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Seven Warning Signs of a Troubled Relationship

Posted on February 9, 2010 at 12:29 AM

By Sharon Rivkin, M.A., M.F.T, for

Whencouples wait too long to ask for help, therelationship may be beyond repair. The sooner help is sought, thebetter chance there is of recovering, saving and actually strengtheningthe relationship. This includes issues dealing with affairs or othertypes of betrayal. The longer we wait, the more entrenched we get indestructive patterns and resentment and all hope for change islost. The longer we wait, the more entrenched we get indestructive patterns and resentment and all hope for change islost. At a certain point we don't even wantchange... we just want to be done.

The seven warning signs that a relationship is in trouble are:(

1. Fighting has become the rule rather than the exception to the rule.

2.You find yourself looking outside the relationship for comfort, care,and understanding.

3.You can't remember what attracted you to your partner in the firstplace.

4.There is little or no intimacy in your relationship -- sleeping indifferent rooms or different beds, lack of interest, anger, andhostility so that intimacy is out of the question.

5.Spending very little time together, friends seem to be more importantthan your partner.

6.Reactions to situations are disproportionate to the content of thedisagreement (i.e., feeling your partner doesn't love you becauseshe/he didn't like the meal you cooked).

7.Feeling helpless and hopeless to change anything. Feeling done with therelationship, but unclear as to where to go and what to do. Feelings ofanger, resentment, pain, and desperation are predominant.

Ifany or all of these describe you in your relationship, yourrelationship is in trouble and it won't be long before something moredrastic happens, such as an affair, arguments get worse and inflatewith intensity, increased jealousy, silence for longer periods of time,and sometimes even physical and/or verbal abuse.

Beforeyour relationship reaches that critical crisis point, look at thewarning signs and do something before it's too late:

Seek psychotherapy

Read books

Talk to a spiritual/religious advisor

Withouthelp, the relationship will never get better with time; once a certainlevel of resentment, anger, and hostility hits, it will simply getworse and worse. Avoiding a total crisis and saving the relationship isdone by knowing when you're in trouble and taking immediateaction.

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