No matter how great a relationship is, there are going to be times when either you or your partner aren't completely satisfied. When the lines of communication are open, addressing the issues in a relationship can be surprisingly straightforward. However, when a couple is being less communicative, a sudden breakup can seemingly come out of nowhere. To avoid being completely blindsided, it's important to be able to recognize the signs your partner is considering breaking up with you. While confronting your partner about whether or not they are happy with your relationship can be really scary, avoiding that talk can cause things to fester and become a much bigger issue.
I spoke with Dr. Lesliebeth Wish, a licensed clinical psychotherapist, to get her take on the signs your partner could be contemplating a breakup. According to Dr. Wish, it's likely that the things you should look out for might not be all that subtle, so it's almost always a good idea to make sure you're not actively overlooking any weirdness.
"The signs that your partner might be considering breaking up are not necessarily subtle," Dr. Wish tells Elite Daily. "It's possible that your refusal to see that handwriting on the wall might cloud your vision,"
1. You notice changes in their mood.
It goes without saying that we all have our good days and our bad days, so there's no guarantee that your partner being in a bad mood definitely means they're questioning the validity of your relationship. That being said, if their bad mood is a regular thing, then it could be that something's up.
"Is he or she sad or snippy? Critical or sarcastic? Do they begrudge spending time with you or doing favors for you?" asks Dr. Wish.
If so, then they might be dealing with some negative feelings toward you or the relationship.
2. They are spending less time with you.
"[Are they] spending less time with you? Are they suddenly spending more time at work? Or in the home office? Or on the phone or computer?" asks Dr. Wish.
If the quality time you're spending together has consistently been on the decline, then there is a possibility that your partner is purposely pulling away.
"Trust your instincts," urges Dr. Wish. "If you sense that your partner's interests are slipping away, speak up."
3. Their sex drive has decreased.
According to Dr. Wish, a drop in physical intimacy is not something that should be dismissed. While sex might not be the most important part of a relationship, lack of any physical intimacy may cause a decline in your relationship. If you can, the best thing to do is to start a non-threatening dialogue with your partner about your concerns.
"Tell your partner that you sense troubled waters," suggests Dr. Wish. "At first, don't be surprised if he or she brushes you off with quick answers such as, 'Everything's fine.'"
How To Handle The Situation
If your partner's behavior has lead you to believe they may be thinking about ending it, try not to panic. At the end of the day, you can't control how someone else is feeling or processing things. All you can do is try your best to broach the topic without getting overly aggressive or intense.
"Stay calm, listen, get into learning mode, and even help your partner reveal the truth," urges Dr. Wish.
"For example, you could ask your partner on a scale of one to 10, to give you a number that best describes his or her situation or answers to questions such as: How close are you to leaving? Are you interested in someone else? How many things about me or us are not working for you? Are you having trouble with your health or depression or moods? Would you go with me to a counselor?"
Encouraging your partner to open up about their fears and concerns in regards to your relationship may definitely be hard at first, but it can actually bring you both closer together. Making an effort to open up the lines of communication is a great way to show your partner that you care and to find out where their head is at. And if you do break up in the end, at least you can move on knowing that you tried your best to make things work.
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