Why are incapable of noticing red flags in a relationship before the actual breakup happens?
Take Kevin for example:
When Kevin got dumped, it was like a kick in the head for him.
He needed days to come around and realize what happened.
Even then it was an absolute mystery to him what caused the breakup.
Had he seen it coming?
He said “no.”
But when I dug a little deeper, it became apparent that he actually had noticed unusual things in his relationship.
He just dismissed them as meaningless.
He would never have guessed that they could lead to a breakup.
Apparently, they were anything but meaningless.
If he would have given them some attention, he may have been able to do something to prevent the forthcoming events.
He could have talked to his girlfriend, uncovered the problem and tried to do something to fix it before it was too late.
If there is no communication, nothing will ever change.
The reasons why two people in a relationship drift apart are numerous.
But if you spot the early signs, there is a high possibility to get back on track again.
Why didn't Kevin see it coming?
Why didn't he react to the “unusual” things he noticed?
I believe that he knew what was about to happen, but it is very typical in such situations to refuse to accept that something is wrong.
We would never think that our partner, who was on our side for so long, would leave us.
This appears so unreal.
Denial seems to be a good way of handling the problem. But, as you probably know, this is only self-deception.
Unfortunately, many cannot read the early signs, the red flags, as something that is going very wrong in their relationship.
Why should you pay attention to these red flags?
After a relationship breakup, all we think about is “if I'd only knew earlier, I could have done something”.”
But what would you have done?
When recovering from a breakup or divorce you have to go through the seven phases.
(MORE: The 7 New Stages of Grief After a Breakup)
What we often do not realize, is that the one who actually breaks up has to go through these phases as well.
Only they are doing it while you are still together.
S/He has to do so, otherwise leaving would not be possible.
So, if you spot the signs in the early phases, you might still be able to prevent the fatal outcome.
How can you avert a potential break up or divorce?
Certainly by talking to the partner, uncovering the origin of the discontent and trying to eliminate the problems.
Reminding your partner of the love you had for each other by revitalizing special moments you had together is also critical.
If everything fails, you have at least had the opportunity then to prepare yourself, and you will not be hit out of the blue.
Let's take a look at the most common red flags as an indication that your relationship is going downhill:
1. A lack of communication
A lack of communication is usually the first bad sign in a relationship, but also one of the earliest.
If you are discontent with your partnership, cutting back conversation is the first step of an emotional retreat.
Does your partner avoid longer conversations? Check out why.
2. A Change in behavior
Does your partner act differently lately?
You partner was always a role model in punctuality, they aren't anymore. S/He is often late, without giving an explanation and might get aggressive when insisting.
Or s/he changes routines, that were a matter of course for years in your relationship, overnight.
Is there also a decrease in intimacy?
No more of the cuddling and kissing you s/he used to do? Sex happens much less often?
These are just examples of a change in behavior to demonstrate what I mean.
For you, it's important to observe these changes, should they appear, and take them as a warning sign that something just might not be ok.
3. Avoidance of talking about the future
You used to talk about future vacations to foreign countries you have always planned to visit.
You dreamed together of the cozy house, with the white picket fences, watching your children play in the front.
Take a look now if your partner refuses such thoughts or simply changes the subject.
That might be a red flag that something is going on.
4. Decisions are made alone
You used to always discuss everything regarding important decisions in your life, be it your life as a couple or as an individual.
Now you find your partner is suddenly making very important decisions on their own, just presenting you the facts.
This could be seen as the first steps towards independence for your partner.
5. Unusual activities alone
You notice an unusual accumulation of activities your partner is doing alone. This is especially true for men.
Is your partner meeting old friends they haven't seen in years? Working late? Discovering new places without you?
This is not always an indication for infidelity; it can also be spreading their wings for independence: the first steps into a new life.
6. Hidden phone-calls
This is a classic one.
Do you catch your partner taking hidden phone calls more often?
The phone is ringing and s/he takes it somewhere else without answering it first? What does s/he hide?
This could be infidelity or just (as in 5.) looking for more freedom.
7. New circle of friends
Suddenly there are a bunch of new friends appearing out of the blue. They are very important to her/him.
Most of the new activities without you are now with them, shutting you out.
S/He is spending less and less time with you.
8. Not able to be reached
In the past, there was never a problem reaching your partner, be it at work or in private. They were always answering the phone or cellular.
Now s/he rarely answers the phone and doesn't call you back anymore. Text messages are also answered late, if at all.
