Is Your Relationship In Trouble? 10 Signs it Might Be

Whether you are married, in a long-term relationship, or a new couple, you all have one thing in common: you are in a relationship! Being in a relationship with someone you love can be an amazing thing! When you share a mutual love and respect for one another, it is evident in your thoughts and shows in your actions. Your love for one another even rubs off onto other people – they notice too. But what happens when things are starting to go sour? Do you both feel like things “aren’t quite what they used to be”? Or is it just one of you? Losing feelings for one another and falling out of love is not uncommon, particularly for couples who have been in a relationship for a long time (married or unmarried). Sometimes, if the situation is really bad (i.e. one partner was unfaithful), you may deem your relationship “broken” or “irreparable”. That is, of course, your prerogative. But even couples who have been through very difficult situations (i.e. an affair or infidelity) are sometimes able to repair their relationship and rekindle their romance. You just have to do what is right for you and your particular situation. Only you know what is best. Most of the time, however, relationship problems stem from poor communication skills between the couple. As an experienced Relationship Counselor in the San Diego area, I have seen and helped many couples get their relationship back on track. Below you will find ten “signs and symptoms” of a relationship that is going bad. If you recognize any of the following behaviors in your personal relationship, please do not hesitate to give me a call for a free consultation. I specialize in Couples Counseling and Relationship Counseling, whether you are married or unmarried. Remember, detecting that there is a problem and recognizing the issue is the first step to being able to confront it and deal with it appropriately. Just because you recognize some of the following behavioral patterns in your relationship, it doesn’t mean that you are doomed. I have helped many couples in San Diego and surrounding areas get their relationship back on track, so that the relationship is (once again) a happy and healthy one!

Ten Common Signs of Trouble in a Relationship:

  1. You are beginning to self-doubt: Of course, some people are self-doubters by nature, but what I mean by this is that you are doubting your qualities and abilities as a person, and not liking who you are becoming when you are with your partner. In an ideal relationship, your partner should bring out the best qualities in you. Needless to say there will be times where you argue or fight, and the worst qualities you embody are surfaced, but these should be few and far between. Being with your partner should (most of the time) bring out the best in you. If you are beginning to doubt yourself and dislike who you are becoming, then perhaps this is a sign that your relationship is in trouble.
  2. You are losing interest: And I don’t mean just sexually, although this is a large component, as you should be sexually attracted to your partner. Remember, “new” relationships (often referred to as the “Honeymoon Phase”) will not always stay new and exciting. But you should still find your partner attractive and want to be with him/her intimately from time to time. Even if you have been together for years, there should still be a romantic component to your love life. But sexual intimacy aside, you should still find your partner interesting. Conversation is important, and if you are beginning to notice that you no longer really care what you partner has to say, this could be a sign of trouble. Ideally, you should each take an interest in the other person’s life. This doesn’t have to be an intense obsession or needing to know each other’s daily actions “play-by-play”, but instead it could be something as simple as: “How was your day?” Start with that, but remember to be genuine. If you don’t actually care how your partner’s day was, ask yourself why you are asking.
  3. Excitement: This kind of goes along with #2, but to expand on it a little, what I mean by “excitement” is that you should look forward to seeing one another. This is particularly true for couples who spend long periods of time apart, due to work, traveling, or a long-distance relationship. When you do get the opportunity to sit down together and spend some quality time with one another, this should be something that you look forward to, not dread. Of course the level and degree of excitement may not be the same if you have been in this relationship for several years, especially compared to a “new” couple who are still in the “Honeymoon Phase”, but nevertheless the excitement (to some degree) should be present. If not, this could be a sign of trouble.
  4. Talking about your partner: Think back to the beginning of your relationship, when the two of you first declared your love for one another and began dating. Didn’t you find yourself constantly talking about your partner to your friends and family? Maybe even to the point of annoyance for others? While of course you do not want to annoy people, talking about your partner and his/her accomplishments is a healthy sign that your relationship is on track. It also relates to taking an interest in your partner’s life. Perhaps he/she got a promotion at work. You should be happy about this, and want to share the good news! It’s alright to brag a little bit, as long as you’re not being bothersome to others, of course. If you notice that you do not wish to talk about your partner to others anymore, or even avoid the topic when friends or family members question you, then perhaps you need to examine your relationship and your feelings about your partner a little more closely.
  5. Being together “just because”: If you find that you are only spending time with your partner for lack of a better thing to do, this is a sign of trouble. You should want to spend time with your partner – not every waking moment, of course, but a reasonable amount of time nevertheless.
  6. Bothersome quirks: Remember back to the beginning of your relationship when you thought a certain habit that your partner had was “cute”? Well perhaps now, after years of seeing and experiencing this habit, it is no longer “cute” to you. Maybe now it is just plain annoying. Remember that everyone has their quirks – it’s what makes us individuals. If you are able to accept and/or overlook your partner’s quirks, great! If you are not able to do this, and instead are experiencing great annoyance or even anger towards your partner and his/her quirks, perhaps your relationship needs some work.
  7. Avoidance: You find yourself avoiding your partner or not wanting to be with him/her when you have “spare time”. In a healthy relationship, you should want to spend time together, even if it means just having a quiet dinner together or playing a game of cards. While family and friend time is important, because you don’t want you other relationships and friendships to suffer just because you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, you have to make time for your significant other. If you are purposefully booking appointments, trips, or time away in general from your partner, you could be heading for trouble in the relationship domain.
  8. “Break-Up Syndrome”: For many couples, especially ones who argue and fight on a regular basis, their automatic thought is to simply end the relationship or break up after a fight has taken place. This is all too common, and is actually the symptom of a much deeper issue. Perhaps you need to look into Couples Counseling to examine why it is you disagree and fight so often. Your automatic reflex should not be to break up. You are in a relationship (hopefully) because you want to be, and not because you feel like you have to be. The common “Break-Up Syndrome” is a definite sign of trouble in paradise, but taking a step back and looking deeper as to why you are having so many conflicts is necessary if you wish to patch things up.
  9. Wanting a “newer model”: Everyone window-shops, and this (for the most part) is harmless. It is in our nature to look at attractive people. As long as we are not acting on it, it’s alright. However, if you are constantly wishing you were with someone else and wanting an “upgrade”, then you are probably having relationship troubles. You should be content with your partner overall, not wanting to trade him/her in for a “newer model”.
  10. You are reluctant to make plans for the future: When you’re in a relationship, you should want to be moving forward in that relationship. While of course each relationship moves at different paces, the goal of moving forward together should always be there, even if it’s in the distant future. If you are “stuck” or not having discussions about the possibilities of you two being together long-term, then these are signs of your relationship needing some work.

Above all, listen to your heart and recognize the signs of a troubled relationship. But also keep in mind that a troubled relationship does not mean that you are doomed to break up. If you both want it to work, then it will. Have you ever heard the saying: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”? This is very true when applied to relationships. If you both want to make it work, then you can make it work. Relationships are hard work and require constant awareness, attention, and upkeep. If you think you are experiencing signs of a troubled relationship, please give me a call for a free consultation so that I can get to know your situation as a couple, and therefore be better able to assist you in getting your love life back on track!  Call me at 858-481-0425 for more info.

Copyright ©2012 Jan Rakoff. All Rights Reserved.

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