Relationship problems don’t develop overnight. More likely, if you’re concerned about something, trouble has been brewing for a while. If you plan to stay with your partner and not separate, you need to resolve issues before it’s too late.
Recognizing the signs of relationship trouble is the first step to fixing things. Once you know where the problem areas are, you can work on fixing them.
Watch Out For These 10 Things In Your Relationship
1. You lost track of how long it’s been since you’ve been intimate
If you’re not in the mood more often than you are, you’re avoiding an opportunity to bond with your partner. Having sex is a way for couples to not only bond physically, but it increases the likelihood of future passion in their relationship.
A study published in Social, Psychological and Personality Science revealed that people who didn’t respond in kind when their partners asked for sex reported lower levels of desire over a 21 day period. In contrast, people who did go ahead with sex even if they didn’t feel up to it later reported increased desire over the same time frame.
2. You never talk anymore.
You go through your routine in the morning, head out to work and come home in the evening; by the time you’re in bed, you’ve barely spoken a whole paragraph to each other. Not having anything to talk about could be a problem.
Couples who stay together long term aren’t leading such adventurous lives that they always have something new to talk about. But old married couples don’t sit in silence either. They chat about little things like the weather, the neighbors, the chores or plans for the holidays. Not having anything to say might be a sign that you’re withholding interaction from your partner out of anger or spite.
3. When you do talk, you argue.
Voices are raised when you do talk to each other and you get on each others’ nerves at the drop of a hat. Your partner does things that irritate you and rather than telling them calmly, you have an emotional outburst that results in both of you storming off.
Neither you or your partner is a mind reader. If something’s bugging you, you have to talk it out or nothing will ever change. Try saying, “When you ____, it makes me feel ___.” Ultimately you are the only person who can control how you respond in any situation, so if your partner says or does something that bugs you, try managing your emotional response with some deep breathing.
4. You’re mentally cheating.
Although you haven’t had sex with anyone else yet, you’re mentally cheating on your partner by confiding in someone else. If you commiserate about your relationship to a potential new romantic partner, you are psychologically cheating.
Confiding in someone who could be a potential romantic partner rather than your spouse, is a type of infidelity. If you can’t tell your spouse what’s wrong, you shouldn’t share private details of your relationship with another person, unless they are a counselor.
5. You think about what you would do after this relationship ends.
If you’ve said, “I’ll never marry again” and you’re currently married, you have a problem in your relationship. You’re already mentally preparing yourself for singlehood. For a shift in perspective, try to think about how you’ll be able to still keep the flame alive when you’ve been together for 20 years.
6. You’re hiding things.
Whether it’s a hidden stash of money or the fact that you’re finding ways to spend time away from your partner, hiding things is a bad sign for your relationship. This is one more way that trust is broken between partners.
7. You’ve stopped caring.
Your spouse asks if you mind if they go hang out with the guys on Sunday for football and you don’t care one way or the other. You’re apathetic to what your partner does, and you shouldn’t be.
8. You tell different stories about your relationship.
When you and your partner have different memories about key events in your relationship, you should be concerned. According to a study by the University of Illinois, “if a couple’s relationship is undergoing a slow and painful death, it no longer serves their purpose to remember the course of the romance accurately.”
9. Your Facebook posts make you look like a happy couple.
Couples who brag about their relationships with cutesy posts on Facebook may be hiding the truth of things offline. A study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that those lovey, dovey posts are more likely to be you putting on the appearance of being part of a happy couple.
10. You handle big problems via text.
Rather than talking it out face to face, you send important communication with a text or emoji. In-person communication gives us so much more information since we have the benefit of body language, tone and eye contact. Without this extra information, we are more likely to have a miscommunication.
If any of these problems are impacting your relationship, talking with your partner is always a good first step to repairing any damage. If you need the help of an impartial professional, you can locate a licensed marital counselor here.