Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship will tell you that there are difficult times, and the majority of individuals, if they’re being completely honest, will admit to having misgivings along the road.
But sometimes we are unable to determine, “How awful is it?” Listed below are indicators that a relationship is in peril. The more symptoms you and/or your spouse believe to be genuine, the more probable it is that your relationship needs assistance.
If you have between three and five items marked off, you likely need a tune-up; if more than five, you should seek more intensive counselling, either alone, with your spouse, or in some circumstances both.
This list is followed by one titled “Signs of Severe Relationship Problems.”
- You feel worse in the presence of your lover than when you are alone.
- Your self-esteem has decreased significantly while you’ve been together.
- Either you or your partner is dishonest with each other, or both of you are.
- You frequently feel upset by how your spouse treats you, rather than enjoying your time together.
- You regularly grumble about your relationships with people.
- You have each become increasingly critical of the other.
You are unable of approaching your spouse with your worries in a fair manner, without bursting into fury or engaging in passive-aggressive conduct (sarcastic, externally obedient but internally defiant). Or you anticipate that any confrontation will result in a fruitless brawl that has no effect on the issue. You feel as though you must walk on eggshells the majority of the time.
Most, if not all, of the issues that arise between you, stay unsolved despite your attempts to handle them together. Therefore, one or both of you frequently respond to problems with a “why bother?” attitude. This is not the same as “picking your fights,” as even significant issues stay unaddressed and “go underground.”
You lose your zest for life and have abandoned the majority of your hobbies, friends, and interests that were significant before entering the relationship. Instead, you are preoccupied with the challenges in your relationship.
You no longer trust your mate. Some of us have trust difficulties and find it difficult to put our faith in others. You may need assistance from those who know you (and maybe your spouse) well in order to investigate this. Of course, occasionally the doubts are justified.
You are unable to let go of the minor issues that plague your relationship.
You find yourself more interested in outside interests than in spending time with your partner.
Your sexual activity has become rare or nonexistent, and at least one of you is upset about this.
One or both couples have become closer to a third party than to one another. This might be an emotional affair, or it could involve a friend, sibling, parent, or even a kid. Obviously, the affair is the most damaging of these situations. Online relationships are equally damaging as in-person ones.
You find yourself reverting to unhealthy behaviours that take you away from your partner: drinking too much, spending too much time zoning out with electronics – computer, video game console, television; escaping into your work; and finding more satisfaction in singular sex (pornography, escapism fantasies, etc.) than with your partner.
Did you respond affirmatively to three or more symptoms?
Indicators of Severe Relationship Issues
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should treat them immediately. If anybody in the partnership, including the children, is being mistreated, it is recommended to seek assistance or, in certain situations, to leave the relationship.
- You fear your spouse because you have learnt to anticipate an angry response that includes name-calling, harsh or abusive remarks, or outbursts of wrath.
- You no longer communicate beyond the most fundamental demands of shared living space.
- One or both of you employ indirect, passive-aggressive methods to “get at” the other, and you frequently feel as if you’ve been stuck in the stomach without understanding why.
- You or your partner spend evenings away from home without phoning to let the other person know where you are or when you will return. A variant of this that is less detrimental to the relationship happens when one or both spouses routinely remain out partying with others until extremely late hours without their partner.
- Any act of domestic violence, such as throwing things, pushing, striking, kicking, biting, or physical abuse against the victim. Violence against pets or threats of violence against any living creature is “lesser” forms of this, but are nevertheless extremely harmful. Still cause for concern is when one or both couples throw objects at walls, shatter household items, or generally damage property.
- Any instance in which one partner threatens the other, implying they will injure you (or you will hurt them) directly or by hurting themselves, is unacceptable. Some suicide threats are barely veiled attempts to make their spouse feel so terrible that they fear speaking or doing anything that may hurt their partner, such as ending the relationship.
- One or both partners regularly use and misuse recreational substances, including alcohol, to the point where it negatively impacts the relationship. This is the individual’s problem and may not indicate that the relationship is in peril; but, the individual’s drinking and/or drug use will have a devastating effect on the partnership.
- One or both couples are using their children to harm their partner or to communicate with them.
When a couple has this much difficulty in their life, others may question why they remain together. However, there are other instances in which a couple feels trapped, mostly due to children and income. Occasionally, there is a real risk that if one person attempts to leave, the other partner will really attempt to hurt them. Extremely abusive conditions are beyond the scope of counselling, and a spouse may need to utilise the local services of a domestic violence shelter.