Let’s face it most of us argue at some point in our relationships but this can be a healthy sign that proves your relationship is really strong enough to survive over the long term. But at what point should you be concerned with your relationship not going in the right direction?
Nothing stands still. Good or bad, we keep evolving. In relationships, we either grow together or apart — we rarely just stay the same.
Every relationship is completely unique; there is no one size fits all. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love what I do, helping people to let go of the hurt and pain to form loving relationships with themselves first and then others.
Most of us look to do this the other way round and it usually ends in tears. Every situation is different and every relationship is exclusive so my work is enormously varied.
Let’s look at some of the things that can start to slide when your relationship has become routine, so you can nip them in the bud before they become too much to handle. I've suffered all of these at some point in my marriage and so have most of my clients.
1. Are you expecting them to act and behave in a certain way?
The word ‘expect’ is really dangerous in any relationship because you will always be disappointed in them and them in you. You are not together because that person is the perfect partner, but rather, you love them because they are not.
You love them for the way they are. Let go of all your expectations and you will be much happier and less frustrated.
2. Are you talking less and less?
Communication is key in any relationship. Are you noticing that over time that you tend to "speak your mind" much less? Maybe because you’re scared of rejection and frightened by what they might think of you. Perhaps they’ll get upset or maybe you’re feeling insecure about something.
Whatever is bothering you, allowing the words to swirl around your head won’t help, as communication is the key to nurturing a great relationship. Talk about your worries, share your struggles and chat about the good times.
Don’t be scared, information is powerful and it’s better out in the open than festering inside of you.
3. Are you looking for that missing piece of your puzzle in someone else?
No one can fill in your missing bits, only you are responsible for your own happiness. What happens is that we look to others to fill in the void, but after a while, we still feel empty. So, we subconsciously "blame" that person for making us feel that way.
Sounds familiar? Stop looking outside of you and look inside yourself — you have all that you need; your lover or partner does not.
4. Is your mind elsewhere?
When you are together, do you notice that neither of you is paying any particular attention to each other nor do you know what you're both saying? Over time this will not only affect the depth of your relationship but how meaningful it is to both of you.
When you are fully present with someone you actually share some of your vulnerability, which deepens the relationship. To stay present, having time alone and focusing on your breathing can help you to clear your mind and focus the present moment.
When you come together and discuss an important question, you can refocus on your breath and listen carefully without judgment. You can allow your partner to voice their thoughts more easily.
5. Do you notice you're starting to lie?
This really needs nipping in the bud... immediately! Lies are more than destructive, they will eat away at your insides. It’s bad enough lying to the people you love but it’s soul destroying to lie to yourself. In the end, you will have no idea who you really are.
Start telling the whole truth today; honesty really heals the heart. You are far better to put your hands up and say "I’m wrong" than live a life of lies and deceit.
Be true to yourself and then you’ll be far more able to be true to others. Long-term relationships can give you the deepest joy, comfort, and peace. They are well worth the effort.
I hope some of the above ideas will help set you on the path to longevity and happiness in your relationship. If you’re struggling always reach out, you are never alone.
Louise Armstrong is a Family Relationship Coach. Click here for your FREE ‘Relationship Breakthrough’ guide and click here to take the Relationship Quiz to find out exactly where you are!
This article was originally published at The Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.