Marriage is an ancient institution that has survived the test of time. In fact, apocalyptic predictions on the growing divorce rates have always fallen flat with more and more couples choosing to get married.
But, it is surprising to see that, we end up making the same mistakes in our relationships. We never seem to learn from others. We have our hormones and millions of years of evolution to blame for this. Physical attraction continues to play a major role in the choice of our partner. However, the demands of a long-term relationship go above and beyond what your hormones might tell us!
If you really care for a long-term relationship, watch out for these three signs that invariably catch couples unaware. That’s not all. Try answering four simple questions to diagnose fundamental issues in your relationship-
1. Mismatched expectations
Most couples will make conscious effort to show only their best side at the start of a relationship. But, as the relationship gets older, real issues start tumbling out of the closet. Suddenly, the spark of the relationship disappears! Things get complicated and difficult than before. The culprit, in this case, is mismatched expectations.
Here are simple questions that will help you recognize mismatched expectations:
- What is your primary expectation from your partner?
- What efforts does your partner make to meet your primary expectation?
- In the last one week, how many times did you say no to your partner for anything?
- In the last four weeks, how many times did you reach out to someone else for something your partner should have done?
If your partner is struggling to meet your primary expectations and you have a long list of things to say for questions 3 and 4, you may have to watch out.
2. Being self-centered
Some of us see a relationship as a stepping stone to fulfilling something that’s close to our heart. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, exploiting the relationship for your personal need and disregarding your partner’s aspirations is toxic.
Ask yourself these questions to find out if one of you is controlling and manipulative:
- What were the instances when you put your partner’s need ahead of you?
- Do you have to stick to a specific routine or seek permission from your partner to do things you want?
- Have you ever felt your partner has sabotaged your aspirations?
- Did you ever feel jealous of your partner’s success?
3. Holding grudges
Couples break up for several reasons. Cheating, lack of communication, constant arguments, lack of intimacy are some of the reasons. However, most of these reasons are just manifestation of deeply held grudges that trigger destructive behavior. You might become the roadkill as grudges are often misdirected.
Ask yourself these questions to find out if you are in a relationship with unresolved grudges.
- Do you or your partner see the world in black and white? In other words, someone is either right or wrong?
- Do you or your partner have childhood issues that remain unresolved (such as molestation or abandonment)?
- In the last four weeks, how often have you or your partner sincerely apologized for any wrongdoing?
- In the last four weeks, how many times did you or your partner find fault over things that the other party felt was exaggerated?
Do make a conscious effort to recognize these warning signs. After all, understanding why you have issues in your relationship is the first step in mending it.