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Do you have an inkling that your relationship is in trouble, but you’re trying to avoid thinking about it? Usually, trouble in relationships starts long before a breakup. Those little feelings of unease, frustration or mistrust are trying to let you know that something needs to change. Whether you’re in a relationship now, or you’re single and looking to start a successful one in the future, it’s crucial to take note of the signs that your relationship is heading for the rocks. When you do, it is possible to turn things around most of the time, by focusing on working out specific issues, far in advance of the crash.

Here are nine indicators of serious trouble ahead and how to get back on track to love

1. Lack of Sex

If the sex has dried up in your relationship, it’s strong sign the two of you are in trouble. Sex brings connection and intimacy in a way that’s virtually impossible to replicate in other areas of your relationship. When you’re not making time for it for whatever reason, it’s likely you’re drifting further and further away from each other. There’s no such thing as ‘normal’, when it comes to how often you should be having sex. Everyone’s sex drives are different, as are the expressions of such in relationships. However, for a longer-term couple, if you’re not getting sexy at least once a week, you might not be focused enough on the importance of this connection. It’s rare, but some couples are happy without sex. These partnerships revolve around friendship and companionship, without the passion. The key difference is that this is a conscious decision, not an aftereffect of pushing sex to the bottom of the priority list. So, if your sex life is scarce, ask yourself a few honest questions. Are you still enjoying sex with your partner? If not, why not? If so, how can you adjust your life to have more of it?


2. Topics Go Off Limits

Do you feel comfortable tackling tough topics with your man? Perhaps you did at the beginning of your relationship, but now you find yourself thinking twice before broaching certain subjects. He could be doing this too. The reason why topics go off limits in relationships, is because they’ve been met with an angry, sarcastic or dismissive response, one too many times. At first, couples in relationships tend to be very accepting and curious about all those quirky things that make them different from each other. After a while, you learn what you like and don’t like. The things on the ‘don’t like’ list turn into tough topics. As a simple example, maybe you yelled at your man after he came home from a late night and told you about a couple of funny girls he met. It was all innocent, but it annoyed you all the same. Over a month or so, the same scenario occurs again and again. Soon, he realises he can’t be honest with you about what he does and stops telling you about it. This makes him appear secretive and leads to mistrust. When you train your partner out of communicating with you, by reacting angrily, he’s likely to take the topics that make you uncomfortable, off the table. And it’s the same if he does it to you. In good relationships, anything goes in terms of communication and both of you should feel comfortable bringing up anything. Once things start to get swept under the rug, the two of you are in trouble. Therefore, now’s the time to reopen honest communication and treat each other with respect and acceptance while doing so.


3. You Can’t Relax and Trust Him

Not being able to relax and trust your man is perhaps one of the biggest signs that your relationship is in trouble, for a variety of reasons. You’ll know you don’t trust him if it gives you anxiety to see a female name come up on his phone, if you worry each time he goes to a party without you or if you can’t relax when he’s away for a weekend with the boys. The big question is, why don’t you trust him? If it’s because of an intuitive feeling, combined with an example or two of his inability to behave in a way that’s deserving of your trust, why are you still with him? Address the situation and, if it doesn’t improve, move onto a man you can relax with. On the other hand, ask yourself if it’s your own insecurities leading to the slow destruction of your relationship. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to stop your partner from meeting someone else, because it’s simply not possible to do. You can’t control someone else’s life. Instead, high-value women know what a catch they are and, if a man decides to be with someone else for whatever reason, it’s his loss. Either way, if you can’t relax and trust your man, you can be pretty sure that your relationship has no longevity.


4. Your Emotional State is Entirely Dependent on Your Partner

Think about how often your emotional state is dependent on your partner. For example, if he’s doing his own thing, are you sad and feeling neglected? If you’re unhappy about something in life, do you expect him to make you feel better on a regular basis? Answering ‘yes’ means that you’re putting your emotions under his control, rather than taking charge of them yourself. When you do this, he’ll sense that you’re clinging to him to define your emotional state, which is the very definition of a ‘clingy’ girlfriend. Your partner wants to equally source some of his emotional state from you, which means you have to source yours from yourself and your own life. In reality, it’s your own thoughts that change your emotions – not his. You’re entirely responsible for how you feel, despite the fact that it’s only natural for relationships to affect your emotional state. If you’re finding that your moods depend far too much on your partner, it’s time to take immediate action towards focusing on your own passions, career, hobbies and friends. This focus leads to taking charge of your thoughts, your life and, therefore, your own emotions.


