Picture by Onipa psychological & consulting Services

A relationship can be difficult  to maintain at times. It takes a lot of hard work and endurance for two people to overcome life’s rough patches together in order to find common ground for building a healthy and happy connection. While this is possible for some, other couples struggle in this endeavor.

Most people assume the easy and quick fix approach to an unhappy or toxic relationship – just leave. However, it is not always easy to leave someone you love no matter how difficult the situation. Because all relationships have their “highs” and “lows” we often cling on hoping that it will get better.

Fortunately, research has shown that there are some signs of an unhappy and unhealthy relationship which we have to be wary of or avoid if we are determined to preserve the love. This information is relevant to us all, regardless of your relationship status nor future plans in that area these nuggets of wisdom may become handy at some point in your life. If not for your own benefit, you may be called upon to assist another couple, perhaps friends when they encounter bumpy situations in their love relationships.  Find below some signs of unhappiness or unhealthy couple love relationships listed in no particular order of importance:

  1. You constantly criticize each other.

One of the major signs of a failing relationship is when a couple begins to constantly criticize each other. Relationships require a certain level of compassion for one another. While some criticism is healthy to a certain extend if applied in necessary contexts, it is a bad sign when this becomes a continuous cycle.

  1. You compare your current relationship to the past.

When a love relationship begins, everything about your significant other feels exciting, that is an undeniable truth. But, when you completely lose the spark and can only cling to the past, it’s a sign that something needs to change. It feels more like a chore than a pleasure to be around each other. Relationships are not supposed to always feel like work. In between the inevitable struggles that all relationships face, we are supposed to have wonderful moments of love and, at the very least, enjoy each other’s existence. When it becomes nothing but struggle, the relationship is deeply suffering.

  1. You stop having sex.

Sex isn’t everything, but it is most definitely important. At the very least, intimacy and love-making from time to time are necessary to keep the bond strong. However, when intimacy fades, it can break down that foundation.

  1. You are defensive against each other.

When a relationship becomes a war zone in which you are both constantly on defense, it can be an indicator that communication lines between the couple has broken down. Without communication it can becomes difficulty to keep the relationship afloat.

  1. You stop feeling like partners.

In a relationship, it’s important to feel like a team. While it’s normal to lose sight of this, according to some research, it’s important to get the partnership back. “Tell and show you care.” Pause for a moment when your partner comes home to welcome and embrace him or her. Be affectionate. It helps forge connection and closeness. It’s a reminder that he or she is your one and only.”

  1. You fantasize about finding an out.

Almost everyone occasionally imagines what their life would be like if they become single. However, when those thoughts become a downright never-ending fantasy, there is a problem. Oftentimes, these fantasies are a sign that you don’t feel loved or connected in your relationship, but instead, you feel neglected.

  1. You stop caring.

While most people assume that an unhappy relationship is simply marked by arguments, at least when you are arguing, you are fighting to stay together. When both partners or even one-stop caring enough to argue, it shows that you are losing the motivation to work on the relationship which is a really bad sign.

  1. The relationship grows stale.

In order to keep the spark alive, we have to do things and be present with our partners. When time together turns into watching television, playing on your phone, and being completely disengaged, this is a sign of boredom and disconnection.

  1. You are keeping secrets.

Even if it’s not infidelity, harbouring secrets from each other shows that you’ve stopped communicating and working together on issues. In turn, both parties begin to resent each other, rather than work as a team.

  1. Conversations always end as arguments.

Communication is everything and without it, the relationship will inevitably fall apart. While it’s normal for conversations to turn into arguments from time to time, when every conversation escalates into an argument, it simply implies that the two of you no longer want the same things in life.

  1. You are stonewalling each other.

Stonewalling is what happens when you shut down. And shutting down completely makes it impossible to work through conflict. For example, if you try to discuss something, and your partner begins yelling and then walks away, that is stonewallin

By Tatenda Chandengenda from Life Mend Family Therapy


Master of Science in Mental Health Counselling- Zimbabwe Open University




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