When Your Relationship is Seeing Red

By

When Your Relationship is Seeing Red
Are red flags popping up in your relationship? Read this article to help you decide what to do.

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

A red flag that your relationship is headed in the wrong direction is when you’re wondering why you’re in it in the first place, according to Daniela Roher, Ph.D, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who works with couples in Arizona.

 

Couples often see red (flags, that is) whenever they’re unable to connect to positive feelings about each other and feel negative feelings, such as fear, anger, disappointment or resentment, she said. Other red flags include feeling unappreciated, unheard or under-valued.

“All relationships go through crossroads, often more than once,” especially if partners have been together for a long time, said Roher, who’s also co-author of Couples at the Crossroads: Five Steps to Finding Your Way Back to Love.

If you feel like your relationship is in limbo, instead of dwelling on how you got here – because everyone gets here – ask how you can get out of this spot and fix your relationship.

While Roher acknowledges that being at a crossroads is painful, she believes that if couples are willing to work, it also presents an opportunity to bond on a much deeper level. “We grow more by going through challenging times and learning [from] them,” she said.

Emotional Safety

According to Roher, “one of the most important elements in a relationship is the feeling of emotional safety.” It’s the idea that “I have your back, and you have mine,” and we’ll be there for each other, she said.

“When [partners] are in a difficult place in their relationship, that feeling of safety is gone, [and they] can’t communicate well,” she said. For instance, you might feel like your partner isn’t listening to you, doesn’t seem to care about you or isn’t attuned to your feelings. This makes it really hard to open up, reveal your feelings and try to solve the situation. However, this doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed, Roher said.

Even in the best relationships, partners feel really attuned to one another just a third of the time, she said. Think of the times, for example, when your spouse wants to talk but your mind is somewhere else (and vice versa).

Moving in the Right Direction

The first step in moving in the right direction is acknowledging that you love each other and want to work on your relationship, Roher said. When she starts seeing a new couple, Roher helps them reconnect to their positive feelings about each other. “When you hear your partner say they still love you, it creates hope.”

Sometimes couples can work on improving the relationship on their own. If you’d like to try, begin by rebuilding the emotional safety you’ve probably lost. Roher said that you can create some safety by talking about the least conflictual topics. Leave the big issues until you’re more comfortable together, she said. Also, reconnect by engaging in activities you both enjoy, she added.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

5 Ways to Charge Up Your Sex Life Now!

By

One of the major reasons couples break up can be traced to boredom in the bedroom. Let’s be honest folks – sexual intimacy is kind of a big deal in romantic relationships! To be sure, this is an issue that affects almost all couples from time to time and in some ways is to be expected. With that shared, if the problem remains unchecked, ... Read more

How To Fight With Your Partner

By

In a healthy relationship, fights are going to happen. Often, a complete absence of fights is a sign partners have become irrevocably disconnected. The goal shouldn't be to eradicate all fights, but to make sure you're fighting well. What I mean is, a good fight is one that's productive: grievances are aired, resentments are released, both ... Read more

Help! I Think I'm Falling Out Of Love With My Partner!

By

You'll hear many people say "we just aren't 'in love' with each other anymore." But, relationships don't naturally fall apart, according to Susan Orenstein, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, NC. Other reasons often underlie a relationship's breakdown. Below you'll find these common reasons, along with ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular