8
Sep


Is your relationship going strong or struggling for survival? Every relationship has difficulties, but some couples really are in trouble. Wake up to these common warning signs.

Avoidance. Like medicine, certain conversations are necessary for relationship health. If you (or your mate) keep avoiding certain topics, such as sex, money or chores, it means you don’t trust the relationship’s mechanisms for fixing things.

Some people avoid their mate in other ways: taking on extra work or community projects, always inviting friends or family to join them, or going to bed earlier or later than their partner. All of these create more distance.

Adversaries. The goal of healthy conflict is for people to understand each other’s viewpoint and make adjustments for the benefit of the relationship. If you are so angry that you deliberately say things to hurt your partner, you both have a problem.

It’s also a problem if you often feel defensive. Your relationship should be a place where you feel comfortable, accepted and trusted. If you’re always ready to explain or defend yourself, as if the next attack is just around the corner, the relationship is no longer your home.

That sour taste. You can gauge your relationship by listening to the way you talk about it with your friends. Do you complain a lot? Call your mate names like “ball and chain” or “Godzilla”? Are you jealous of your friends, wishing you had their life or their partner? Do you fantasize much about how great it would be to be single? These are all messages that your relationship is in trouble.

Don’t panic if you notice one of these warning signs in a week. But if you’re aware of several, or one persists, take action.

Talk to your mate honestly, even though now that’s the most difficult thing for you to do. If you can’t begin to resolve your problems, seek professional help. As with our physical health, many complex relationship problems can be healed if addressed in time.

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