Relationship Red Flags? Here’s What You Should Do About ThemJul 03, 2020
Have you noticed some red flags in your relationship? Indifference is the opposite of love. When you cannot care for, listen to, understand or respond to your partner, it’s time to make some decisions. If you find it difficult to spend time alone with your partner, it’s time to look at the health of the relationship.
Recognising that anyone you are living with, or any situation you are living in, only makes you unhappy should be a red flag in your life. I know this is sometimes harder to admit than we would like. If you are facing this, I would urge you to take control and do something constructive about it. You may be undecided whether separation or divorce is the ultimate answer, but it’s clear: You need to do something.
So if you have red flags in your relationship, here’s what you should do.
What Are Relationship Red Flags?
Red flags can mean different things to different people. Essentially, red flags are warning signs that present themself within a relationship. Psychology Today has a fantastic article on relationship red flags. Here are some of the things they suggest to look out for:
- A lack of communication
- Being irresponsible
- A lack of trust
- Partner is disliked by friends and family
- Controlling behaviour
- Feeling insecure in the relationship
- A secretive past
- Needy behaviour
- Abusive behaviour
I have witnessed many relationships (and I include my first marriage among them) in which the ‘writing was on the wall’, often for years. Rather than deal with the issue some of those people chose to search for happiness outside their relationship, whether that was by kissing someone they shouldn’t, flirting or indulging in a more physical experience. All of which are outlets for desire, loneliness or desperation.
The question you have to ask yourself is, “Is that really who I want to be?” Besides, people always find out. Always. The truth is, in many such cases, relationships have simply disintegrated or lost their way. One or both parties has changed; this is often a normal part of human adult development.
Consider Your Options
Perhaps it’s time for counselling or an open and honest discussion with your partner? If you are both committed to fighting for the relationship, then improvement is possible. But either way, if you feel indifferent, then action is required immediately. Why waste your time, and the other person’s, with this half-life? You and the people around you deserve more.
We are supposed to evolve as human beings, but when one person does and the other person doesn’t and the couple want different things, there really is very little point to getting upset about that. This next bit is perhaps the toughest fact to swallow: You can’t make someone love you. The first steps then are to acknowledge that, then resolve to do something about it.
Often there will be a trigger point that will tip you over the edge and push you into action. Welcome this trigger. You’ve reached your ‘action point’. If you haven’t reached a trigger point, then why wait for something unpleasant to happen in order for you to take action? I know it might feel scary, and you might need to be brave, but communicating how you feel is an important first step, despite what may happen after that conversation.
Separation or divorce doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s not a sign of failure. People change. As we age, we may want different things and head in different directions. Stuff happens that changes our perspective on life and we simply grow apart. It’s OK. We don’t live in the 1950s anymore! The real test of your character is not whether you have divorced or separated, but how you went about it.
Keep Your Emotions In Check
All too often we behave as though we are entering a battle zone, which means (in our minds) over-the-top hostility is warranted. Arguably, in some cases, it may well feel as though it is. Perhaps a partner was unfaithful or abusive? But even then, such highly charged emotional reactions are not going to help facilitate a smooth exit. We can also flip to the other extreme of being so emotionally tired and exhausted that it’s a struggle to even start or go through the process of what is to come.
You don’t have to feel that way. In the next couple of blog posts, I’ll share ways to manage your anger and avoid doing damage to those you love the most, your children. Meanwhile, if you want more guidance read my latest book, Your Life Your Way.