As much as many would like relationships to last, or ideally lead to marriage and growing old together, at times they do not work out that way. Most relationships go through stormy weather at some point and it takes hard work to maintain and make a relationship work. Sometimes it may be difficult to identify the signs of a failing relationship. We give you some hints that may signify the end of the road.
There is no formula to a happy relationship. Often, it’s difficult to decide when a relationship has run its course and it’s now time to call it quits. However, there are signs to watch out for. If these are encountered time and again, it probably is time to end things. Here are a six signs that could mean the end of the road for your relationship.
- Lack of communication
When you were still head over heels in love, you called and texted all the time and somehow still managed to communicate on Facebook and other social networks. You talked about everything and anything going on in your lives and shared intimate details. Now you only talk when it’s necessary. You keep secrets from each other or do not feel the need to share most of the things going on in your lives. Sometimes a day or two may go by without any communication taking place. When you’re together, you hardly talk about yourselves or the relationship, if at all you talk. When two people are drifting apart, they may avoid talking to each other or talking about the things that matter, as well as confiding in each other. Communication is a major building block in any relationship. If you find you cannot communicate or it takes too much effort to do so, it may be time to reconsider your relationship.
- Constant fights and arguments
Fighting or arguing does not necessarily spell doom for a relationship. Most relationships go through this phase once in a while. However if the fights and arguments are frequent, and you find that you are constantly bickering and fighting, there is cause for alarm. Could it be that you can’t stand each other anymore? Also, what is the nature of your fights? Constant, petty squabbles may be your way of avoiding larger, more painful issues.
Angry and abusive fights indicate that consideration and thoughtfulness have disappeared from your relationships. If your relationship has turned abusive, it’s time to leave. The same applies if none of you is willing to back down or come to an agreement. If you find that you get into screaming matches in public, it shows that your relationship is out of control and you have lost respect for each other since you no longer care about who sees or hears about your issues.
- Lack of respect
If you or your partner constantly question or belittle one another, it shows that you don’t understand or respect each other’s boundaries, acknowledge each other’s values or accept each other for who you are. Love alone cannot hold a relationship. Without respect you may be headed for the rocks.
Relationships are not always upbeat and fun. They may go through a stagnant stage as you develop a routine. However, if you constantly feel fed up with each other, feel you have nothing to say to each other or seem to have fallen into a routine worthy of an old couple; things may be headed south for you. This is especially true if none of you is making an effort to get the relationship out of the rut. One of the signs that you may be bored and tired of the relationship is when you both channel a lot of free time into something that’s not connected to either of you. You also don’t look forward to seeing each other or spending time together. A couple needs to invest time in their relationship to help it grow. Avoiding spending time together by preoccupying oneself with unnecessary obligations, whether work or hobbies, is a negative sign. People make time for those they care about.
5. Incompatible goals
Sometimes having conflicting goals is a sign that you need to communicate better and be more open with each other. Other times it’s an indicator of problems that you may not be able to overcome, especially if you both cannot find a way of compromising. A related factor is if there is no talk about the future in your relationship even after being together for a long period of time. This may mean that you may not be envisioning a future together, which renders your relationship pointless.
- One-sided relationship
Relationships are built to be mutually beneficial. If you are doing all the giving or all the getting, you are in an unhealthy relationship. When a relationship ceases to be fulfilling and it takes too much effort to get needs met, it is an unhappy one and it is time to end it. Walking out of a relationship is much easier than finding love and keeping it. It’s important to work hard at your relationship and try all possible means of working things out with your partner before deciding to end things. Nevertheless, life is too short to cling to an unhealthy, unhappy and unfulfilling relationship. Unhappy relationships result in unhappy people and take a toll on every aspect of life from your job to your health. Learn to recognise when your relationship has run its course and let go.
Published in May 2012