8 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship
How to Recognize the Signs of a Failing Relationship - And What to Do About It
Maybe you’ve been experiencing a tumultuous relationship. Maybe you have a sign that things might be on their way out. But how can you tell for sure?
In this article, we’ll delve into some red flags that you might be in a failing relationship, as well as what you can do to resolve the problems.
8 Signs That Your Relationship Might Be in Trouble
If you are experiencing any of the following with your partner, it could potentially be a sign of a failing relationship. Pay attention, especially if there’s a recurring pattern.
Intimacy has slowed down - This isn’t necessarily a sign that something is wrong: most couples experience a sexual slowdown, especially as the relationship advances. It could be a problem if intimacy slows down very early in the relationship, or if it drops off completely. Again, this could be connected to external factors like work-related stress, medical problems, or other issues outside of the relationship.
You’re not a priority - Are they constantly putting their friends, family, and work first? Every relationship needs some give and take in terms of priorities—you’re each allowed to have your own lives, after all—but if it eventually reaches a point where your needs are never considered as a top priority, that could be a problem. It suggests a lack of respect for your needs, and it could indicate that they don’t want to spend their time with you.
Conversations are getting increasingly one-sided - Do you find yourself trying to have a conversation with your partner and they refuse to listen or engage? Aside from being very frustrating, it could be a sign that they’re not interested in what you have to say. Alternatively, if your partner is talking a lot more than you, it could be a sign that you’re both failing to connect with each other.
They’re emotionally unstable - If someone is unhappy in a relationship, it makes all their other problems seem exponentially worse. This means that a fairly minor setback could send them flying off the handle. Stay attuned to their emotional states during times of challenge and struggle. Are they reacting worse than the situation warrants?
Plans keep falling through - Do they make lots of exciting promises that never seem to come to fruition? Do you keep talking about trips and commitments that don’t materialize? This could be a sign that they’re afraid of making commitments, potentially due to a lack of certainty about the relationship.
They keep canceling dates - Ignoring that trip to Peru you planned is one thing. It’s another thing entirely that they can seemingly never find time to meet you for dinner or a movie. If you’ve noticed that your partner routinely finds an excuse not to go out with you, that indicates that they might not be enthusiastic about the relationship. As the saying goes: you either find a way, or you find an excuse.
You justify their poor decisions - Do you go out of your way to make excuses for your partner’s behavior? That could be a sign that things are misaligned between the two of you. “He only said that because he was having a bad day” or “He didn’t really mean to drink that much, I’m sure it won’t happen again.” Maybe these are types of behaviors that you don’t necessarily want to have in a partner, but you haven’t admitted to yourself that it’s a serious problem.
Changes in communication - Has texting slowed from a constant back-and-forth to a slow trickle? Are you the only one initiating conversation? Are they no longer hearting your Instagram posts? These could all be signs that interest in the relationship has waned. It could be a sign of other issues as well, like family-related problems or dedicating lots of time to work, so it’s worth discussing before making any serious decisions.
How Can I Fix a Failing Relationship?
Maybe you’ve recognized one or several of the above signs in your own relationship. What can you do about them?
First, talk to your partner. As mentioned in a few of the items above, it could be entirely possible that there are reasons outside of the relationship that they are acting cold and distant. They could be going through a series of struggles that you don’t know about.
By talking about the problem, you are learning more about what they’re going through and also signaling that you want to be involved. It can also be a great way to solve those individual problems. Don’t like that he isn’t texting you, or that she seems to be checked out when you’re talking about your day? Bring them up. Let your partner know that it bothers you, and they can then begin working on it.
If you’re struggling to find a solution through talking to each other—like if you continue having intimacy struggles, for example—then it might be a good idea to speak to a therapist. Having an unbiased, skilled third party can assess both of your positions neutrally and help you work towards a solution.
For other problems, breaking up might be the best solution. This isn’t what people want to hear, but it’s the right move if it’s making you unhappy. If you are constantly making excuses for their behavior, or there’s a continued pattern of disrespect and violated trust, then it’s time to admit that the relationship isn’t working.
If the problem is purely physical, then exploring medical treatment and medication can help improve any intimacy issues.
Moving On to Stronger, Less Tumultuous Relationships
Whether you’re working on repairing your current relationship or deciding to move on to something new, you’re already on track to a better situation by identifying the problem and choosing to discuss and work on it.
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