This one’s also self-explanatory. Instead of turning away as discussed above, some partners turn against each other. One person goes to their partner to seek support or comfort and gets barked at in response. Those who turn against are basically irritable and cranky with their partners. It’s not a good sign. If this is a problem you face, take a deep breath before responding. Watch yourself. If you are getting barked at, let your partner know the effects it has on you in an honest, non-critical way, and maybe even say that this is a warning sign for divorce! Hopefully your partner will be willing enough to take a look at this behavior and take a deep breath before responding to you when feeling irritated.
5.) Failure of repair attempts
All couples argue and get into it with each other. The healthiest of couples argue with the best of them. The difference is that stable couples know how to make up, or “repair,” when things go wrong. This is such an important skill in relationships, and a warning sign if it’s absent. Humor, honest apologies and not taking yourselves too seriously can go a long way in this regard. You don’t need to avoid fighting or hurting each other – let’s face it, it’s going to happen. Simply make sure you both can make up when things get rocky and you will be on the right track.
6.) Flooding of negative feelings & attributions about one’s partner
Unfortunately I see this all the time couples who come to therapy. Basically, what this means is that in distressed relationships, neutral or ambiguous signals from one partner are interpreted as negative by the other. What’s really common is that one partner will say something to the other – without any feeling positive or negative – and the partner who hears this will assume it is negative. Couples in stable relationships will either hear this same thing as neutral or even positive. So – watch yourself. When you are with your partner and feel like they are being hostile or especially negative, is there any chance that you are simply flooded with negativity that might not actually be present in that very interaction? Take a step back and try to be more objective in each instance and see what you find. Talk to your partner about this phenomenon and encourage them to do the same and start giving you the benefit of the doubt.
7.) Heightened & maintained physiological arousal