How to Identify Early Warning Signs of a Troubled Relationship
Relationships are not always ideal, and sometimes, they might even feel like a burden. Even the closest couples experience hardship at some point, and it’s natural for couples to have their ups and downs. The signs of relationship trouble may not always be as obvious as you think; people don’t have to have screaming matches for their conflict resolution to be unhealthy, for example.
At Foundations Family Counseling, we are committed to helping couples overcome their difficulties and grow closer through their hardships. Intimate relationships take work, and they naturally evolve over time. To nurture yours, here are several subtle warning signs of a relationship in trouble and what to do about them.
Lack of Emotional Disclosure
If you or your partner have trouble opening up about how you feel, serious problems can develop down the road. In order to stay close, couples must be able to feel safe and comfortable with vulnerability. This is not something everyone grew up being able to do, though, so it’s common for one or both people in a relationship to only feel comfortable sharing positive feelings. By learning how to communicate even difficult emotions or anxieties, a couple can build trust and security in their love.
No Affection Outside of Sex
Sexual health is important in a relationship, and it looks different for every couple. There are some asexual couples who enjoy wonderful romantic relationships because they express affection in other ways. However, for a sexually active couple, there must be expressions of love and admiration outside of the bedroom. Only being able to show love in the most extreme physical way can leave partners feeling used and emotionally neglected.
If one person is the “favorite” parent or sole income earner in a relationship, problems can begin to arise as feelings of dissatisfaction and resentment brew. If certain dynamics continually arise exposing one person as being “in control” or preferred over the other, there are likely underlying emotional conflicts at play that need to be addressed.
Even a great relationship can feel boring if the couple isn’t putting enough time into it. After the initial awe and excitement of a new relationship wears off, it takes genuine effort to keep things interesting. You have to keep discovering your partner and vice versa; if you feel like the relationship has stagnated and is going nowhere, then it’s important to vocalize your feelings and work from there.
How to Identify and Solve Problems in Your Relationship
Beyond discussing your feelings openly and frequently with your partner, it’s also beneficial to do inner work as well. By asking yourself, “Why do I feel this way?” and “How am I doing right now?”, you become more capable of articulating any concerns, anxieties and needs with your partner.
Couples therapy can also be a valuable tool for people who feel like their relationship isn’t what it could be. Our virtual therapy sessions can help you and your partner get to the bottom of any issues you’re facing and work on growing through them.
Contact Foundations Family Counseling to learn more and schedule your first appointment with one of our expert therapists.