Collaborative Post | We all know that relationships take work and can suffer as our lives become increasingly busy. In this article, we’ll look at 10 signs that your relationship may have broken down beyond repair.
Despite a dip in 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic, civil partnership dissolutions and divorces are once again on the rise in the UK.
Following the introduction of the no fault divorce in the UK in April 2022, it’s now much quicker and easier for married couples to ‘consciously uncouple’. But how do you know when to throw in the towel and when to try harder to keep your relationship?
Keep reading for 10 signs that your relationship has broken down irrevocably.
10 signs your relationship has broken down
1. Strong Irritation
In many cases, the first sign that the rot may have begun to set into a relationship is when you find that you are irritated by your partner’s behaviour, often irrationally so. This often means that even the most trivial of offences such as forgetting to take the bins out can lead to bickering and arguments.
2. Frequent Arguments
The odd row is, of course, perfectly normal in any relationship. However, when these begin to escalate; becoming more frequent and more ugly, it can be a sign that all is not well in the relationship.
3. Talking Less
In even the healthiest of relationships, there will be the odd comfortable silence, however, if you find that one or both of you are more interested in staring at your phone than in having a conversation, there may be trouble ahead.
4. Time Apart
Being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean being joined at the hip, however, if you and your partner are increasingly spending more time with friends than with each other, there may come a time when you will need to examine the reasons for this.
5. Showing Too Much Interest in Others
Has your partner begun to ‘mention’ a colleague or friend more frequently or in situations where the mention seems to be out of context? This can sometimes be a sign that he or she has developed feelings for this person and, subsequently, his or her feelings for you have diminished.
For many people, infidelity is a deal breaker and can quickly spell the end of a relationship. While some couples can recover from an affair, others will ultimately feel that the trust has gone and therefore the relationship should be dissolved.
2. Lack of Commitment to the ‘Next Steps’
For a large number of couples, the expectation is that the relationship will follow a certain kind of progression, i.e. dating, living together then marriage or a civil partnership. When a relationship has been going for a few years and one partner seems reluctant to discuss taking things to the next level, it can be a signal that he or she may have doubts about committing to the relationship.
3. Lack of Intimacy
Once a relationship has settled down, it’s perfectly natural that sex will become less frequent - particularly when both partners have busy lives. If, however, one partner seems to be actively avoiding any kind of intimacy, it may mean, quite literally, that the thrill is gone. In a lot of cases, a prolonged lack of intimacy will lead to the relationship becoming that of friends rather than lovers or life partners.
4. Lack of Affection
A relationship’s building blocks are often about affection and terms of endearment - anything from a kiss while cooking to sending a sweet text during the workday. When the affection starts to eke out of a relationship, this can be a red flag.
When somebody wishes to distance themselves from a relationship, they will sometimes subconsciously begin to exclude their partner. This will often present as frequently saying ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ and is a sign that the person is kind of trying out a single persona.
Similarly, if your partner starts to talk about future events which do not appear to include you, this is a very real sign that he or she does not see a future for your relationship.
Should I stay or should I go?
While the behaviours highlighted in this article can often be a sign that all is not well in a relationship, they don’t necessarily mean that you should immediately start packing your bags.
Relationships take work and, the following may help to get things back on track:
If you do decide to call time on your relationship, try to keep things as civil as possible - particularly if there are children involved. If you find that you’re both butting heads regarding the specifics of your separation, a mediator may help to keep things as friendly as possible.
If your separation involves a divorce or a civil partnership dissolution (this latter is only possible if the relationship is a year or more old), it’s important to hire the services of a reputable solicitor to ensure that your interests are protected.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post
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