Do you know that experts say all successful relationships require certain habits that need to be nurtured? And that the single biggest predictor of teenage mental health is family breakdown.
If you talk to a relationship expert, they will tell you that your spouse doesn’t have to be your best friend, or confidante. But if you talk to yourself, that’s exactly what you want. Have you stopped to think how some people ace the relationship game, while others always miss out?
Do we carry unreal expectations from our romantic relationships? Are we the sole, or major cause of a downward spiral? The answer, my dear Watson, might be in the question … anyway, without much further ado and no more Sherlock games, let’s get to the point. Yes, your relationship could be entering the danger zone, yes, you need to do something about it, and want to do something about it? Then these are the signs to watch out for – read on!
1. Either of you spends more time on his phone, the TV (alone) or at work than you’d like him/her to
” I’ll be working late tonight” … and every other night?
While this might be a normal occurrence for you, but if it tends to take over your evenings till you both barely get to see each other over the week, turn in, tired at night, to bed or never really spend time doing what you used to enjoy doing together, perhaps it’s time to change things around. In fact, if either one of you feels the other is too occupied with his or her alone time, it’s time to talk.
2. You inadvertently bring up past conflicts in every new issue you disagree upon
“But this is exactly what you do every time!” … oops hold off on that one!
‘The talk’ should not be happening every few days as the only mode of communication you share with each other. It will just turn your spouse off communicating at all, because he/she dreads the accusations, the criticism or the tense agenda that might be covered in the talk. Try and find a way for conflict resolution that does not involve accusations and bringing up the past.
Try and focus on the problem at hand rather than what happened in a previous situation. This tends to shift the focus from the current issue & also prevents people from listening cooperatively since they are expecting a barrage of accusations on every point of conflict.
3. You tend to get unfairly sarcastic with each other
“Hey, you’re always tired at this time of the day, so I’ll get the door, I’m so not tired at 11pm!” …ummm did he need that?
Your communication is laced with sarcasm. You expect the worst from each other & your retorts or gut reactions are (more often than not) dripping with sarcasm. It comes to a point that even if you mean to comment genuinely, the other party thinks you did it out of sheer criticism, because that is what they’ve come to expect from you, so they have their defenses up permanently around you!
4. You talk about each other to other people rather than ‘with’ each other, especially when it’s a matter of your ego
“But he’s really hurt my feelings and he’ll never know how much, because I’m not about to tell him” … Hmmm are you sure your ego is more important than the relationship?
In all fairness, this is a bit of a muddle. While it is okay to confide in a trusted confidante or a therapist about relationship woes, it is also important to leave the lines of communication open. Sometimes, a small misunderstanding becomes a monstrous issue only because you did not think you were competent enough to discuss it with your partner, or you felt he, she will not listen. Give them a chance & do not put them on the spot. If it’s a touchy issue, give them some time to think things through and collect their thoughts before you both come to a decision.
This type of communication sets the pace for future discussions. You want to create a healthy space to agree and disagree that takes you into your old age!
5. And …When you stop fighting
Nothing … you merely exist alongside each other…
It is important to know that friction is part of any relationship. It is even considered healthy to argue, disagree and make up. Living in peaceful coexistence might be something for the books, but in real life, real people do fight, just like best friends, and yes, that’s what draws you closer, develops tolerance as well as regard and appreciation for all the good times you have shared or will share!
In The End…
Living together with the person we love means we need to contribute to a balanced, healthy, happy relationship. Whether it is your parents, your spouse, your siblings or your friends, no relationship can be taken for granted. And perhaps a romantic relationship is one that always needs constant attention, nurturing and yes, even growth. They say, what you put in, is what you get out from life, I’d say, relationships follow the same formula!
So happy living, and do plan that date night this weekend!
Listen to Rachel & Steve’s Story for more on successful relationships!
Disclaimer: We advise you to visit a relationship expert if you feel you need professional relationship advice. The advice in this article is in no way meant to substitute for professional advice