Another indication of seeking independence.
9. Makes unusual confessions
There were issues in your mutual past, which were never addressed before. Now they are not only a subject of discussion, they often lead to disputes.
“I never liked your mother, father, friends, outfit, political view, nose, etc.” are just some examples for sudden confessions of dislike and disagreement.
This is a very serious indication and should not be taken lightly.
10. Avoidance of long and intimate eye-contact
This is another serious red flag, which unfortunately often manifests when it is already too late.
Your partner cannot look you in the eye because they have either noticed that they don't love you anymore, or because of guilt.
They may have already separated her/himself emotionally and is considering the next step.
If you notice only a few of these red flags in your partnership don't panic! Going on a witch-hunt now is the worst you could do.
A few of these signs doesn't have to mean anything if they appear every once in a while.
Just talk to your partner about it, without pushing the panic button.
Be aware of jealousy, that green-eyed monster.
Jealousy is one of the most negative emotions there is.
Never accuse your partner of something without proof, you can create irreversible damage.
If you notice more than a few red flags at once, if not all of them, then heads up, something‘s going on.
As mentioned, communication and a recollection of your initial relationship virtues is a vital step in finding a way back together again.
If Kevin wouldn't have shut his eyes to the facts, he might still be in a relationship.
Always walk through life with trust, but keep your eyes wide open.
I know you will now.
My relationship is going south. My BF and I had a baby a few months ago(a very difficult pregnancy where I was placed on bed rest so we didn’t miscarry and I’m now a SAHM) and since its happened his whole attitude towards me has changed! He’s angry all the time, stays up till 6a playing video games and watching movies and the sleeps till 2p just in time to rush getting ready to go to work.. he spends very little time with me and our child, treats me like a whore(asks me to preform sexual acts with baby alert in his arms!!!) He’s rages and lies to me about anything and everything! I’m at wits end with him! I’ve spoken to him at length about what’s happening! I’ve tried so many approaches that I’m now left raw and heartbroken at the decision I’m going to have to face!! We were friends before dating and our relationship was one based on friendship and love or so I thought….
Thats the reason my affair got break the jealousy…..i was so much jealous about her beacause she was talking about boys at school and her relevitve boys how handsome thier ….😬😬😬…that made me furious and angry….but eddie is jealousy is the good way is showing that you care about them….i mean when my ex and i had jealousy she said she loves me even more because it will make her more closer to me…(the reason that she dumped me a other reason)….is jealousy really helpful for a relationship…i mean not always but sometimes that happening makes you feel that she or he care about you more then anything….i know my affair got break…but jealousy (not too much but a small) makes u feel special and comfotable….am i right?😞😞😘
I broke up with my bf whom I adore(can’t type that w/o tears coming on) & I said, in the heat of the moment, that i was going over my ex’s house. Of all these red flags, I saw none of them. I was basking in the pure & beautiful love I thought I had. & in an instant, he flipped a switch. I regret what I said, and it’s been a couple of days. I spoke with him once since, he was horribly mean & cold & I was sobbing hysterically. My last text was telling him I loved him. Then he changed his number. How could one incident change the course of my life? Is this even possible?? We have known each other for a couple yrs., began dating 6 months ago, together for 4. Is there any way back when he seems that determined? I’m devastated.
I know of an ex-boyfriend who is already doing this type of thing to his new wife. He is such a loser. I tried to tell her, but she is stuck in a situation where she had a kid with someone else, and now needs a father for her child. Too bad he is her only choice. He will control her until she gives up. It’s just sad she didn’t listen. He is emotionally unavailable. The funniest thing is, when he was lying that he wasn’t seeing anyone, he did it while having his back turned to me. I knew it was time to drop that zero after that. Too bad he insists on still calling me. No thank you. WHAT A FAKE ASS. If you know you don’t love someone, don’t bother marrying them. Too much manipulation in this world and not enough truth.
I find it interesting that i pretty much went threw every single phase. funny, that i was kevin and he was the girl.(he dumped me, after cheating on me, now they dating)we talk often and he is still with her, but still phones me, asking about my dating life. i have met a very nice guy after 4 months after the break up, and we are friends. he treats me like a princess and makes me feel amaizing. but i know im not emotionally ready for a relationship, also still getting over my x. i have been very honest with this person and he understands… its nice, honest and slow… its not the full story, but im happy to let anyone know, anything they want to know. keep smiling…it only gets better.
@Ray – This is to Ray.
