Effective communication is at the top of the list and is essential for a relationship to survive. Relationships are all about communicating your needs and understanding the needs and feelings of your partner.
Relationship expert Rachel DeAlto says, “If your sex life has gone from 60 to 0, it is a bad sign that your relationship is on the fritz. A little ebb and flow of desire is normal, but if one of you has lost the desire completely (without any underlying medical condition involved) it may be time to end it.”
With no sex going on, boredom sets in. Being together is uninspiring. If you can’t remember the last time you had sex, your relationship is most likely in trouble. There is no more “making love,” it’s only sex. You’re not really connecting anymore. A relationship without making love is no longer a healthy relationship.
One partner often with initiate fights over the most insignificant things. If the small things that never used to bother you are now more infuriating then usual, that too can be a red flag. Affection wanes. Complements cease. Trust slowly fades. You rarely hear, “I love you” anymore. There is no longer any text messages or sexting with thoughtful reminders of the love your partner has for you. One partner or both seems to lose interest in doing things together. After a disagreement, you no longer hear the words, “I’m sorry.” Red flag.
A war of words is a great way to vent and can actually be healthy. Why? Because it shows you both still care. However, when there is no resolution to issues that come up, it’s time to talk.
One partner may begin seeking more attention from the opposite sex. Warning… cheating can make your relationship worse than it already is. Reaching out to someone else is never the right answer.
For some, calling a relationship quits is like having to stop paying on a life insurance policy that has outlived its usefulness. We’ve put so much money in it, we are reluctant to give it up. And at the same time we know we must.
It’s sometimes difficult to know when a relationship is over, however often the answer is right in front of us. People change. Often people are brought together to teach each other lessons and when the lessons are learned, they move on. I know. That is hard to accept. It does happen.
The one way to be sure that the relationship is over is when one partner “refuses” to work on the relationship. You become completely indifferent to your partner. It takes two people, working together to make a relationship work. One cannot do the work of two. You know when something is over because every part of your being says it is. Trust your instinct. It rarely steers you wrong.
What to do? Are you living in denial that things will return to the way they used to be? It is never wise to turn a blind eye to the warning signs! Could you both give it another try or agree to a trial separation? Could you both agree to go to counseling together? If you can both agree to counseling, go into the sessions with a wide open mind. Read: “And if All Else Fails?” (see link below).
Insist on a “we need to talk” moment. Find a quiet spot where you can talk about how you are feeling about the relationship. If one partner doesn’t want to talk, ask them to just listen. A lack of communication is a red flag.
If there is a slightest bit of interest from both partners, you can, if you both want to – rekindle the flame and begin again. Most couples seldom can do this on their own. Hire a relationship coach. Take your time. Ease back into the relationship. To do this you must both be willing to set aside your differences and start doing the things that brought you together in the first place. It’s never easy, however, I’ve coached couples where one has cheated on the other, reached some new decisions and got back together. Forgiveness played a huge roll in that happening. The ultimate betrayal of cheating is one of the most difficult to move past… and it can be done if “both” partners are willing to do what is necessary to make it happen.
Often a trial separation will give you time to sort out what you really need to do. However, there must be agreements. One such agreement must be to agree to not see other people during the separation. The time you each spend alone should be a time to either make some new promises to be together or to leave the relationship.
If he or she will not agree to coaching, it may be wise to choose to go yourself. Coaches can offer tips about how to handle what you are going through. If therapy is out of the question, when you finally get the courage to say, “It’s over,” be honest, and be kind. Break ups do not have to be over with both of you hating each other. You once loved each other. Be different. Remain calm. Do your best to understand the hurt and anger you both may feel. Reassure your partner that he or she is someone with whom you have shared a great adventure, however now it is time to move on. Decide for yourself that you will do everything you can to have the “completion” of your relationship be amicable. That too, is not easy, however it will be a statement of who you are as a person.
Notice that I did not say that a break up will END the relationship. A relationship can be over and complete, however, death, divorce or separation will not “end” a relationship. It only changes it.
Unless there is physical or emotional abuse in your relationship, rarely will a relationship coach advise you to leave the relationship. It’s never their choice… only yours.
It may be time to stop investing your time and energy into a relationship that’s not working. If all else fails, your best bet is to admit your relationship is over and begin again to focus on taking care of you.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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