Nothing is better than being with someone you consider to be your best friend, biggest supporter, lover, soul mate. It’s wonderful being able to plan for the future together talking about where you want to live, when you want to get married, how many children you want to have, and how you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Relationships are hard work and the road will be rocky, but if you can make it through the bad times together, the you will be that much stronger when you come out of them. Nowadays it is so easy to end relationships that people don’t want to work together to make it through. They lack the discipline to work for the relationship, the foresight to believe it will get better, and the selflessness needed to keep what they once love. We are selfish people by nature and find it difficult to compromise, but if you want to keep your relationship you have to face your problems head on together. Pay attention to the red flags popping up in your relationship and tackle them together.
- Communication Failure - Communication is key in all relationships. Miscommunication leads to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and a breakdown in communication. Most of the time we don’t hear what our partner is trying to say to us or we misinterpret what they are saying or their intentions. The best way to understand what is being said is to ask for clarification on what is being said or repeating what has been said back to them so they can understand how you are interpreting what has been said. Sometimes words are taken out of context and may be taken in the wrong way. Its best to think before you speak and try to understand where your partner is coming from. Be slow to speak and listen carefully. Don’t speak out of anger and strive for a dialogue so both parties are heard and understood.
- Confiding In Someone Else – Your relationship is heading for, if not already in, trouble when you find yourself confiding in someone else instead of your partner. If you are complaining to another person (of the opposite sex that you find attractive) about your relationship or your partner then you are heading down a very slippery slope. This “friend” is positioning themselves to infiltrate your relationship and your pants. Be careful what you share with other people about your relationship because you don’t know their intentions nor what they may use the information for later. The only person you should be confiding in is your partner. If your gripe is with your partner then this is where step #1 comes back into play. Communicate open and honestly with them to resolve the issue and be ready to hear their complaints about you as well.
- Intimacy Gone – Intimacy is very important in a relationship. If you are married and no longer having sex there are some issues to be worked out ASAP. A sexless marriage is usually one sided because somebody may be getting some from somewhere if it’s not from you. When dating being affectionate is important because it shows how you feel about each other. Kissing and hugging are forms of intimacy that expresses your desire for your mate. If you can’t stand the touch of your partner any more or the sight of them then you either need to get to the root of the issue that makes you feel that way or move on from the relationship.
- Cheating – Cheating can be taken as a red flag or as a sign to end the relationship. Some people consider cheating a deal breaker while others are willing to stick it out and consider it a bump in the road. People from the “older” generation believe and take to heart “for better or worse, til death do us part.” I totally agree because these are vows made before God that should be honored. Unfortunately, my generation is very quick to through in the towel and move on. I personally don’t believe that one indiscretion should terminate the relationship and the life we have built, but I’m no fool either. Once is a mistake, but a twice is a conscious decision. I can’t take the chance of you bringing a STD or worse home to me and I deserve to be treated with honor and respect as your wife. If the shoe were on the other foot would he be so understanding and tolerating of my mistake? Doubtful. The excuse “Let a man be a man” and “men do what men do” is a lame excuse for allowing your man to run around on you. I’m not that patient and he if he lacks self control he will soon be lacking me as well.
- Distant – There are times when you feel like the person laying next to you is far away from you emotionally. They aren’t being the person they usually are and they are not talking to you like they used to. Intimacy is none existent and there is no clear explanation why. When you notice this it may be a combination of all of the above mentioned red flags. The only way to close the gap is to start talking. The hustle and bustle of the daily grind can wear on all of us, but don’t let it wear down your relationship. Plan a weekend a month to just get away for the two of you. If you can’t do a weekend at least get a sitter for the night. Plan to take a vacation once a year for just you two. Don’t let other things take you away from what is the most important thing in your life. When the kids, job, friends, and other distractions are gone it will only be you two left and you don’t want to spend those days with a stranger.
It all comes back and down to communicating. Don’t hide or bury your feelings. Don’t let whatever is bothering fester and boil up inside of you until you explode or it manifest itself into an indiscretion. Be proactive about your problems, acknowledge them, and tackle them together. You are in a relationship. You are not supposed to figure out the problems on your own, do it together. Lean on one another and keep God at the head of your relationship. Pray for guidance and patience.