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The break-up guide: Here’s how to tell if you’re in a doomed relationship

There are always signs that the relationship is headed downhill. Here’s how you can clear your head.

sex and relationships Updated: Jun 11, 2017 12:10 IST
Asian News International
Toxic relationships,Breaking up,Doomed relationships
If you are stuck with a controlling partner who picks fights over who you should befriend or see outside the home, saying goodbye is the healthiest option.(Shutterstock)

It might be hard to accept but in any relationship there are clear warning signs that things are not working out. Here are some indicators to watch out for so that you are better prepared to brace for disappointment.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

“One immediate sign is if a partner belittles the other and treats them with disrespect, privately or publicly,” says Barbara Bloomfield, relate counsellor and author of Couple Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex.

“Another sign of emotional abuse can be a partner who is very charming and nice in public but who changes completely once the front door is closed. One of the first signs of domestic abuse is someone not wanting their partner to see friends and family or to work outside the home. This kind of behaviour tends to come on gradually and is a sign of a controlling partner, she says. In such cases, saying “goodbye” is the healthiest option.

One simple way to clear your head is to ask yourself: Can you achieve what you want to achieve in life and stay in this relationship?

When spending time together becomes a chore

Apparent warning signs like struggling to think of literally anything to say to the person you are attached to or even not wanting to have any physical contact with them doesn’t always spell the end.

Some people need help with learning how to communicate. In other cases, a person’s childhood experiences or upbringing can make them less dependent on touch.

“But if neither has anything to say to the other, yes, that feels like an incompatible relationship,” warns Bloomfield.

Even considering how life would be without your partner or with another person doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed. In fact, argues Bloomfield, it’s “very healthy” to daydream about alternative scenarios for your life.

After all, there’s nothing positive about suppressing your imagination and you’re a human being not a robot. Acting on it, however, is – obviously – generally ill-advised.

“We all imagine different futures and this can be a good way of reminding yourself about what you value about your current set up,” says Bloomfield.

“I always ask clients who are puzzled: ‘Can you achieve what you want to achieve in life and stay in this relationship?’“

Fight. Make up. Repeat

Fighting the same battle repeatedly is most often the universal sign that at least one partner has something deeper to work through, or that there is an issue that can’t be smoothed over.

“If you find yourself having the same argument all the time, that’s a sign that you’d benefit from professional help,” advises Bloomfield.

“There’s usually an unconscious element in why we choose our partners, sometimes the reasons are not so healthy. It’s important to become more aware of why we might be repeating the same patterns.”

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First Published: Jun 11, 2017 12:09 IST