As a couple’s therapist in Denver, there is often a natural bias towards wanting couples to stay together. Therapists love seeing couples happy, passionate, and excited about their relationship’s future. However, there are also times where it is clear a relationship may not be a good fit. There are red flags that show when a relationship is in danger. Here are those signs so you will know if you should consider couples therapy to mend things, have an open and honest communication about these warning signs, or choose an exit route.
This one is a sure-sign that your relationship is headed for danger. If you find that your partner is putting no effort into the relationship or that you are putting no effort into the relationship – it is time to consider leaving. It is true that when couple’s are arguing, communication is happening. I have seen relationships that go from the loudest arguments to the loudest laughs within the same session. Those couples care about each other; love each other; and are passionate about making the relationship work. But, if you have tried and tried, and you have burnt yourself out so much that you are no longer willing to put in the effort (or even argue to try to make a change), you just found red flag #1.
Failed expectations are a perfect example of how you chose the wrong path and the path may never lead back to where you want to go. For example, your ideal partner was an outgoing, charitable, and/or healthy individual. But now your partner is introspective, self-satisfying, and/or indulges in unhealthy habits. Your current partner may have caused the loss of relationships, there may be frequent arguments about their choices, and there are no signs of change on the horizon. Your expectations of a relationship have failed and you do not want to change those expectations to meet your partner where they are at. If you are not adjusting your expectations to accept them and they do not have a mind to change, this is red flag #2.
Out of Tools
Let’s be real, if you are reading this article, this may have been one of your last stops before calling it quits. You may have gone to therapy, read articles, listened to webinars, watched self-help videos.. done everything to try and make a change. Although you have done all of this and tried the tools you have learned, your partner still doesn’t seem to appreciate you or return the love. When you are giving love, being vulnerable to the best of your ability, and putting yourself on the line to be hurt again and again, there comes a time to wonder – When is a good time to say it has been enough? You may have reached the end of the rope with this red flag #3.
There are three big signs that it may be time to leave your relationship: either partner not putting in effort; one partner failing to meet bottom-line expectations; and trying everything/anything you have learned about relationships with minimal to no response. If any of these things are happening in your relationship and you have not considered couple’s therapy, I would HIGHLY recommend therapy before making any rash decisions. There is also room for initiating an open and honest communication about these signs that you are seeing. Also, it is important to know that during hard times (the ups and downs of a relationship) you will only see the negative. If these signs have only been happening for a short period, you may want to consider hanging in there until you can make it work again.
About The Author
Chris Cummins is a couples counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He focuses on working with with couples in high conflict and couples who are experiencing substance abuse. Living in Colorado, Chris enjoys hiking traveling and anything else outdoors.