Aug 182016 4 Responses

5 Signs Your Relationship Is Dying

Relationships far more often die because of a lengthy cancer than a tragic accident. Both are possible, but rare is the occurrence when a relationship is totally healthy one moment and on life-support the next. Far more often, relationships slowly unwind. With subtle signs which are often overlooked, relationships slowly erode until they quietly end.

Awareness of the signs can prevent death. When an individual or couple identifies any of these characteristics within their relationship, they can do the work necessary to get on the right path. Couples are not helpless as a relationship fades. If they are both willing to do what is necessary, they can revive the spark they once had. Sadly, if one individual is not willing to make the effort, the couple will not succeed. (See: How to Ruin a Good Relationship)

5 Characteristics of a Dying Relationship

1. Silence. Few things define the well-being of a relationship like communication. Healthy couples talk–frequently, enjoyably, and with passion. They are interested in the thoughts and opinions of one another. They look forward to sharing and hearing about the events in each other’s day. When a relationship is headed the wrong direction, communication slows. A couple loses interest in one another and stops making good communication a priority. Without the positive interaction, the partnership suffers. Most relationships don’t end with a shout, but with a whisper.

2. Skepticism. Healthy couples trust one another. They work hard to prove themselves trustworthy and they assume the best about their spouses. As a relationship goes bad, doubts creep in. Every action or word is analyzed through a negative lens. The skepticism invents problems, creates slights, and causes hurts. It can grow so bad that no matter what a person does, they are doomed. Say something and you are rude for speaking. Stay silent and you aren’t caring enough to speak. Skepticism creates an unwinnable climate.

3. Boredom. Bad relationships become boring, but the boredom is rarely understood properly. Couples assume a relationship should make them feel excited rather than understanding excitement is something they should bring to the relationship. If two individuals are fully engaged in life, they will bring that engagement into the relationship. This will create excitement. However, when a couple assumes a relationship should be exciting on its own, they are expecting something from the relationship which it can’t deliver. If you are bored with your current partner, that probably says more about you than it does them. (Key word being “probably.”)

4. Unfaithfulness. Obviously sexual infidelity can kill a couple, but mental or emotional unfaithfulness is where many relationships go wrong. When one or both partners open up their minds to considering other partners, the comparison trap is set. Once in place, it is very difficult to overcome. The best moments of others will almost always look better than the worst moments of our spouse (or ourselves). When individuals choose to be mentally unfaithful they open themselves up emotionally. Sexual unfaithfulness doesn’t trail long after emotional infidelity. If you are emotionally attaching yourself to another, you are killing your current relationship.

5. Apathy. Relationships go bad because of apathy. When you stop trying, you are dying. Effort is always part of a healthy partnership. At no point can a couple kick into auto-drive and assume everything will be okay. Through every stage, a couple much intentionally better themselves and continue to learn about their partner. Many individuals wrongly assume a good relationship should come naturally. Refusing to do the work necessary, their apathy destroys any chance of relational health.

Failing relationships are not difficult to spot, unless you are in one. Being on the inside can cloud our thinking and prevent us from recognizing what might be obvious to an outsider. With a little consideration, anyone can take account of their relationship and understand if they are headed down the wrong path.

Relationships might fail for other reasons, but these are the most common causes. If you recognize any of these aspects in your current relationship, do something about it before it is too late.


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