Relationships are always hard work. Sometimes, no matter how incredibly hard you try to keep your relationship going, it fails. One of you may decide to resurrect the relationship, but if your partner isn’t willing to do the same, it’s a waste of time. You’re just forcing it. So, precisely how do you know when (or if) your relationship is failing? What are the signs your relationship is being forced to last?
Here are ten red flags that your relationship is being forced to last
Not “we” anymore
When one or both partners begin saying, “I” rather than “we” it’s a sign the relationship is in trouble. A relationship involves two people living life together. Their lives are intertwined, making them a couple. They hang out together, shop together, and do things with friends as a couple. This closeness doesn’t mean they never do things independently, but generally, couples like to do something together.
Dropping “we” from your vocabulary is the first sign of a troubled relationship. It’s easy to miss this sign as nothing more than wanting more independence. Why should you make a big deal out of it? But take note, it’s a sure sign of something broken. Be honest with yourself, don’t naively force your relationship if you notice this subtle sign.
Couples that never have time for one another aren’t living as a couple. Staying busy seems like an innocent thing, but it’s a way to avoid talking or interacting with your partner. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to prevent severe talks about your relationship. Couples fall into this trap all the time, especially if they don’t want to face the truth that their relationship is failing.
You may tell yourself that things will work out. You just need some space. That may be true, but if there’s constant avoidance, this is a bad sign. Here are some subtle avoidance techniques that happen in failing relationships.
- You choose to stay home instead of heading out with your partner (every time they ask)
- You make plans without mentioning it to your partner.
- You’ll get up early and leave for work before your partner is up.
- You get home late at night after your partner has gone to bed.
- You keep a busy schedule, so there’s no time to interact with your partner.
If avoidance is a regular part of your relationship, It’s time to stop pretending and sit down for a talk with your partner. Your relationship isn’t healthy, it’s being forced by either one of you or both of you.
Argue about everything
When everything you and your partner talk about turns into an argument, that’s a sign your relationship is floundering. Perhaps you never used to argue about things like money, sex, or family, but suddenly those topics are hot issues between you. When couples can’t talk about their problems, it erodes their relationship. In healthy relationships, partners respect one another enough to allow for a difference of opinion.
Healthy couples can find common ground on issues. But when a relationship fails, neither side wants to compromise. There is a desire to stand your ground because you feel the need to protect yourself. Don’t try to force any relationship that has gotten to this point. Sit down with your partner or spouse–have an honest discussion, hopefully without an argument, about the state of your relationship instead of staying around in what seems doomed to failure.
Lack of intimacy
The loss of affection and intimacy in your relationship is never a good sign. Romantic relationships build from affection and intimacy. When the sparkle is gone, and there’s little to no affections between you two, it should be a concern. All couples can get into a rut. Kids, work and the busyness of life can cut into times of intimacy, but long periods without sex isn’t healthy.
Other examples of affection, such as hugging and snuggling, are also important in a relationship. If your relationship lacks these signs of romantic love, it could mean that one or both of you are forcing your relationship. Perhaps it’s time to have a long talk with your partner about what’s going on. Encourage your partner to be honest. Tell them you promise not to react to what they say, no matter how difficult it is to hear. Ask them good questions such as
- How do you think our relationship is going?
- How do you feel about our relationship?
- Are you still sexually attracted to me?
- Do you feel uninterested in intimacy in our relationship?
Little things about your partner that never used to bother you suddenly feel very irritating. In the past, you overlooked their habits or quirks, thinking they were rather cute, but not anymore. Back then, you didn’t mind it when your partner didn’t like the dog on the furniture, but now you feel like they’re being picky.
You feel tired of adjusting your lifestyle to fit their preferences. When irritations grow with no resolution or discussion to work them out, a relationship is sure to fail. Forcing a relationship to work out won’t help change these feelings.
The silent treatment isn’t quiet. It speaks volumes. Refusing to talk is a form of rejection. You’re pretending the other person doesn’t exist. It’s a loud and clear sign of a dying relationship. Forcing a relationship that is this far gone is hopeless.
If you can’t talk to your partner, there’s no way to resolve issues. It’s easy to pretend like things aren’t that bad, to live in the comfort zone day today. But you must take the scary first step and encourage your partner to talk to you. Tell them you want to talk about the condition of your relationship. If they aren’t willing, it’s time for you to pack up and go. By their refusal to talk to you, they have essence given you their answer about where they stand in the relationship.
Lack of communication
When a couple acts like two people existing under the same roof with little communication, the relationship is doomed. You are acting like roommates, but not very good roommates. At least roommates communicate. Communication is one of the most necessary ingredients in a romantic relationship.
Without it, couples can’t work on improving and growing as a couple. A lack of communication means there isn’t a desire for one or both partners to invest in the relationship. You can try to communicate more with your partner, but you’ll figure out soon enough if they truly want to continue the relationship or if it’s time to end it.
You forget about your partner.
Making decisions without your partner could mean you’ve lost interest in being with your partner. Couples do things together because they enjoy one another’s company. If you decide to head off to your parent’s house for a long weekend and you don’t bother to include your partner, you should take notice. Something isn’t right. Step back and assess how you feel about your relationship.
Don’t pretend the relationship is okay if you’re leaving your partner out of your weekend plans. It’s easy to live in the comfort zone of a familiar relationship, but you need to step back and stop forcing things. Have an honest and heartfelt chat with your partner about how you feel.
9.. Lack of dedication and commitment
Studies found that commitment in a romantic relationship means you both have a desire to have a future together. There is a sense of dedication, and both partners exert the energy needed to stay together. If one or both the partners begin to feel they don’t care about doing the hard work, it’s a sign the relationship is breaking down. It’s easy to feel guilty about a failing relationship. It’s hard to be the person who says it’s over. You may like the person, but just don’t see any future with them. It’s best, to be honest, and reveal the truth. It’s the kindest thing to do.
Way back when your partner was the only one you wanted to spend Friday night with. But lately, you feel like you’d rather hang with your friends. They’re more fun, anyway. If you feel more loyal to your friends than your partner, something is broken in your relationship. When you’re committed to one another, even though you don’t need to spend every minute together, your first choice is to be together.
You are good friends and enjoy one another’s company. But if you start to feel yourself feeling less than interested in spending time with your partner, it could mean you’re not being honest about how you feel. Maybe you do not want to hurt the other person, but your actions speak louder than words. It’s time to quit forcing a relationship where you don’t feel loyal to your partner.
When a romantic relationship runs into trouble, there are obvious signs. It’s easy for the couple not to notice these signs or refuse to believe the truth of the failing relationship. It’s easy to pretend that everything will get better over time. Relationships don’t get better without both partners working to make this happen. When you see the signs, it’s best to get out of your comfort zone and talk honestly with your partner about your relationship.