I commend you for wanting to stay in this relationship and make it work. There is nothing worse for kids than divorce, and I can see that it would break your own heart as well.
Did you know that our actions influence our attitudes far more than the other way around? When you smile, you start to feel happier. If you kick your dog, you will start to feel angry.
Act out your love for your wife. Buy her flowers. Call her in the middle of the day just to say hello. I don’t believe that you “never” loved her. Remember the things you used to love about her, the things you used to do together, and try to recapture some of those emotions.
Act it out until it becomes real.
Also, there’s a great book to help you along the way– it’s called The Love Dare. Try reading it. This is all about putting someone else first. Love her until it becomes a lifestyle again.
Best of luck!
Yes there is nothing worse for a 3-year-old than divorce because my parents did and I never really knew why I also, was separated from my brother because my dad had custody of my brother and my mom had custody of me I only saw a glimpse of my brother on the weekends when my grandma took me to where we would switch Me go to my dads and my brother goes to my mom’s my parents were not allowed to see each other for some reason I still don’t know I haven’t seen my real dad in a while and my mom remarried so I have step-siblings and my real brother got back with us two big step-sisters one little step-brother. And some other stuff that’s bad. I do something’s I regret but still do because I didn’t stop when I had the chance to get help. I haven’t seen my dad for about seven yrs.
I wish I could have paid more attention to #3 – (Avoidance about talking of the future). But no more regrets!
Thanks for the list, it will definitely help the next time around.
My partner does everything that is listed there and the saddest part is I’m pregnant about to give birth in a week’s time. So I don’t know if I should be patient with him or just move on and focus on my baby?
Wow, I am doing half of those right now to my wife. I am not having an affair, but I have been thinking of why I am married, for many years!! We married when were 20, 18 yrs ago. The main reason I have stayed around is because of the kids AND I hate failure!! Recently during business trips away from home, I’ve noticed more and more that I do not miss her. I just feel soo bad from a personal level to tell her after 18 yrs, I NEVER loved you?! What am I to do? It is eating me up inside, but I’m not sure where to go from here!! I MUST do something soon I can’t keep this inside much longer.
Did you ever think she may feel the same way? And it would be a blessing to cut ties. I am going through all the signs now and I wish he would just say it if that is what he is feeling so we can both just move on. He needs to either come back emotionally or let me go. It's cruel to not be there physically, emotionally, or mentally and when we ask if there is something we can do or if they don't want us any longer… the conversation is deverted to another topic.
dont feel bad cause its happen to me too it seem i gave in to much love and he didnt give the same percentage back i broke up with him when i went through his phone and found that he was texting this chick telling her how sexy she was i mean he doesnt tell me that at all and i was like pissed off at that and on top of that i found a condom in his wallet this is not the first time that this has happened i left this time and im not turning back because he hurt me bad what should i do
my heart is broken i been mith this guy for almost two yrs and i love him but he has been cheating on me i done forgave him i dont know how many times i left this time im just tired of it.
I am breaking up in tow weeks and I plan to write a letter sometimes that is the best when you feel things may get violent or the other person is going to try to talk you out of it.
If someone can please give me some advice on how to break up with my boyfriend. We have only been together for 4 months but it feels like forever… hes a really nice guy and he gets me whatever I want but im starting to feel he is just buying my affection. I dont find myself attracted to him at all and since we got together he doesnt have a life of his own. Im a 20 year old female with a two year old daughter, I told him when we got together I wanted to take it slow because I had been going through alot of stress and pain from my last boyfriend. Everything was good for the first week, now it just feels like he never wants to go home and he calls every hour when hes not at my house. I know it sounds pretty simple and i should just leave him, but its difficult for me to tell him this. How can I put it in a nicer way?
The 10 steps really helped me out on what my man is doing. Now I see that he might be trying to end it with me. And here I feel it is all my fault but, it is not. He is just wishy washy and needs to grow up a lot more before he really decides what he wants in a relationship and I really guess it is not me.
I feel the same way about my marriage at this point….he doesn’t seem to interested in what I say or do, I blown off every time..just sucks gd luck to you!
I wish I had read this 10 years ago. I’m still recovering from that breakup.
Another home run, Eddie! I love it! For me I got the basic bottom line is something we should be doing no matter what stage our relationship is in…Be Aware! As long as we are always paying attention to our significant other, we will always be in a situation where we can either keep injury from happening, stop the bleeding, or, pardon the analogy, cut and run. Great work again, Eddie!