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Is your relationship headed for trouble?

Updated on June 13, 2008
Why does it have to be this way?
Why does it have to be this way?

Four Early Signs a Relationship is Heading for Trouble

Could you be headed for a breakup?

There are those marriages and relationships in which partners are constantly arguing. Then there are those couples that seem to have an "agreement", they hardly fight publicly but seem to have settled into their separate identities. Did you know that the couples that argue often and loudly are NOT more likely to be heading for divorce more than the couples that take an emotionally distant approach? Although, of course either route is mutually taxing and extremely unhealthy.

Studies have shown that there are some strong signs that a marriage might be on the verge of destruction. They can be separated into four categories according to Researchers. The signs are meant to be indicators that things have gone from bad to worse, but hopefully with awareness and early intervention, the situation can be turned around. If caught in time and worked through, the damage could be minimal and a renewed hope of intimacy can begin.

The first sign things are heading in the wrong direction is CRITICISM. Couples are not perfect, individually or together, but to be constantly criticized and attacked for seemingly simple things, can wear down the spirit. The husband or the wife can begin to lose trust in each other. Trying to constantly find fault in each other is the first red flag things are deteriorating.

The second sign is the feeling that your partner can actually have CONTEMPT for you. It's not simply, "I can't believe you just did that" type of comment, but how it's said. Is it demeaning? Does it border on being psychologically abusive? If the feelings projected are that of hate or disgust., then there are some deeper underlying issues. It's never o.k. to be spoken to in a condescending or insulting manner.

The third sign is DEFENSIVENESS. It's normal to become defensive when you feel you're being victimized, but when it becomes an automatic reaction to everything your partner says, it can lead to an end in communication. Becoming defensive can be a cry for help, a need to show your spouse this has become too much for you to handle. Partners have to take responsibility for their behavior, and realize when they are going over the line. When they do, and begin to take control of their actions, progress can be made.

Finally, STONEWALLING is the fourth sign that your relationship may be headed for the final stage of being over. When either party in a relationship decides to "shut down", the other party has been stripped of the choice to discuss things as two adults with mutual respect . Most of the time it is usually men who hold back their emotions and stop communicating. Although, women can also stop talking. Surprisingly, men will feel things on a physical level. Their pulse rate will rise along with their blood pressure. Men or sometimes, women who reach this level, begin to take a "take flight" attitude whenever confrontation sets in. This type of damage is very difficult to overcome and only becomes worse through time.

The first step in mending communication and trust, is knowing when it's happening and taking quick action. You started out with a deep love for one another, and with knowledge, healing can begin.


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