When breakup happens, or things start to go seriously south between couple, it rarely comes from thin air. There were probably some problems that haven’t been addressed and, over time, they transformed into an obstacle that’s very hard to talk through.
Honest conversations that include sharing our thoughts and feelings, as well as listening to what the other side has to say, are crucial for keeping any relationship healthy and long. We often have wrong ways of dealing with issues that are coming up in our personal life…mostly because everybody is afraid of getting hurt.
Showing respect to other person (especially when we don’t agree with them) and stating our arguments firmly, but with reason and calmness, is the best way to go.
So, what are the actual signs of „trouble in paradise“?
If you feel like your relationship is on a rocky ground and about to fall over, that doesn’t mean you should give up, that means you need to work harder.
Fights have become your cardio
If rarely a day passes without having a fight with your partner, and one or both of you are more than eager to start an argument at any time, that’s a wake-up call to get serious.
Shouting and calling names will lead to a mutual withdrawal and the bad kind of silence.
What you can do
Avoid starting sentences with „You“ in judgmental tone, followed by listing all of the negative things that cross your mind, especially in a combination with words like „always“ and „never“.
Never is the N-word of relationships conversations
Using sentences like, “You never…,” is a classic example of contempt, which is the No1 killer of romantic relationships.
When you talk that way, your partner will probably get into a defense mode, shut down from you or think of things you NEVER do and throw that never-ball right at you.
When you’re angry and have a lot of things to say, try calming yourself first and then proceed to share your feelings without criticizing your partner.
Saying something like: “I feel hurt because you didn’t do this when you said you will” is way better than “You’re a liar!”
Don’t dismiss your partner’s complaints, listen to him/her carefully and answer calmly without shifting the blame to other side. Don’t get personal and petty, don’t attack your partner’s personality because of something that was said or done.
Address the problem not their character.
If things get really heated, step away and try to talk later. You can read more about how to minimize the damage of a fight with words here.
Having that ONE thing you keep fighting about over and over again
When you can’t solve one distinct issue and it keeps coming up and actually becoming worse over time, you have a problem.
Keep away from resentment, talk about the problems when they happen, not days or weeks or years after. Be responsible and show respect to yourself, your partner and your relationship by taking care of issues openly and honestly from the start.
You stopped doing things together
Not spending time with your partner, not taking part in your usual couple activities and actually trying to avoid socializing with your partner alone or with friends.
When we don’t like someone or we stop feeling good being around a particular person, we naturally try to create a physical distance between us. Not enjoying your partner’s presence or being around his friends or family is often just a side effect of an unsolved problem. If you intentionally plan your day in a way that leaves you with little time for your partner, obviously there is something unresolved.
Start with making small steps, like going to the supermarket together, or playing a board game.
Start dating again. Actually, never stop dating. Just because you are together it doesn’t mean you need to stop flirting with each other.
Lack of physical signs of affection
When you stop kissing (and we’re talking here about romantic, sensual kisses), when you don’t cuddle anymore and rarely hug, something is wrong.
It doesn’t really matter how long the two of you are together, when we love someone we want to touch that person. Touch creates a connection that goes way beyond physical. Lack of physical closeness is often a first sign of emotional distance. Small signs of affection, like hugs, really do go a long way.
Did you know that a person needs 4 hugs a day just for mental “survival”, and 12 for growth?
Remember that next time you see your partner and act up on it.
Speaking of physical affection, sex is one of the most important factors in relationship.
When suddenly you stop having sex or it happens on a rare occasions, when you don’t feel passion but boredom, and you usually spend your nights in front of a TV, you know something is off.
Sex is not just the way we show love, it’s the way we play with each other, so it has a significant bonding role in relationships.
There are many creative ways you can work on your sexual life, but first you need to talk about your feelings and identify the problem that keeps you not “hooked” on each other. Start spending more time together just being, not focusing on everyday problems and talking about politics or news. Talk about you, words easily become deeds.
