting for them to figure out what is wrong.
Constructive criticism is good for a relationship, while the kind of criticism where you constantly nag your partner or try to control their actions/behavior is toxic. If you constantly criticize your spouse for trivial things like how they speak, behave, dress, or anything that singles out their personality or character, then it means that you do not accept your partner for who he/she is. If you expect your partner to change who they are for you, then that is a problem as well. They may even change who they are to avoid the constant nagging and criticism, but in the long haul, they are probably going to experience resentment and anxiety. At this point, they may find themselves in a position where they have to choose between being themselves, and being in the relationship. Healthy relationships are built around acceptance and self-expression, rather than criticism and controlling behavior.
If you are experiencing any of these issues in your relationship and would like help, the marriage counselors at Novus Relationship Counseling Center can help.