August 26, 2019
A relationship can ground you and give you reason to hoist many of your life’s successes. A relationship could also very well be a ticking time bomb that sucks you into a vortex of self-destruction and humiliation. Relationships become the centre pieces of our social and family experiences over time. They are sometimes the cracked mirrors through which we learn to see ourselves. That’s why, when you cut someone important from your life ‘loose’ and put an end to your relationship, it’s usually a pretty painful exercise – no matter how deep the investment was.
But how do you know when it’s time to let it go? What if an aberration is misdiagnosed by you as an unmitigated disaster? How will you know when it’s time to halt the narrative with someone and choose to end a relationship?
Here are 5 warning signs in a relationship that tell a story of an ailing romance and a time of reckoning that cannot end happily for either of the partners.
1) You constantly feel like you’re in a courtroom
There’s a moment in some relationships when dramatic overtures & case-building against one another becomes the common activity of choice, despite its unpleasantness. In fact, it’s all you seem to be doing. Tip-toeing around each other and waiting for the first chance to strike and argue about something that usually leads to both of you feeling stuck. This is usually the point where negotiation has failed and where strongly held opinions about each other have gone past a point of no return. This is the juncture where every time the couple sees each other, an evidence collecting and battle of wits begins where ‘you did this’ & ‘I did not’ becomes all that remains in the relationship. This is when you absolutely know that behind every argument lies the urge to prove to oneself and perhaps the partner that it’s time to end the unpleasantness – one way or another.
2) Trickery has become a norm
Patterns of deceit are usually preceded by moments of insight – however, not all insights are pleasant. One lie sets off another lie used to cover the first lie and a pattern is established. Lies are the smokescreen that some partners use to blindside their partners and get the results they desire in a relationship. Often, people also lie to censor out various aspects of their choices so as to not be seen in poor light. Such ‘mini-betrayals’ if discovered, lead to hurt and a growing sense of coldness. Safe to say that if your partner constantly tries to trick or deceive you, you’re better off asking yourself what you really want from a partner and whether you enjoy being taken for a fool.
3) You feel disrespected
Respect can be grossly described as an honest and empathetic understanding of someone else’s life journey, opinions, needs, desires & dreams. Respect is the vital ingredient for even successful businesses to become a hit with customers. If a relationship lacks respect, there is a lot that can go wrong, and eventually, does go wrong. People like being respected and treated with fairness. People like to be given a chance to be themselves and express who they really are. To share a life intimately with another person requires a certain degree of vulnerability which is easier to come to terms with if one feels respected and received with dignity. If one partner is both overtly, covertly, verbally or non-verbally disrespectful of another partner, or worse still, finds ways to repeatedly humiliate the partner, then it’s a sure-shot sign that the relationship has treaded past an erstwhile unmentioned expiry date.
4) It just doesn’t “feel the same”
As people age, their feelings and opinions about several issues change too. Certain opinions take on a new intensity and certain things stop mattering over time. Life’s many experiences visit us as teachers that tell us what needs to be done to achieve a certain degree of ‘perceived wellness’. This is true for most of us. Sometimes these changes could act as a monumental force in helping us decide who we want in our lives and what our idea of a relationship is. This is usually a time for deep reflection and a time to ascertain if ‘things not feeling the same’ is something that can be worked on or is it now simply a case of ‘oil & water never mixing’.
5) Games of leverage
Some couples thrive on game playing where the roles of victim, persecutor and rescuer are often interchanged in what makes for a frightfully toxic exchange of wits and angry finger pointing. Sometimes, a couple can’t quite decide what they mean to each other anymore. They feel more in control of what exactly they hate so much about each other. To be in a position where one is either looking to trap one’s partner or evade capture, can feel tiring. By raking up the past or by citing incidents to ‘get one’s partner to yelp’ without a will to solve problems can be a dreadfully inconsistent, loathsome and tight leashed position to be in.
Unpleasant as it is, if you sense that your relationship is taking a nosedive due to any of the above reasons, you are well within your right to tweak what you see as a ‘solution’ to at least attempt to rescue yourself – even if you ultimately fail to single-handedly save the relationship.