Christopher enjoys writing about relationships and offering advice on various relationship issues.
Signs of Relationship Problems
Things happen to all couples for better or worse but gauging where you two stand is important for maintaining a healthy relationship. In this article, we will move from lighthearted topics like maintaining and adding spice to a relationship to the harsher side of dissecting and analyzing a rocky relationship.
1. There Are More “Bad Times” Than “Good Times”
Think back on the last 30 times you were with your partner, are most of them end negatively or had more annoyance/sadness than general happiness? If not, then your relationship might 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 back onto the situations and find 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
She wants red; you want blue. She likes bananas; you like melons. He likes action movies; you are a more romantic type. He likes video games; you like doing your nails. These differences are completely normal.
I mean, seriously, who wants to date someone who is exactly like you. The above is perfectly healthy in a relationship unless it really starts getting in the way, like being unable to decide where the money goes or what to do for tonight. If there is a heated argument every time the two of you try to decide on what to do or how to do something because you have differing opinions, you have a problem. Now we move directly to #3.
3. What Is Equal Compromise?
In addition to these being agreement problems, there is just almost no equal compromise between the two of you. One person may be bending over backwards to make the relationship work (i.e., sacrificing time/hobbies/friends, doing what you want only because you want to.), while the other only has minor issues. There must be something close to equal compromise between the two of you in almost everything from “What’s for dinner” to “What do you want to do today?” to “Which bill do we take care of first.” Suppose you find that the two of you are having this issue. In that case, one solution is to develop a system that records where someone had decided to substitute their idea for their partners. The other must substitute their own want sometime this week (hopefully, Willingly). Again, the goal here is to be objective and to ultimately get into a pattern of compromise for each other.
If the above system is too arbitrary, alternate days where one partner would have the “Final Word,” but remember that both partners must get a say in what they would like done before the final decision is made by the one in power.
4. Won’t Do Anything For The Other
This one is worth mentioning because it is one of the -major- extremes in a relationship. One person does all the demanding, but none of the sacrificing or simply will not extend a hand or thought for their partner. They are completely unflinching, unhelpful, and a total leech of relationship energy. Unfortunately, at this point, barring any incredible change, your relationship is probably over.
The scenarios to keep watch for are “Not doing anything due to anger” or “Not doing anything because they have a proper reason.” The first one, you can wait for it to blow over and move on; the second is quite rare yet requires a lot of patience to get through. As always, be objective; find out if there is a reason why this is happening. Sometimes they don’t even know they are doing it.
5. Presence Causes Negativity
Going even further into the extreme of rocky/doomed relationships. Being next to them, hearing their name, or even just thinking of them breaks your mood or bring about a feeling of negativity, anxiousness, or tension. The above feeling is totally natural if one of the partners is angry or annoyed. It will pass; you may attempt to wisely facilitate its departure if you will. However, if both of you are of the clear mind/neutral emotion and still find the negativity/anxiety/tension when you are with or thinking of the other, you better sit down and think of the why.
“She has a short fuse,” “He usually gets home drunk,” and “He always gets intrusive/defensive whenever I am without him” are all possible examples of negatives that linger after their occurrence. I cannot say it enough, be objective in figuring out the why and act upon it. If you cannot pardon or find ways to live with or fix the current issue, then your relationship might be running aground.
6. Lack Of Trust
This is one is a major sign that something is wrong. Relationships cannot prosper if both partners cannot trust one another in all manners or come clean on matters they cannot trust the other on (and work on them!). Put together a list of everything you couldn’t trust your significant other with. If it starts to look like a long laundry/grocery list, you might have a problem. If you can’t tell them normal things like “Who you were with last night,” “What you spent your paycheck on,” “Where your wallet is located,” and other simple questions like that where trust may be required on both ends, you might have a problem. (Please note, lack of trust may be due to history, all of the above questions might bring up red flags if the person in question has had a history of cheating, stealing, or other negative things.)
Of course, be objective in your “list” or thoughts. It is currently logical to not trust someone with something they are completely incapable of handling; an extreme example of this would be the owner of a nuclear facility would not trust his/her partner with running their facility. mainly because unless they have experience or a degree in that exact field, they wouldn’t even know where to start. Or not trust someone to cook a certain dinner if they have never done it before.
7. Sudden Shift In Personality
Although rare, this does happen from time to time, and most of these cases are sad and tragic, but this must be accounted for if we are going to remain objective. Tragedies occur, and sometimes these cause incredible shifts in character, some for the better, some for the worse. Please take my advice here with a grain of salt. It will take time for them to recover (if at all.) Take the time and the inner strength to support your partner in their recovery.
Unfortunately, if they change for the worst and show no signs of recovery, expect them to be a constant drain unless both of you find a way to cope with this change.
8. No Forgiveness, Just Fighting
This one is a given. There are no breaks for happiness for the two of you; there is just fighting, bickering, and begrudgingly doing things together. With that said, I’m not talking about “Play Fighting,” where both partners insult each other for the fun of it; I’m talking about where there is a constant escalation of negativity between both parties. This is made extra worse every time something else from the past gets brought up (which it will), and the scenario leaps out of control, and both parties gain nothing but anger from it.
My advice is to remain objective and to have both parties come forward and state their issues at the forefront and calmly discuss them. If things start to get heated or escalate, the conversation ends there and starts again on another day. Usually, as soon as one person gets heated or angered, almost all forms of communication become ineffective.
9. Tension In Every Decision
Having to double think everything simply because you think your significant other might object to it is a terrible but real place you could be in. This is the general feeling that comes up when someone is angry with you or around you, and you generally have to think through all the pros and cons of the situation if you want it to come out pleasant. The twist here is that sometimes the tension is real, and other times we might be creating our own tension.
Sit down for a moment and write down all decisions or actions that would bring you tension. Now write down why they give you tension and list as many logical reasons as you can. (Because she/he might, is a start, but you are looking for He/She will). If you are having a hard time, talk it over with your partner using the tips found in the second paragraph of #8 above.
10. Filling In Your Time With Other People/Things
This scenario is usually one of the end products of a relationship falling apart. At its most minimal definition, a relationship is an investment of emotion, will, and time between two people. This investment can be withdrawn and deposited in other things like video games, other people, friends, activities, etc. It should start worrying you if you notice a constant flow away or an abrupt cut on the “investment” you are receiving.
Note that there are various scenarios where you might have this occur briefly but are entirely not indicative of the relationship. Examples such a “New video game came out, and he has been spending less time with me this week.” Or “She found a new friend, and now she hangs out with her, but it cuts into our time.” Both are perfectly normal; let them pass and don’t worry about them. Should the games become a constant addiction or the other activities become a major drain on investment, sit down and rationally discuss your feelings. Often times your partner may not even realize it is happening.
There Is Hope With Relationship Problems!
Remember, no relationship is doomed if both partners are willing to work together for it. It is quite clear that in order to disseminate an issue between the two of you, you must both remain logical and objective in your discussions and revelations. Emotions are the drive that keeps a relationship going. Still, without objectivity and logical guidance in analyzing your relationship, you can expect your relationship to run in all sorts of directions. (Metaphor Time: The Emotions are the engine of the car while the Logic portions of a relationship are the Steering Wheel and the Pedals.)
Good luck to you all. Remember to remain objective and don't get too heated if you wish to make something work. Calm arguments and discussions work millions of times better than yelling, screaming, and fighting.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.