Things happen to all couples for better or worse, but measuring the situation for the two of you is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship.
In this article, we’ll move from lighthearted topics like maintaining and adding spice to a relationship to the darker side of analyzing and fixing a difficult relationship.
1. There Are More “Bad Times” Than “Good Times”
Think about the last 30 times you were with your partner, did most of them end negatively, or did you have more annoyance/sadness than happiness in general?
Otherwise, your relationship may have entered a vicious cycle or pattern that needs to be broken if there is any chance for the two of you to survive.
Look at situations and find out what is causing them.
Your goal is to find the problem and work with your partner towards a solution together.
Objectivity is key to avoiding getting too personal.
2. You Two Can’t Agree On Anything
He wants red, you want blue.
He likes bananas, you like melons.
He likes action movies, you’re the most romantic type.
He likes video games, you like getting your nails done.
These differences are completely normal.
Seriously, who wants to date someone who is just like you.
The above is perfectly healthy in a relationship unless it really starts to get in the way, like not deciding where the money goes or what to do tonight.
If there’s a heated argument every time the two of you try to decide what to do or how to do something because you have different opinions, you have a problem.
Now we move directly to #3.
3. What is Equal Commitment?
Besides being agreement issues, there is almost no equal commitment between the two of you.
One person may be bending over backward to make the relationship work (i.e. sacrificing time/hobbies/friends, doing what you want just because you want to). While the other has only minor problems.
There should be something close to the equal commitment between you on just about everything from “What’s for dinner” to “What do you want to do today?” to “Which ticket do we take care of first”.
If you find that both of you are having this problem, one solution is to develop a system that records where someone has decided to replace their idea with their partners and the other must replace their own will sometime this week (hopefully, voluntarily).
Again, the point here is just to be objective and ultimately to get into a pattern of compromise between you.
If the above system is too arbitrary, alternate days where one partner would have the “Final Word”, but remember that both partners must have an opinion on what they would like to do before the final decision is made by whoever is in the power.
4. One Does Nothing For The Other
This is worth mentioning because it is one of the major extremes of a relationship.
A person makes a lot of demands but no sacrifice or just doesn’t reach out or think to his partner.
People like that are completely inflexible, useless and a total leech of relationship energy.
Unfortunately, at this point, barring any incredible changes, your relationship is probably over.
Scenarios to watch out for are “Doing nothing because of anger” or “Doing nothing because they have a proper reason.”
The first one you can wait for it to take off and move on, the second one is quite rare but requires a lot of patience to get through.
As always, be objective; find out if there is a reason for this to happen, sometimes they don’t even know they are doing it.
Relationship Protocol: Always make your decisions based on the “why” reason, as opposed to how you “feel”.
“Because he likes it” is as good a reason as any.
5. Presence Causes Negativity
Going even further into the extreme of doomed relationships.
Being around him, hearing his name, or just thinking about him interrupts your mood or creates a feeling of negativity, anxiety, or tension.
The above feeling is entirely natural if one of the partners is angry or irritated.
It will pass, you can wisely try to make it easy for everything to pass if you want.
However, if both of you are clear-minded/neutral emotions and still encounter negativity/anxiety/tension when you are with each other or thinking about each other, it is best to sit down and think about why.
“She has a short temper”, “He often gets drunk at home” and “He always gets intrusive/defensive whenever I am without him” are all possible examples of negatives that persist after the occurrence.
I can’t stress it enough, be objective to find out why and act accordingly.
If you can’t forgive or find ways to live with or resolve the current problem, your relationship may be bogging down.
6. Lack of Confidence
This is one of the main signs that something is wrong.
Relationships cannot thrive if the two partners cannot trust each other in every way, or at least come to terms with matters where they cannot trust the other (and work on them!).
Make a list of everything you can’t trust your partner with.
If it starts to look like a long list of laundry/grocery shopping to do, you may have a problem.
If you can’t tell him normal things like “Who were you with last night”, “What did you spend your paycheck on”, “Where’s your wallet” and other simple questions like this where trust may be needed in both of you sides, you might have a problem.
(Note that the lack of trust could be due to history, all of the above questions can bring up red flags if the person in question has a history of cheating, stealing, or other negative things).
Obviously, be objective in your “list” or thoughts.
It’s rational not to trust someone with something they’re completely incapable of handling; an extreme example of this would be that the owner of a nuclear facility would not trust his partner to run his facility.
Mainly because unless they have experience or a degree in that particular field, the person wouldn’t even know where to start.
Another example is not trusting someone to prepare a certain dinner if they have never done so before.
7. Sudden Change In Personality
Although rare, it does happen from time to time and most of these cases are sad and tragic, but this must be taken into account if we are to remain objective.
Tragedies occur and sometimes they cause incredible character changes, some for the better, some for the worse.
Please give this advice a deep thought.
It will take time for the person (if they can recover).
Take the time and inner strength to support your partner in recovery.
Unfortunately, if the person has changed for the worse and shows no signs of recovery, you can expect the person to become a constant drain unless you find a way to deal with that change.
8. No Forgiveness, Just Fights
This one is obvious.
There are no breaks for happiness for the two of you, only for fights, arguments and reluctantly doing things together.
With that said, I’m not talking about “play fights” where both partners insult each other for fun, I’m talking about where there is a constant escalation of negativity between the two parties.
This gets even worse every time something more from the past is brought up (which it will) and the scenario gets out of hand and both parties gain nothing but anger.
My advice is to remain objective and have both parties step forward and expose their issues at the forefront and discuss them calmly.
If things start to heat up or escalate; the conversation ends there and starts again on another day.
Generally, as soon as a person becomes heated or irritated, almost all forms of communication become ineffective.
9. Tension In Every Decision
Having to think twice about everything simply because you think your other partner might oppose him is a terrible but real place where you can be.
This is the general feeling that arises when someone is angry with you or around you and you usually have to think through all the pros and cons of the situation if you want it to become pleasant.
The twist here is that sometimes the tension is real and other times we may be creating our own tension.
Sit down for a moment and write down any decisions or actions that would bring you tension.
Now write down why these decisions or actions cause tension and list as many logical reasons as possible.
If you’re struggling, talk to your partner using the tips found in the second paragraph of #8 above.
10. Filling Your Time With Other People/Things
This scenario is often one of the end products of a relationship that falls apart.
In the most minimal possible definition, a relationship is an investment of emotion, will, and time between two people.
This investment can be withdrawn and deposited into other things like video games, other people, friends, activities, etc.
You should start to worry if you notice a steady flow or an abrupt cut in the “investment” you are getting.
Please note that there are several scenarios where you may briefly occur, but they are not entirely indicative of the relationship.
Examples like “New video game came out and he spent less time with me this week”.
Or “She met a new friend and now she just hangs out with her and it affects our time.”
Both are perfectly normal, let them pass, and don’t worry.
If gaming becomes a constant addiction or other activities become a huge investment loss, sit down and rationally discuss your feelings.
Often, your partner may not even realize this is happening.
Remember that no relationship is doomed if both partners are willing to work together for it.
It is quite clear that in order to spread an issue between the two of you, you must remain logical and objective in your discussions and revelations.
Emotions are the motivation that keeps a relationship going, but without objectivity and logical guidance in analyzing your relationship, you can expect your relationship to run in all sorts of directions.
(metaphor: emotions are the engine of the car, while the logical parts of a relationship are the steering wheel and pedals).
Good luck to you.
Remember to stay objective and don’t freak out if you want to make something work.
Calm arguments work a million times better than yelling and fighting.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them below.
This content is accurate and true to the best knowledge of the author and is not intended to replace formal, individualized advice from a qualified professional.