In some cases one partner has bigger sexual needs than the other. That may not be a problem at the beginning of relationship, but after time passes the different needs of two may start clashing and at least one partner will feel unsatisfied at the end.
Every relationship requires work and compromise, and that’s not really that hard to do when you love the person you are with.
The way your sleep together changes
When we say “sleep” here, we literally mean sleep….as in sleep positions.
Let’s get one thing clear – it’s not a big deal if you used to spoon every night but don’t anymore. Sleep positions like “spooning” are a sign of intense physical need for the other person that peters out with time – it’s almost a rule.
But when you start constantly sleep back to back without touching or think about potential excuses to move and sleep in another room, you might have a problem on your hands. You can read more about what sleep positions mean for a couple here.
Changes that come suddenly
When your partner is a quiet, introvert type of person and overnight he becomes a party animal. Maybe he/she had a big group of friends, and now stays at home alone and seems closed. Maybe you’ve never argued before and now you have these huge, fiery fights.
When the dynamic of relationship changes big time for no apparent reason that’s the time to take a closer look to what’s actually happening between the two of you.
You’re in deep waters if one partner regularly criticizes and puts down the other and intentionally diminish the value of their partner’s emotions, needs and feelings.
Describing a partner as “irritable”, being triggered by everything he/she does, and focusing on his/hers flaws, pointing them out any chance given, is often a road to a breakup or divorce.
Simply put – nagging is a nasty habit and nobody likes it.
You need to find out what’s behind the resentment and dissatisfaction, and work hard on fixing that.
If you are the partner who’s being criticized try to talk to your loved one in the way we already went through above, and if you can’t get an agreement, consider going to the counseling.
Don’t be aggressive, show respect, but don’t put up with petty, sarcastic remarks about everything you do. You can read more about the psychological side of nagging here.
Money, money, money
If you and your partner have different views on finances and argue about money often, that can put pressure on your everyday life.
Compromise is crucial, and although the two of you may have completely opposite spending habits, talking about this issue and finding a middle ground can be achieved.
Try keeping a “money diary” writing down how much you spend daily, and create a habit of discussing your monthly budget at the beginning of each month.
Putting kids first all the time
If you have children, being a parent is a huge part of you as a person and you as a couple.
Children’s needs should always be acknowledged, respected and fulfilled.
But you are a person as well, not just a mom or a dad, and you are also a part of a couple. If you don’t have the time for yourself and your partner, your relationship will suffer from a lack of closeness.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have kids, but keep in mind that balance in life is not that hard to reach as it may seem to be.
Some people intentionally put all of their time into taking care of the kids, in attempt to push aside a problem in a relationship with their partner. That’s not really a productive way to solve anything and it usually does more harm than good.
Fear of being vulnerable
When you no longer share your fears and worries with your partner, because they judge you or put you down.
Being afraid to share most private of your thoughts with the person who should be closest to you is not right. That’s a sign that something else is off in your relationship.
If your partner uses everything you say to them against you that can be one of the signs of narcissism, which is responsible for a lot of divorces.
A lot of outside flirting
Flirting with other people, texting, acting like you are single (or you would like to be) can cause fantasies to grow and that can lead to infidelity.
No need to say that cheating is a No1 cause a lot of couples break up.
It’s natural that you find other people attractive and interesting, but if you are pursuing someone outside your current relationship, ask yourself why you do that and what’s exactly your goal.
Sleeping positions that can tell your relationship is in trouble
Back to you
Sometimes love just leaves. If love has left the building you’ll know, no need to look for the signs. People break up all the time; it’s a perfectly normal thing.
Fighting for your relationship and making compromises is also a normal thing. If you can do something to make your relationship better and prevent splitting from your partner, go for it!
There is no universal recipe for relationships, but we tried to help you finding some answers in this guide.
Please, share your experiences and thoughts with us in the comment section below, we really appreciate them.