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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

8 signs of a rocky relationship

WHEN a relationship ends in divorce, you often hear one partner exclaiming that he/she had no idea things would have turned out that way. Really and truly though, relationships don't just go sour overnight, there are normally tell-tale signs that scream that something is not right. Some people ignore these signs, hoping they will just go away, while others are too busy to even notice them. Couples should take the time to examine what they are doing right and look for ways to improve those things that they are not.
If you ignore the signs, you should never point fingers or blame anyone if things don't work out your way. Here are eight signs to identify a rocky relationship.
Sign # 1 — Communication is minimal: If you find that you are only exchanging words about the weather, the children, the house, or if you are just saying hi and bye, or yes and no, then your relationship could be in big trouble. It doesn't matter how long you have been together, you should be engaging in regular communication. You should be talking about your hopes and dreams, your joys and sorrows and everything else in-between.
Sign # 2 — When sex is by appointment only: Some may feel that because they are still engaging in sexual activities then all is well; this is not necessarily true. Remember that some people will have sex only out of a sense of duty, no motion, no lotion, or anything of the sort. Mark you, it is a couple's prerogative to choose sex by appointment, but eyebrows should be raised if that's their only method.
Sign # 3 — Constant threat of divorce: For those who are married, it is wrong to keep on threatening your spouse with divorce as soon as you are displeased. When you consistently entertain the thoughts of divorce, it will easily become a reality. Constant mention of divorce can suggest that you are unhappy, dissatisfied, or disappointed and you want out. Do not even joke about divorce, because it is a negative word and it can have negative connotations.
Sign # 4 — Talking down to each other: When you are downright disrespectful, that is one sure sign that your relationship is heading in the wrong direction. Watch your words, and let only the pleasant ones escape your lips. Talking down to each other should be a definite no-no.
Sign # 5 — Consistent arguing: Have you ever noticed how some couples are always arguing? Everything that one says offends the other? Couples who secretly resent each other may not verbalise their true feelings but sometimes, unbeknownst to them, it shows up when they are relating one to another.
Sign # 6 — Lack of trust: Regardless of what might have happened in the past, couples must find ways to restore the trust factor because it is a foregone conclusion that lack of trust is a root cause of breakdown in many relationships. I can almost hear you saying it is not that easy, but never fail to try and keep on looking on the bright side.
Sign # 7 — Plans only for self: Single people tend to think 'I', while married people normally think 'we'. Therefore, when things are not going right in the relationship, one partner may even subconsciously revert to the 'I' way of thinking.
Sign # 8 — Your spouse is not your friend: Lots of family therapists will tell you that your partner should be your best friend and I agree that this is the ideal. However, this might be easier said than done. If this is not your case, continue to work at it. If your spouse is not your friend, not even in a minute way, then it will only be a matter of time before your relationship ends.
Remember that your relationship is like a plant, treat it well and it will blossom and flourish to beautify your surroundings, but leave it unattended and uncared for and it withers and dies. A plant that is on the verge of death can be restored to life with proper care. Likewise, a relationship that is on the rocky road can be revived, if you are aware of what to look for and how to make the appropriate amendments.
Jacqueline Champier is a counselling psychologist from Mandeville.