When people know I am a relationship coach they often ask what I consider to be warning signs that an intimate relationship is dying. These are the signs I frequently see.
- We only argue.
When a relationship is in its death throes, arguing and fighting are very common. Often it will be over trivial things like “the car needs fuel”, “the lawn needs mowing”, “what have you done today?” and each person feels the other is grilling them all the time. So rather than argue, you either agree with them (to keep them happy/quiet) or you just say nothing (no point in talking as I can’t do anything right).
- Facebook/footy scores/TV get more of my attention.
The world of Facebook can be exciting and wanting to know the latest footy score can be very addictive. But when they take us away from spending time with our partner, we’re having an emotional affair. So, what is too much? Facebook/football is a problem if you cannot sit down for a meal, or spend at least one hour with your partner, with your phone or TV turned off.
- The only time your partner is affectionate is when they want sex.
A common issue raised by women about their male partner: “The only time he talks, or helps around the house or brings me flowers or gives me a hug is when he wants sex”. Men – this sends the message, “I only want you for sex”. The longer you send this message, the harder it will be to prove that you want her for more than sex and the closer your relationship is to being over.
- You delay going home.
Finding reasons to not go home at night is a sure sign that your relationship is dying and one of the common pathways to having an affair. Alternatively going to work early or before your partner wakes is another sign your relationship is dying. Work is important but when it is more inviting than your partner, that’s a sign of where your relationship is at.
- Alcohol is more inviting.
If the only way you can sleep with your partner or tolerate their conversation is to have one or two drinks, alcohol is more inviting than your partner. Alcohol is your partner.
- You only get told what you’re doing wrong.
A clear sign a relationship is close to death is when the only time your partner talks to you is to tell you what you are doing is wrong or no good. It also suggests they are not in a happy place and are unable to say anything nice about you. In abusive relationships, this is a very clear sign the relationship is not healthy.
- You find others more attractive/fun.
When you find others – male or female – more attractive or fun to be with, you are on the path towards an affair. The reason you are in a relationship is because you like the other person and want to be with them. If you spend too much time with someone else, you’ll find yourself attracted to them to the point you find yourself in love with them. Most affairs I see started with a lonely unloved partner seeking someone to talk to, or spend time with.
- You have sex to keep your partner happy.
Both men and women have told me they have sex to “shut the other up” or “life is easier if we do it”. Sex is, in my opinion, the icing on the cake. When sex becomes a chore or something to be done – instead of bringing the couple together, it separates.
- You avoid receiving hugs from your partner.
Once you liked your partner’s hugs or kisses. Now, they repel you. If I am a huggy person and don’t get hugs, that’s a sign I’m not loved. Or if I hate their hugs, it’s a sign I’m disconnected from my partner.
The more of these signs you experience, the more likely your relationship is headed for break-up, and the likelihood of an affair is greater.