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10 Signs Your Relationship or Marriage Is Falling Apart

Christopher enjoys writing about relationships and offering advice on various relationship issues.

Relationships and Friendships That Feel Like Marriages

We all fall in love with someone or develop amazingly close friendships that can feel like a marriage. However these relationships or marriages can fall apart. It doesn’t matter what it's built on—respect, teamwork, or lust—there is always a chance that things will change, and saving it will be a lot harder than taking a relationship quiz or reading relationship advice.

Here are 10 signs of a failing relationship that might not be working out. As for what to do if or when your relationship is falling apart, I might include how to fix a relationship that is falling apart in another article. The most important way to go about this objectively is to find out why relationships fall apart.

As always, please consider professional relationship or marriage counseling, especially if you have a baby daughter or son or a child that's only a few months or years old.

1. Disagreements Escalate Into Arguments

Disagreeing is a part of life, and positive debates and discussions are signs of a healthy relationship that allows you to learn from and bond with your other. However, when it gets out of hand (I’m talking about flat-out yelling, screaming, and tantrum-like explosions), it's time to stop and reevaluate what's happening. When a simple disagreement turns into one-sided attempts to force the other to see or do things another way, the only thing that will be accomplished is pushing the other away. One sided relationships are a definite sign of trouble in a failing or falling apart relationship.

2. The Thought of Them (or Their Presence) Evokes Negative Feelings

This one is pretty extreme, but it does happen. If simply the sight of them entering a room is enough to lower your mood and depress you, if thinking about them deflates your mood, then this is something to pay attention to. Likewise, if it seems like your significant other is less than enthusiastic to see or think about you, it's time to take note. When just the thought of them sours your mood, its a good sign that your relationship is not working and something needs to be changed.

3. You Don’t Understand Each Other

Mystery is a good thing between people. Sometimes you don’t know why someone does something, but you're fascinated to learn more! However, sometimes understanding never comes. The negative type of misunderstanding I’m warning about comes from not being in tune with your partner. Usually, in a healthy relationship, you can begin to know what your partner will do next. If they never learn who you are, or you never understand them fully, then this will become a major obstacle to closeness. The more your partner feels like a stranger, the greater the chance there's no future for your relationship.

4. You Don’t Feel Like Making the Effort

Think of your friend or your partner: Would you make a sandwich for them? How about taking them out to dinner? How about taking thirty minutes to drive them to their work? What if they're sick and they need you to take care of them? Although these scenarios are increasing in difficulty, you probably would do them for someone you really care for, at least once. But if you don’t want to make this kind of effort for them, then your relationship might have some underlying issues that need addressing. Without effort, you have no relationship and your marriage will be falling apart.

5. There Are Long Stretches of Time With No Romance

Every day doesn’t have to be filled with amazing things. There will be hard patches with lots of darkness and a few bright lights in the middle. But when the relationship feels like it's stuck in a dark tunnel with no lights visible ahead, there might be a problem.

6. You Stop Caring

This goes hand-in-hand with #4 and #5: If, when your significant other comes to mind, the thought doesn’t elicit any warm emotions, if his or her feelings no longer matter that much to you, this may not be a temporary lull. If it seems like your loved one doesn't really care what's going on with you, it might be the sign that his or her love is dying.

7. Things Become Consistently One-Sided

This is a major breaker in many relationships. When one person in the relationship has the sole responsibility of controlling all lines of communication, all plans, and all decisions, it's time to pay attention. It may be that the controlling partner throws tantrums or panics or refuses to listen to the other. It may be that the idle partner has washed their hands of all responsibility. Either way, if it continues to get worse over time, it might be time to break up.

8. You Feel a Constant Disconnect

This one is a little hard to explain. You know how with your close friends or partner, there is a strange unity or pattern that keeps you together? Communication is smooth and your patterns sync and you don't have to stop and analyze everything because you just understand one another. When you feel this slip away or disappear altogether, it may be time to re-think what happened and figure out where it went.

9. The “Used to” Count Is Increasing

“Used to” refers to the nice, generous things one partner or friend used to do for the other but doesn't any more. Maybe it was a sudden, unexpected hug, the mention of an inside joke, or a cup of coffee they used to bring: they used to do something that helped you, made you happy, or made you feel connected.

10. There Is No Evolution

I’m not talking about Darwin’s evolution, but it's a useful metaphor when applied to the survival of relationships. All healthy relationship evolve so that both partners adapt to new things that can occur both inside and outside the relationship. If both partners aren't learning, improving, evolving, and being flexible, prepare for something to happen. There are some rare cases where adaptation never happens, but these are extremely rare.

Is This the End of Our Relationship?

Remember, everything can be fixed or broken. It all depends on your actions and the effort you put into it. If nothing works or all else fails, you might need to look outside the relationship for advice and guidance. You might want to check out marriage counseling and relationship therapy for help.

If there is anything I got wrong or if you have a differing opinion, let me know in the comments below. Thank you and good luck to you all!

Relationship Advice

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.