5. You’re Not Friends Anymore

How often do you just sit around and laugh together? Joke about each other’s quirky habits? Tell each other silly, secret desires without fear of judgement? All these things come with friendship and the best long term partnerships have it as a solid base for the relationship, along with passion and sex. Friendship in relationships tends to fade away beneath the mundane aspects of life. Things like arguing over money, getting impatient with each other’s flaws and seeing each other as ‘fixtures’ in life, rather than ever-evolving people with new and interesting things to offer. Friends, on the other hand, like and respect each other’s choices in life. They offer support and understanding, not judgement or disdain. Rather than wishing to change each other, they embrace each other’s differences and the variety this adds to life. If these aspects of your life together are on the way out, your relationship will be too.

All these things come with friendship and the best long term partnerships have it as a solid base for the relationship, along with passion and sex.


6. You Have Differences in Major Values

This is perhaps the least immediately obvious sign, however incompatibility pretty much trumps all them in the challenging stakes. It’s so hard to deal with, because it’s very possible to have incredible chemistry with someone who completely disagrees with your values in life. These values might be:

  • The desire to have children or not
  • Where you want to live
  • Religious beliefs
  • How you deal with money
  • Your ideas about healthy (or not) living

Unfortunately, all the chemistry in the world can’t overcome fundamental differences in core values. If one or both of you try to change or force the other to, the only results are unhappiness and lifelong contempt. So, the question is, can you achieve what you want in life, while staying in the relationship? Sit down with your partner and have the conversation. Because, as sad as it is, success might be in breaking up, rather than staying together in miserable incompatibility.


7. You Have Difficult Conversations Over Text

In this day and age, everything seems to take place with a screen, including conversations. After all, it’s just so much easier to broach a difficult conversation, if you don’t actually have to look at, or feel, the other person. You get to avoid certain reactions, while decreasing embarrassing moments, right? Wrong. If you’ve ever received a text whereby the meaning of it was totally taken out of context, you’ll know why. It’s a great thing to write down your feelings for your own self-reflection, but the place for this isn’t a novel-sized text to your partner. If you’re doing this, ask yourself why. Do you feel uncomfortable verbalising certain topics? Are you worried about his reaction in person? If so, and you’re using text as an evasive way to express your thoughts and emotions, it’s a strong sign your relationship is on the rocks.


8. Your Partner Won’t Work With You

There’s almost no relationship problem that can’t be worked on, as long as both of you are in it together. It’s even possible to rise above issues like alcoholism and lack of communication, when both partners really want to make it work and take the necessary action to do so. But the reverse is also true. Even very small issues won’t be resolved between two people who refuse to acknowledge they exist, or simply can’t be bothered working on them. Those small issues are left to fester until they rot, creating permanent damage and the end of relationships. Having a partner who can’t acknowledge problems, or makes no attempt to work on them, is like driving your car around with a lifetime ban from seeing the mechanic. You’ve got no access to even the basic tools, to keep you on the road. If this sounds like your long term partner, it’s not likely he’ll ever change without first recognising issues. Therefore, it’s time to swap wishful thinking for decisive action, even if that means breaking up.


9. You Spend More Time Unhappy Than Happy

Ultimately, what’s the best judge of how good your relationship is? Your very happiness within it. On a scale of one to ten, how high would you rate your positivity levels, with regard to your time spent together? On the same scale, how often do you wallow in negativity, as a direct result of being with your partner? Obviously, in order to enjoy a healthy, long term relationship, the scales need to tip towards happiness and positivity on a consistent basis. This means that, although you might have a fight maybe once or twice a week that results in minor negativity, the majority of each week is spent actually enjoying each other’s company. The goal of relationships is to improve life, not to drag you down into misery. A happy single life is always preferable to an unhappy relationship and you certainly don’t want to wait until you’re on your deathbed (like many people before you) to realise this. Therefore, if you see any or all of these nine signs in your relationship, right now is the time to address them. Reopen communication lines, discover why you’re not having sex, take responsibility for your own emotions and make a sincere effort to work on issues. If you’re both in it together, you’ll hurdle the challenges and move on towards a bright future together. When those hurdles are too large to overcome, know that you’ve learnt valuable lessons that will most certainly lead you towards the right relationship for you.


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