How to Know if Your Relationship Isn't Working

by Carrie Stemke

About Carrie Stemke

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A New York native, Carrie Stemke is an avid writer, editor and traveler whose work has covered many different topics. She has had a lifelong fascination with and love of psychology, and hold's a bachelor's degree in the subject. Her psychology research articles have been published in Personality and Individual Differences and in Modern Psychological Studies.

How to Know if Your Relationship Isn't Working

When you're still involved in the relationship, the feelings you have for the other person make it difficult to be objective, even if you've been experiencing doubt for some time. Unfortunately, it's much easier to spot the warning signs after you're no longer involved with Mr. or Ms. Wrong. If you're wondering about your relationship's viability, try to set aside your emotions while you look for these red flags.

Your Relationship Is No Longer a Priority

If one or both of you is frequently choosing to put things other than your relationship first, it's unlikely your relationship is going to work out, says psychotherapist Felisa Shizgal in an interview with Canadian Living. Think about whether he's been focusing more on work lately, or if you've been choosing to go out with friends, rather than have Date Night. According to Shizgal, not prioritizing the relationship signals that you are no longer invested in its health and upkeep.

You're Fighting the Same Fights

If you and your partner are repeatedly arguing about the same things, your relationship is in trouble. When the two of you are stuck on one problem, one or both of you is likely feeling misunderstood, and the levels of tension in the relationship will be high, writes relationship expert and The Couples Center founder Gal Szekely in an article for Psych Central. This stress can lead to fights being started by an innocent remark taken the wrong way. From there, things can quickly spiral out of control, to the alarming point where you might even think your significant other is purposefully trying to hurt you.

You've Stopped Trusting Each Other

Trust is a cornerstone of any healthy relationship. If the trust between you and your significant other has evaporated, take it as a huge red flag, advises dating coach and relationship expert Sara Altschule in an article for Bustle. It's not healthy to feel so suspicious of your partner that you check her phone, email, or social media accounts. After all, writes Altschule, it's a relationship, not a detective story.

One Pursues, The Other Avoids

In a relationship that's in serious trouble, one person is often pursuing the other, who is, in turn, avoiding him as much as possible. Shizgal calls this a "pattern of pursuit and avoidance," and says that it's usually because one person is afraid of ruining the relationship. In a pursue and avoid relationship, the communication has broken down. Couples that cannot communicate effectively and actually deal with the inherent problems that come with any relationship aren't going to be able to make things work in a healthy way.

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