Relationships end in one of three ways; in a cataclysmic explosion, by a grown up quiet agreement or like a neglected house-plant they sometimes just slowly wilt and disappear. One day you turn around and there’s just nothing there. Sometimes it happens so slowly that we don’t even notice.
5 Red Alert Warning Signs
As I talk to couples about their relationship problems I am often aware of a handful of warning signs that inevitably lead to an unnecessary relationship death:
Confiding In Friends
Do you voice your concerns about your relationship to your partner or do you discuss it with your close friends? What would happen if you began to voice your concerns to your partner? Or do you feel that you have tried and failed and are not prepared to go there again?
Instead of telling your closest friend about the problems in your relationship don’t you owe it to yourself and your partner to discuss it together first? Why not tell him that you don’t like it when he goes out drinking with his friends. Why not tell her that you find her mother difficult to deal with. Don’t just moan about it to your friends, talk to each other.
An important part of relationship counseling is allowing couples to communicate openly and honestly with each other. Most people find that this is exactly the same conversation they have been having with their close friends for some time.
Shutting Down and Keeping Quiet: Counseling Suicide
This is perhaps the most well known symptom of a relationship that is under stress. If you have stopped talking to your partner, especially about the important, big things in life, there may well be trouble ahead. This is almost the opposite to counseling and often referred to as “counseling suicide.” Do you both discuss how you want to enjoy your summer holiday, or is it arranged for convenience in order to avoid discussion? Do big decisions tend to be decided by one of you in isolation or do you just go along with it for a quiet life?
If you have worries about your relationship have you both decided just to stop taking about it and enter the silent world of relationship denial?
Different Interests and Activities
Do you both have different interests and different circles of friends?
On its own this is not a symptom of a dying relationship. There are plenty of healthy relationships where people lead very different lives but meet in the middle to share their common interests. This often happens with active couples who have diverse interests that pre-date their relationship. By contrast this is often something that begins to happen as a result of a relationship which is slowly dying.
Beginning To Act On Crazy Advice From Friends
“I’m telling you… if he said that to me I would leave him.”
Really? According to that kind of advice there wouldn’t be one relationship left in the world. Often our friends will give us well meaning, but not always great advice.
On the whole, our friends will give us their best advice, that’s why they’re our friends. The really big, and I mean really big, problem with this is their best advice is often based upon their experience and their opinions which are bound to be really different from your own. What’s a problem for your friend’s relationship is not necessarily a problem for you and visa versa.
Friends can also get very virtuous with their advice “I wouldn’t put up with that,” or “I certainly wouldn’t let him/ her get away with that.” Every one of these statements is a powerful push in a direction that you may not want to take.
When was the last time you touched your partner in an intimate or affectionate way? If you can’t remember within a few moments you may be heading for problems.
The lack of physical contact is seldom an isolated relationship problem. The chances are that this problem is happening simultaneously with any or all of the above.
So, if you have answered “Yes” to each one of these above you might be in a relationship which is not in the best of health. So what next?
The good news is that the problems above can all be worked upon and reversed, it may take a time in relationship intensive care but with the right help and guidance many relationships that look destined for the morgue can be brought back to life. Relationship Counseling does work and will help.
Have a look at our Counseling Retreat and also our Couples Therapy Retreat.