5 Tiny Signs You’re Not Taking Good Care Of Your Relationship

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Joined: Nov 2022

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Relationship problems are a fact of life and every couple goes through them. After the honeymoon phase is over, the problems begin. This doesn’t mean you have to give up. Look closely at your relationship to see where you spend most of your time. Are you caught up with the children or focusing on work?

One of the most common problems I see in my practice with couples is their inability to manage conflict. Dr. John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute found all couples have conflict. What’s important is that you repair after the conflict and learn to manage the conflict. He found that 69 percent of problems in a relationship are unsolvable.

What does this mean? You need to understand the problem before you can solve it. There is nothing worse than feeling like your partner doesn’t understand you. This is when you begin to feel emotionally isolated in the relationship. If you don’t work on understanding, this can be the beginning to the end.

Here are 5 tiny signs you’re not taking good care of your relationship:

1. There’s overarching negative sentiment

When couples are stuck in the negative sentiment override, they don’t notice the positive things most of the time. The negative sentiment override doesn’t set in overnight. This can take years to set in. But, once it sets in it’s not easy to repair.

What does this mean? It means that you need to work on building a more positive relationship. Work on understanding your partner. Don’t be as critical of one another.



2. You experience ‘flooding’

I see this a lot in couples. Flooding is when you are having a conflict with your partner, and your heart rate goes up to 100 BPM or more. If you are athletic, it’s 85 BPM or more. Diffuse Physiological Arousal (DPA) enters the bloodstream, and you go into fight or flight. This is a very uncomfortable feeling. What you need to do is take a break from one another. You take your heart rate and tell your partner you are flooded by physically separating from one another.

This means you can’t see or hear one another. You don’t even want to think about one another. If you do, this will keep you flooded. It takes a minimum of 20 minutes to get your heart rate back down. Sometimes, for men, it can take longer. So, the break needs to be a minimum of 20 minutes, but no longer than 24 hours.



3. You don’t accept your partner’s influence

When you are in a relationship, it’s easy to get into a groove. You have a family and a job to manage. It might be hard for you to put on the pause button. But, if you don’t, your partner will start to feel as if they don’t exist or matter.

Be sure to schedule time for one another. This is a time to discuss what’s happening in your life so you can hear your partner and accept their influence. Being in a healthy relationship means trying out what your partner has planned and having an open mind. This is not a time to be critical.

4. You never have fun together

In the beginning, fun was just built into the relationship. But, after a while fun falls further down on the list. You have a new job, children, and a house to take care of. You stop making the relationship a priority and focus on other things. This means you need to schedule time for fun like you did in the beginning. Fun is the glue in a relationship. It is what will keep you together.

5 Tiny Signs You're Not Taking Good Care Of Your Relationship

Photo: Yiistocking via Shutterstock

5. You let outside stressors affect your relationship

This is when it is crucial to talk to your partner and for your partner to listen to you. You can’t always control what is happening outside the relationship. If you have a good foundation in your relationship, it won’t drive a wedge between you.

To do this, you need to have trust in the relationship. This means when you talk about what is stressing you, your partner should not judge you or try to solve the problem. Your partner should listen and be supportive. To have healthy relationships that last, it’s best to get help for your problems and issues as early as you can.

Couples therapy can teach you to relate to your partner in a new way and give you a new perspective on the relationship. I have been trained to use The Gottman Method for couples, which comes with over four decades of research. It starts with an evaluation, which gives me a lot of information about the relationship.

All relationships go through seasons, and couples therapy can help you understand what those seasons mean and grow from them.



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Lianne Avila is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in San Mateo, CA. Her work has been featured in Psych Central, BRIDES, and Prevention.

Source: YourTango


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