Does spending time with your partner feel more like a prison sentence than being in a relationship? If things have gotten to a point where being with your partner is no longer enjoyable — and it has been this way for a long time — something is clearly amiss. Your relationship could be dying or headed to the point of no return. If you don’t even care about the current state of your relationship, that’s an even stronger indicator that you and your significant other won’t be together for very long. Here are 10 signs that your relationship is dead.
1. Arguments go unresolved
Before, the thought of your partner being mad at you broke your heart. Now? Not so much. You aren’t as invested in healing ruptures in the relationship. You can feel the tension, anger, and resentment building each day, and part of you hopes the strain will break your partner. Relationship ruptures once filled you with fear, now they fuel you. Suddenly, you find yourself picking fights, and you can’t seem to stop. You derive pleasure from upsetting your partner. Hurt has erupted from the inside and seems to have permanently distorted your partner’s countenance — and it doesn’t even bother you.
2. You think of all the time you wasted
You’re usually sentimental, and you used to get a little misty eyed every time you thought about how far you’ve come as a couple. Now all you can think about is how much time you wasted with this person. It makes you angry to think of the relationships you could have had while you were with your current partner. It also makes you sad to think you may have missed out on a chance to be with the love of your life.
3. You aren’t as attracted
You aren’t as drawn to your partner as you once were. When things between you were going well, all it took was a look or even your partner’s voice, to fill you with excitement. But your partner just doesn’t do it for you anymore. Instead, you find yourself becoming more attracted — both physically and emotionally — to someone else.
4. You try to find replacements for your partner
As things begin to go downhill, you start to invest more time at work, in your children, or even the family pet. You’re desperately grasping to get your love needs met in someone or something else. As the distance between you grows, you actually feel relief and happiness. Time away from your partner makes you feel alive.
5. You can’t stand your partner’s touch
There was a time when your partner’s touch would send shivers down your spine. Now, all it does is make your skin crawl. You find any and every excuse to avoid physical contact, and your partner is starting to notice. If you feel this way, you’re not alone.
One tortured wife on Experience Project, a site for people to anonymously vent about life’s struggles, had this to say:
[I] can’t stand his voice, his touch, his negativity. It’s gotten to the point where even if a counselor or therapist was involved, I don’t even want him to go because I hate being around him. I hate any and all words coming out of his mouth, and I don’t even like looking at him anymore. When I see him it just sets off anger inside of me, and I snap at everyone, including my kids.
Does this sound like you? If it does, your relationship is definitely in trouble.
6. You no longer care
Before, you would worry about your partner’s safety. Whenever he or she came home at the end of the work day, you would breathe a sigh of relief and smile from ear to ear. And if there was a missed phone call or an unexpected late arrival, your stomach would be tied up in knots. Now, you feel indifferent. If your partner came home late or didn’t come home at all, you’d probably be OK with that.
7. You or your partner try to find reasons to be away from home
Home is where the heart is. Or is it? If you’re always looking for excuses to be away from home, this is a sign there are some real problems in your relationship. If you want to reignite the spark, relationship expert Mark Merrill suggests being more intentional about making more time for each other:
The less time a couple spends together, the more likely they are to feel distant from each other. This can be resolved by deliberately scheduling date nights in, date nights out, TV-free nights, and occasional weekend getaways — just for the two of you.
8. You don’t talk anymore
Communication is key to a healthy, satisfying relationship. When you and your partner stop having meaningful conversations, this is the beginning of relationship breakdown. In her Psych Central column, psychologist Suzanne Phillips suggests approaching the situation with curiosity about what is causing the silence instead of resorting to blame. Discovering the source of the breakdown in communication is the only way to get to healing. According to Phillips:
Years together need not result in negative sounds of silence. Yes, events can disrupt harmony and patterns can erode vitality, but if couples are curious rather than blameful about the silence between them, they may find some reasons and remedies to speak together again.
9. You only stay because the relationship is convenient
Have you gotten to the point where the only reason for staying is what you can get out of the relationship? If your union has become a relationship of convenience, your partnership is dying a slow death. You’d be better off breaking up and remaining friends or parting ways permanently. Don’t let convenience keep you in a dead relationship.
10. You’re hoping for a breakup
Another sign your relationship is breathing its last breath is when you start to hope for your relationship to end. You might want to call it quits, but you’re not quite sure how to break the news to your partner. Instead, you might start being mean, hoping that he or she will take the hint and break things off first. This way, you won’t have to be the “bad guy.” If this sounds like your situation, just have a talk with your partner and decide to move on. There’s no point in suffering through a relationship that has clearly run its course.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.