Punch Nigeria. Friday, February 10, 2017.
Being in a loving relationship can be exciting, and for people having such an experience, life is just good and worth living. But in some cases, that ecstatic or pleasant feeling does not last forever, in which case couples could start having issues with themselves.
Sometimes, couples could resolve those issues and move on, but at other times, such issues could be the beginning of the end of that relationship, without one of the parties knowing the relationship was already on the line.
And as it has been said several times, most relationships that eventually crash once had their own good times, thus it could sometimes be difficult knowing a relationship is in troubled waters. But, according to a psychologist, Honey Langcaster-James, in her chat with Mail Online, people who are getting unsettled about their marriage could do an appraisal on what used to be and what it is at the moment, to determine if all is well in the relationship.
This implies that there are signs that could show if one's partner is tired of a relationship or if the relationship is headed for the rocks, and these include:
If your partner frequently compares you to an ex: It is not abnormal to have certain expectations from one's partner, and in an ideal situation, experts say people should be able to constructively convey their thoughts and expectations to such a partner without injuring their self esteem. According to Langcaster-James, one of the good ways to know your partner is tired of the relationship is if he or she frequently compares you with their 'wonderful' ex or any other close person, especially when the partner says you should behave or think like them. She however pointed out that in a good relationship, people should make their partners feel special, wonderful and should focus on the partner's strength rather than weakness.
If the partner is not happy with your success: Ideally, marriage unites the two persons involved and so it is expected that the good of one should automatically be the good of the other. They are expected to work towards and be joyful about the progress of each other. But it is not uncommon to see that a husband may become sad seeing the wife making progress in her career, and likewise a wife could harbour some ill-feeling with the husband's progress. When this happens, Langcaster-James said it could be a signal that the relationship was heading for a crash.
The partner does not apologise: For the sake of peace, married couples are often advised to apologise to their partners even when they are not the ones at fault. But there are instances where some persons feel or act as if they are always correct, hence, they would never apologise. Langcaster-James says instead of apologising, if what your partner does anytime there is an issue is to give excuses or reasons, they do not appreciate you or the way you feel. "The mark of a healthy relationship is one in which both parties are able to take responsibility for their mistakes and try to repair and make amends," she added.
They are happier with you in public: In some troubled relationships, some persons are better treated in public by their partners, but while at home, they live like enemies. This, experts say, is a signal that the partner is tired of the relationship but might be keeping the relationship to avoid attracting suspicion from outsiders or undue interference. Langcaster-James said such persons are more concerned with their image than what their partner feels.
You are convinced within that things are not working: Some psychologists have said it is important for people to pay close attention to their instincts, especially when they suddenly have a change of feeling towards their partner, like suspecting their movement or phone calls, feeling neglected, etc. They argued that apart from the fact that such a feeling could be an indication that something is wrong with the relationship, they should do an evaluation of the issues on their mind, because their feeling may not necessarily be misplaced. "Trust your instincts, if something feels wrong, then there is a good chance that it is, for you at least. Try to figure it out," she added.
Your peaceful living has become conditional: Drawing inferences from past occurrences, some people tend to exercise extreme caution when dealing with their partners so they don't say or do anything that could again lead to serious brawl in the home. Langcaster-James explained that such imbalance in the home could eventually lead to a break-up because such careful disposition may not last as it would be difficult to sustain such 'maltreatment and unequal feeling' for a long time. She added that it could also mean the partner does not really love you.
Putting children first: It is true that the children are a product of both partners, but as marriage counsellors and psychologists have always said, parents could pay attention to their children without making their partner feel less important. Thus, when in everything your partner puts your children first, there could be trouble lurking around, and according to some experts, it could be that there is an issue between them and the partner already took solace in the children, especially for those who don't want to consider divorce.
Your sex life has gone south: Sex is one of the activities that bind couples together in marriage, and interestingly, even when couples are not in good terms they push their differences to one side and still have a romp in the sack. But according to a relationship coach, Cathy Meyer, when couples' sex lives become irredeemable, that relationship could be on its way to the end. This is more so because that could push them into extramarital affairs, which could rip the union apart. Meyer had this to add, "Whether it is him or you that have lost interest, a lack of regular intimacy in a marriage is a bad sign. Sex is the glue that binds, it is the way adults play and enjoy each other."
Other signs that had been identified, according to Woman'sDay, include lack of respect for each other, having sudden preference for doing everything separately; when a partner makes an ex a confidant; the spouse is unrepentant when it comes to having extramarital affairs; long disagreement on whether to have children or not; zero communication and dwindling intimacy; having incessant conflicts; and fantasising consistently about being with another person.
Speaking on these, a consultant psychologist, Prof. Toba Elegbeleye, said there are some potent indices of a gradual break in relationships, including break in communication and comatose sex experience.
He added, "The first casualty is communication; there will be far less communication than before. Also, there will be no tactile interaction, which is the rate at which they touch each other. Touching is a very big component of interpersonal relationship, and when a couple seem distant from each other in that regard, it means something might be wrong.
"We also have the mind game. When someone is trying to anticipate the other person, something is wrong. When you try to put yourself in your partner's mind to anticipate what he or she is thinking, it is an indication, and most of the time, such anticipation and conjectures are wrong."
He explained further that the intimacy would reduce, including things as simple as smiling and laughing together.
He added, "Sex life is the first to go. The physical activity might still be there, maybe out of marital obligation, but once the emotional involvement is gone, then there is an issue. Where the man is a little aggressive, the woman can comply grudgingly, but she obviously would not enjoy it. That is not a positive sign, as long as the emotional connection is no longer there."