Relationship falling apart-I believe most of us have been there. And in some cases, it seems to happen more than once. The funny part is that most of the times, the idea of getting into a relationship itself can seem scary (here I mean getting into a commitment); and now when it’s falling apart, it can be devastating. The inner critic in us, who had millions of questions at the start of the relationship to ensure that we remain unhurt, is now silent and probably hurt.
Should I have listened to the inner voice? Is it my fault that I agreed to this? Is he not trying enough? Is it my fault or his? Apart from these questions you might feel a wide range of emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, insecurity, sadness and at times depression.
A relationship falling apart could be due to various reasons; most of which we mostly don’t even realise unless things have started going south. Every relationship requires a lot of care and attention. And most importantly it must evolve with time. As we age, our though process undergoes a lot of changes. And as our thoughts change, it also changes the dynamics of the relationship. But most of us tend to ignore that. We love to hold on to the initial romance and expect it to last forever (this is the most common thing that happens in most relationships).Thanks to the great works of the poets and writers of The Romantic Age. Not that they are bad, but they are very much responsible for shaping or giving the idea of love and romance a “structure”. And not just them, our favourite romantic movies and songs, they too play a huge role in the same. They are pretty much responsible for embedding the idea of an “ideal life partner” or the “perfect one”. And even if we find “the perfect one”, it is known that the strongest of relationships have their own share of challenges.
We can easily avoid a relationship falling apart if we manage to notice the early signs that are distancing us from our partner, or vice versa.
Some of the signs that your relationship is falling apart are:
- Your partner and you no longer share common interests. You no longer do things together which you initially loved doing and spending time with each other.
- Your initial thought of spending a lifetime together is not as strong as it used to be. This is a very strong sign that you are growing apart.
- Lack of intimacy; and by that I don’t mean just sex. Simple intimate gestures like holding hands, a peck on the lips, hugging each other seems to have reduced or become non-existent, then that is a clear sign of your relationship falling apart. At times, you might find that these very gestures that you loved in the beginning have now started to irritate you, that’s a possible sign you are drifting apart.
- Communication no longer exists. Even a general discussion seems to feel like a mammoth task; let alone talking about your feelings and emotions.
- You feel lonely even when you are together. Remember, there used to be a time when time flew or came to a standstill when the two of you were together? And now, instead you feel lonely even when your partner is sitting right next to you.
- There needs to be very little reason to get irritated and get into an argument or fight. Obviously, you must have had fights and arguments before but off late you have gotten to a stage where you end up arguing with your partner for no apparent reason. And if this is the case, then clearly your relationship is not what it used to be. It is about time that you consider whether it is meant to be or not.
- You are no longer excited about your future and are totally bored.
- If you are thinking about your past relationships or your ex very often, then it is a clear indication that there is something lacking in your present relationship and you are not happy about it.
- Off late all you see in your partner is their flaws. Things that you used to probably find cute initially have now become totally annoying.
- When you and your partner want different things from life or for the future and you no longer share the same dreams.
- You find that your partner is no longer as affectionate and the sweet little nothings or any form of display of affection is totally absent.
- When the number of “used to be” has increased.
- When you feel that your partner is not sharing equal responsibilities and tends to stay away from home as much as possible.
Well, these are few indications which might mean that things are not what they used to be, and your relationship is falling apart. But that doesn’t mean things can’t be fixed. If there is still some amount of love or attachment left, you could try and salvage your relationship. Even if things might seem bad now, there is always a way to mend things. It is at least worth a try.
Here are some things that you could try and fix, to possibly prevent your relationship from falling apart:
1. Take ownership and start making changes.
Easier said than done; true. But it must be tried. Make an effort to bring about some changes in your current equation. Identify what is wrong. When did you first start noticing the change? What was the situation then like? Here, you don’t really need to wait for your partner to take the initiative. Don’t turn it into an ego battle. For all you know, your partner is waiting for you to reach out!
2. Make changes in your behaviour.
We all have our set of complaints or emotional baggage and most of the times we expect our partner “to understand”. Well, keep in mind that no one knows what is going on in your head. Don’t expect your partner to “read your mind” (let that idea stay in the novels and movies).
You need to learn to communicate in an effective manner without turning it into a fight. Talk about your feelings. Let your partner know what you expect from the relationship. At times, if you feel unappreciated for things you do, it is alright. Try not holding a grudge or complaining. Avoid chasing your partner to be grateful or appreciative. This is a very common reason that could lead to your relationship falling apart.
3. Try and keep an open communication.
If you feel that your relationship is falling apart, it is time that you have a talk with your partner. This doesn’t mean that you are the only one who ends up doing all the talking; you need to “listen” to your partner as well. If you let them speak without being interrupted, it makes them feel more valued and respected. This one gesture could make a world of a difference. By listening and understanding what your partner has to say, you might realise your role in sabotaging the relationship. So, talk it out. Don’t fear that it might lead to another fight. Just be patient.
4. Try to not bring up the past.
We all love to do this. But the only thing it ends up doing, is wrecking your current equation. What is the point in bringing up the past? Let it stay there. If the past was ugly, don’t bring in that ugliness in your already drifting relationship. It will do you no good. You anyway are dealing with a tough situation and you don’t really need to add to it by digging up unpleasant incidents from the past.
Yes, if you have some fond memories of you and your partner, bring that up instead. Try making your partner understand how things have changed. That could help, probably. But otherwise, refrain from bringing up the past.
5. Learn to forget and forgive.
I don’t mean to sound too preachy here; but trying and forgetting things might just help you move on and de-clutter your mind. Forgiving things that happened in the past (though you might find it difficult initially) could help you start afresh and fix the bond between you and your partner. This can actually save your relationship.
6. Try to meet somewhere in the middle- in other words, try and compromise.
The word compromise is often met with raised eyebrows. But it is not all that bad or negative.
You cannot always be like- ‘My way or the Highway’. That never works. Any relationship is about two people being on the same page and that obviously will require some amount of compromise. Have a healthy discussion. See what you can do to meet your partner midway and also try and let your partner know what you expect from them to keep things running smoothly.
7. Don’t shy from seeking professional help.
Here, I could also say try and reach out to your friends and family, but then again, they might not be able to give you a clear and unbiased advice because they might tend to equate your situation with theirs. You need to understand that even though they mean well, every relationship has different dynamics. So, it is very much possible that their advice could be slightly influenced by what’s happening in their personal lives. But, reaching out to friends and family for emotional support could help you tide through the choppy phase. Here, their presence could help you be calm.
If you feel that all your attempts are futile then do not shy away from seeking professional help. Relationship counselling can be of great help and it could also help iron out certain wrinkles that you might have overlooked.
As they say: “Every effort counts”.
And despite all these, if you feel that it just isn’t working out, it’s time to let go. It just isn’t meant to be. Accept the situation and move on…