How do you know if this relationship is doomed?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in a head-spin, worried about whether your relationship is normal, if it’s doomed, if it can be saved, or if it’s even worth saving at this point?
You obviously know there’s a problem, but don’t panic just yet – chances are, your relationship still has hope. If not though, it’s ok… even though it’s painful to go through a separation, you will get through this situation and in a few years, you’ll hopefully look back and realise this was just a little blip on the radar of life.
Of course, there’s no surefire method of determining whether your relationship is 100% doomed and we’d be negligent if we told you otherwise; however, there is definitely one primary question – and a few (unfortunately tough) follow-up questions – you can ask yourself that will help you to make the decision as to whether you’ll keep fighting the good fight for love, or throw in the towel for a taste of freedom.
If you do choose to stay with your partner, we recommend some good-quality couples counselling to help prevent the recurrence of issues that brought you here in the first place.
In the meantime, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
Primary question… Do you feel everyday happiness and well-being with your partner and vice versa?
If the answer to this is yes, congratulations – you have a good foundation to improve on your relationship. Sure, you may need a bit of counselling for any problems that cause arguments, but your relationship will likely survive this.
If your answer to this question is no though, you might want to deeply consider whether you’d be better off leaving. Life’s too short to endure constant unhappiness. Of course, if you’re experiencing abuse or violence, it’s time to seek professional help now, regardless of how you answer the other questions, especially if you have children!
Do you enjoy his/her company?
It’s completely normal for that initial spark of romance to die down and instead, become a smouldering but strong love that can burn forever if it’s well-maintained. If you get to the other side of that initial spark though and the fire goes cold, you may find yourself not even wanting to be in the same room as your partner. If you’re finding yourself making excuses to hang out with friends instead of your partner, if dinners together are a chore, you don’t bother telling them about your day anymore and you wake up every morning feeling stressed, take a look at why. Relationships are meant to be enjoyable and fun, or at the very least, comfortable. If your relationship is really hard work, it’s not working.
Do you have respect for each other?
If you’re in a healthy relationship, you’ll notice you have a mutual respect for each other. If this respect isn’t present, one of you will be regularly belittling or patronising the other and this will eventually tear holes in the relationship. Mutual respect means showing appreciation for your partner’s role in the relationship, even if it’s not always seemingly equal (i.e., if one partner earns a large amount of money while the other stays at home). If there is an imbalance in the input each partner puts in, then respect would be shown by putting more effort into helping out. Respect also involves supporting your partner if they choose to improve themselves in some way, such as losing weight, completing an education course or quitting a habit.
Do you trust each other… and yourself?
One of the major steps of entering into a relationship is giving your partner that precious trust you hold so dear. You know if that trust is broken, it’ll hurt, so it’s a big deal. You might think breaking trust means something big like hiding money, drug use or cheating, but it also means the small, seemingly harmless lies that you may not even notice until you really think about it. You may also notice that you’re hiding things from your partner, big or small. Perhaps you’re just making excuses for why you’d rather spend time with friends instead of him or her and you may not realise you’re doing it. Either way, when that trust is gone, it’s seriously difficult to get back.
Do you fight fair?
You may not agree, but fighting is a healthy part of a relationship and is a good way to grow as a couple. Having said that, there’s constructive, respectful fighting and there’s damaging fighting. When both people really listen and make positive changes due to conflict, this encourages patience and empathy. When fights start for stupid little reasons, directly attack things the other person can’t change or are constantly bubbling under the surface due to old resentments, then there’s an issue. This is most true when you realise you’re fighting not because they’ve done something wrong, but because they just ‘are’.
Does physical contact with them disgust you?
Yep, if this is happening, it’s a pretty good sign you’re not happy anymore and there’s a problem. It’s hard to claw your way back from this position and while it may seem unfair on your partner, it’s almost certain that the issues in your relationship caused this feeling, not the other way around.
Have you stopped caring about how they feel?
Remember back in the early days where you’d do anything to make your partner happy? If that’s completely gone, then it’s bad news. Sit quietly and think about how you feel when your partner is sad. If you’re starting to lose that deep empathy you reserve for the people you love, it’s a big, fat warning sign.
Are they not that into you anymore?
Finally, if you’re still clinging to your relationship but you know your partner’s love has slipped away, you can either keep fighting and hope for a miracle, or you can accept the obvious and let them go. Of course, if it’s all over, you’ll need to grieve your relationship and that’s fine. Just make sure you have a support network around for you before you take that massive step into singledom. Another painful part of ending a relationship is the legal aspect of dividing property. Thankfully, our Free e-Book ‘We’ve decided to Separate… What happens now?’ will help you out with some no-nonsense advice about the legalities of separation and property settlement. Good luck!