Relationship issues – the danger signs
Many of you have read about, or personally experienced the signs that your relationship is in serious trouble. Here’s a few relationship issues to jog your memory:
1. When your partner emotionally distances from you for an inordinate period of time
2. When he/she starts fights or becomes agitated over relatively minor issues
3. When the fighting goes from 0 to 60 in a few seconds
4. When the fighting becomes chronic
5. When your partner begins to make excuse after excuse not to have sex with you
6.When he/she moves into another bedroom or requests a trial separation. “You know honey, I’m not saying I want a divorce…yet…but I just think we need a little time apart to sort things out.” When I hear these words in my clinical practice I shudder because it brings to mind that infamous line from the movie Cool Hand Luke: “You got your mind right, Luke?”
Indeed, some of these relationship issues are “lame ducks.” The initiating partner either isn’t quite ready to pull the plug, or is too concerned about hurting your feelings; some think you’ll go ballistic and would rather avoid violent fallout. Even with signs, however, it’s hard to tell for certain what the true prognosis of the relationship actually is.
Most marriage counselors are reluctant to push a relationship one way or the other—preferring to let them run their course all the while clarifying and interpreting threatening comments. It’s the least we can do for the non-initiating spouse to help prevent shock if and when the hammer comes down.
In my opinion, however, there are words other than, “I’m done with you and I want a divorce,” that are an excellent indicator that your relationship may be truly over. I hope you’ve never heard—and never will hear this: “I love you, but I’m just not in love with you,” or some facsimile of. To me “loving someone” can be entirely different than “being in love” with them. You can love someone and cheat on them; you can even separate or divorce and love simultaneously: “I love you but I just can’t live with you.” Or, “I love you but I just can’t be married to you.” And one of my personal favorites: “Of course I love you…well…I don’t want anything to happen to you.” Ah, what’s the difference?
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