Relationships are difficult to maintain. But one thing that’s even harder is knowing when to call it quits and break up. It’s a sad reality that happens a lot, but people aren’t sure when to pull the plug. And when they do, it can be at a time where they’ve made some bad decisions.
Like getting married despite feeling like the relationship is dead.
In order to prevent these harder times, we’ve put together a list of signs and reasons for why your relationship is failing. These signs and reasons are subtle – like the way that you argue or communicate – but can shed light on where you and your partner stand in the relationship.
You’re On Different Pages
Love can overcome all kinds of obstacles, but only when everyone is on the same page. There needs to be some kind of agreement put in place to cover the fundamentals. Fundamentals like how to save and spend money, when and if to have kids or where to live. If people’s reasons for each one aren’t clear, there are going to be problems.
These problems take the form of arguments and while they suck, they are important to relationship in how you handle them. Signs of failing relationships is when one or the other withdraws from the argument. These withdrawals are signs of lower satisfaction with the relationship.
Too High Standards
Another problem is when the standards of the relationship are too high. Some people expect the most out of their partner and that’s a problem because people make mistakes. There are bound to be slip ups.
What’s going to put a strain on the relationship is you or your partner being unsupportive and feeling disappointed in them. You should never be measuring up your partner with some unrealistic expectations.
Conversely, you should never compare your relationship with other relationships. Not only is it a sign that the relationship is failing, but it’s unrealistic. Every relationship is different in its own way. Sure there are certainly examples of “good and healthy relationships”, but they can be stretched.
Some other considerations are:
- Maybe your standards for your partner are lower? If you see them as inferior to you, this will influence how you speak to them.
When You Communicate, You Use Body Language Mostly
Communication is the key, but how we communicate in relationships is the key to a healthy one. While at first in relationships we often express ourselves, which is good. The problem stems as time goes on. Communication becomes less and less proper and there is an expectation that our body language will convey what we mean.
The reality is we’re not mind readers. We can easily miss the meaning behind why someone is sighing or rolling their eyes or when there is silence.
And even if we do communicate, it’s important to be open to compromises too. Whether it’s something trivial like what to eat to something serious, it’s important we compromise. Relationships are constant works in process and the key to them lasting is making compromises.
Part of those compromises sometimes means taking the blame for problems. Those who refuse to take fault put strains because it makes the other feel inferior or the victim of every problem.
Another aspect is how we approach arguments and conflict as well. While some jump in head-first, others will hesitate. Some people will go as far as to deny the existence of their relationship issues.
Part of why people do this is because people are afraid to be alone. They’d rather settle with being in a relationship over having to deal with problems. The problem with that is that the problems will come back eventually.
Other considerations in how you communicate with each other are:
- During tougher times, how one another composes oneself is key. Your relationship could be crumbling if whenever you fight, you or your partner starts crying in a fit of rage, while the other is calm and composed.
- You’re putting too much anger into the relationship. Remember that arguing isn’t a sign of a bad relationship. In fact, those we love are usually the people we take our anger out on. That being said, too much anger can push people away from you.
- You don’t forgive or forget. Holding resentment is not good for you to begin with. But what’s worse is bringing up past faults during new arguments.
Your Mental State Isn’t In The Right Place
There can be all kinds of mental distortions that put strains on relationships.
Some considerations are:
- You’re stuck in the past. When in a relationship, it’s important to be in the present. If you’re stuck in the past and reflecting too much on past failures, you’re going to fail to be present and work on improving.
- Another is having trust issues. Whether it’s from the past, or something what happened with your current partner, not being able to trust them is a clear sign the relationship is crumbling.
- A byproduct of trust issues is not being open. While people are entitled to their own secrets, if there are too many, it can feel like one is stepping on eggshells. It’s also a constant reminder that not only will they not tell you, but it can leave room for lying. Those who keep their secrets will often pull this line: “You just couldn’t handle it if I was open and honest with you, which is why I had to lie.”
- Another part of that trust issue can stem from money as well. In this scenario it’s not so much how money is spent, but how one thinks they’re spending is like. Money is a big thing in a relationship. People get divorced over it. So make sure you talk about it.
Lacking Other Emotional Aspects
From everything mentioned above, there can be other lacks of emotional aspects that can cause relationships to fail.
Here are some others:
- Empathy. Relationships are all about feelings and connecting them. When you see a lack of empathy that means there has been a shift in how you perceive emotions. Those who lack empathy are couples who fight with no regard to how their partner feels.
- Respect. Respect is a part of trust and is the glue that keeps relationships together. No respect is a sign there is no relationship.
- Selfishness. Thinking about only yourself in a relationship is bad. While a relationship does benefit you, there is a mutual benefit between the two. Taking more than what you are giving will cause the balance to tip and lead to an unhealthy relationship.
- Lack of gratitude. We all have our own way of expressing love. Some people get gifts, while others create opportunities to be together amongst other things. If your partner is going out of their way to do something good, in a good relationship, gratitude is expressed. When these things become a thankless task, it’s a sign that the relationship is failing.
Large Life Events
The loss of a family member or a job loss is big for the person, but can also put strains on relationships. While there isn’t much we can do in these cases, it’s important to show support in a reasonable manner.
Often times these moments of vulnerability can lead to rifts. One can develop sex or drinking or gambling problems. Or they may make rash decisions where they want to move to another area. These can put strains, since these decisions don’t always align with the previously stated goals.
Whatever the case is in the relationship, do make an effort to not change your partner. What we mean by this is work on loving them for who they are and try not to change them.
Yes, events can shake people and people do have their faults.
But it’s smarter to accept them and if they want help – give them guidance and support. Similar to having unrealistic expectations for them, even having any kind of expectations can alter how you view them and the relationship.
Problems Around Marriage
Marriage is a big deal, but getting married – and other aspects around it – can be signs of trouble.
Here are some examples:
- You got married when you were younger. Those who get married after high school or college are at a disadvantage. According to a 2015 study, those who get married in their 20s are at a greater risk of divorcing than those in their 30s.
- Lack premarital preparation is another reason. Setting up a wedding is huge of course, but before getting into that planning, there should be a plan in place for what to do after marriage. Make sure you’ve sorted out living arrangements, career paths, and finances.
- Another big sign is that after marriage, there is fewer or no dates at all. While it’s fair to argue that people slip into a routine (eat, sleep, pay bills, work, etc.), it’s important that you keep that spark alive. Make sure that after the newness of living together wears off, you put in some effort to keep it romantic and exciting.
- Another strain to relationships is working on starting a family. Normally the cycle is getting married first and then think about kids after. The thing is these are two really big decisions. Not only that, but getting kids involved can strain relationships naturally if there are differences in opinions.
- The last strain is of course if you or your partner are caught cheating. Infidelity is a common thing unfortunately, and you don’t need us to tell you why that’s a problem.
Other Strains On Relationships
Some other problems to consider that can cause failure are:
- Not listening. We said already communication is the key, so when you tune out your partner, it’s not good.
- You’re not on the same page with sex. Whether it’s problems with love-making or a loss in libido, these can cause rifts.
- The relationship is too intimate. From getting together to getting married, couples often enter a “honeymoon phase” during that time. According to relationship experts, these are intense flames and while that’s good short term, they are challenging to maintain. Often times they will burn out after a while.
- Or maybe the two of you aren’t compatible. Sure polar opposites can seem kind of romantic, but that gets thrown out the window fast.