Do you think your relationship is in trouble?
If you feel your marriage or partnership is on the rocks, it might not be too late to adjust course and get back that loving feeling.
Sometimes, it just takes an outside perspective and sympathetic ear to help your relationship heal and grow stronger. If you think something is wrong in your relationship but aren’t sure if you need to see a counselor yet, consider these relationship red flags. If you can answer “yes” to most of these questions, then you guys need couples counseling.
1. Do you have trouble communicating?
Communication is critical to a relationship’s success. If one or both partners feel like the other party doesn’t listen, this is a major red flag that you’re in trouble. Many relationship problems boil down to the partners’ communication styles or lack of communication. Even if your partner is listening to you, are they really hearing you? This is what you both should be aiming for so the relationship can thrive. Are you not sure if this is the issue? Perhaps this example can help:
You’re newly married, but you think your partner spends a lot of time at their parents’ house or friends’ house. It seems like you hardly ever go out on dates anymore or spend quality time together. Instead of communicating your concerns to your partner, you dance around the issue instead. Your partner calls to say they won’t be home again after work, but are hanging out with their friends. You hang up on them instead of saying you’d rather they come home and you’re feeling ignored. Your partner doesn’t hear your concerns when you hang up. So, an argument starts.
You don’t know how to communicate your concerns, and your partner doesn’t understand why you’re being rude, but now you’re both angry. If communication is your problem, a couples counselor can help you both learn to listen and hear each other so you can address issues in a constructive, practical way that doesn’t result in hurt feelings.
2. Do you find each other incredibly annoying?
Once the honeymoon phase wears off, your partner’s ticks and quirks may start to annoy you, or vice versa. For the most part, that’s a normal progression of a relationship, and it doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the partnership. But when everything they do starts grating on your last nerve, you’ve got a problem. You know how some people can just rub you the wrong way no matter what? If you start feeling this way about your partner, you need to contact a couple’s counselor asap.
Why is this such a glaring red flag? It’s a sign of resentment, and resentment is poison to a relationship. The problem with bitterness is it starts out slowly and can be tough to identify. But constant annoyance is a sure sign of this relationship red flag. Another sign of resentment is if your partner asks you to do something together. If your immediate, gut reaction is to roll your eyes and wish you were anywhere else in the world, but with them, the relationship needs help.
3. Do you look for emotional support from someone else?
Romantic relationships need emotional support to survive and thrive. If you’re getting that support from someone outside the relationship, it’s not a good sign. It can indicate that you don’t feel safe with your partner, and this needs sussing out to fix. Also, it could mean that someone isn’t truly ready for commitment. Your partner should be the first person you turn to when something is stressing you out or upsetting you. On the flip side, your partner should also be the first person you want to share the good news with, too.
4. Does it seem like you’re always fighting?
You need to have consensus and compromise in a relationship. Otherwise, no one is going to be happy, and the relationship will be a source of stress instead of comfort. If you find yourself unable to agree on anything, that’s a red flag. Why is there so much turmoil? A relationship counselor can help you pin down the real source of your contentions.
5. Do you never fight?
Just as constant arguing is a sign of trouble ahead, so is never fighting. It might not seem like it, but couples who never have arguments aren’t necessarily in a healthy relationship. Despite the lack of arguments, one or both people might still feel like the relationship has issues. A lack of arguing is sometimes a bigger problem than constant fighting. It can signal a lack of interest in the relationship or a problem with intimacy. What is apathy? In a relationship, it’s the enemy of passion.
6. Are you fighting about the same issue over and over again?
Rehashing the same kind of argument or fighting over the same issue, again and again, is another relationship red flag. It can signal that you’re getting stuck in a negative pattern that can be difficult to break. A counselor can help the couple learn new ways of communicating and resolving disputes, so they don’t keep reopening the same wound.
7. Has your sex life taken a nosedive?
Physical intimacy holds couples together. It’s the one thing that separates your romantic partnership from the other relationships in your life. Without sex, partners may start looking at each other as platonic “roommates.” Every couple will go through periods where they hit a dry spell. But a continuous lack of physical intimacy is an indicator of a deeper problem within the relationship.
Do you feel like you need relationship counseling?
That’s a final sign that you probably do. A counselor offers both people in a relationship a sympathetic, outside perspective. With help from a couples counselor, you and your partner can learn more effective communication styles, and reach a greater level of intimacy and understanding.