Is your relationship a game of tug of war?
You know that feeling when your head is spinning around and around on a merry-go-round. All you want is for your relationship to be easy going. But, it really does not seem to go that way no matter how hard you try.
The more you ask for things, the more your partner pulls back, causing relationship problems.
And when you ask how come they will not share your relationship on social media, their answers are usually ludicrous. You do not feel like you are really being that difficult. But, right when you reach your limit, your partner reels you back in. They have their best friend call you to get you back on their good side.
You are wondering if this rollercoaster ride will ever end.
As much as you love the adrenaline rush, it is time for your relationship to sprout into something more sustainable for longevity.
Here are 10 signs you don’t trust each other so your relationship needs a growth spurt:
1. You keep tabs on him on social media.
Secretly, you maintain a record of your partner’s post likes, who they follow, and unfollow. You word vomit on each one of their posts, fiercely marking your territory.
It is as if you are the master of your partner, while they abide by your rules of who they can and cannot be friends with. And the minute your partner meets a new friend of the opposite sex, you immediately debrief how they know them.
While it is okay to be cognizant of new friends entering your partner’s life, questioning them every second you get is way too much. To prevent unnecessary questioning, you will want to create a deeper bond of trust. Otherwise, it may only be a matter of time before your insecurities will destroy your relationship.
2. You pick fights for attention.
You are falling short on how to receive positive admiration from your partner. The minute you feel the slightest distance creep up between the two of you, you create a dramatic scenario to see if your partner cares about you.
Constantly playing the victim is the name of your game. This makes your partner feel they need to validate you on a regular basis to keep things amicable.
Eventually, this game will grow tiresome on your partner. The endless bickering is emotionally draining taking the fun out of your relationship. Your partner is not responsible to give you the security you crave. That is an inside job you will need to develop with self-love positive affirmations.
Working on your self-worth and self-love will do wonders in receiving the positive attention you desire from your partner.
3. You play control games.
Your messages and calls receive no replies for hours on end. It frustrates the hell out of you, putting you in a bad mood. You do not understand how come your partner continues to ignore you, as you have asked them repeatedly to not disrespect your values of open communication.
Six hours later go by and you finally see a message pop-up on your screen with their name. And, at this point, you are upset because your partner has been stonewalling you. So, you decide not to respond by treating them the same way they are treating you. It becomes a vicious cycle until one of you decides to cave in and end the stone cold war.
With communication being the lifeline of your relationship, it appears you might be headed for splitsville. If the communication channels do not reach a mature level, then getting your needs met will be a challenge.
Establishing a boundary based on your value of open communication is the ultimate way to shut down the mind games. And, if your partner does not cease the behavior after setting the boundary, then you will have to decide if you want to continue engaging in this style of communication.
4. You constantly check his phone.
You check your partner’s incoming and outgoing calls as well as text messages to see who they are talking to every day. The minute their phone vibrates you ask, “Who is that?”
You have become a drill sergeant wanting to know about every conversation they have and what is it is in regards to. It has become apparent you do not trust or have respect for your partner.
Trust is everything in a relationship. It takes time to build and only seconds to lose it. When you have your partner’s trust, it is important to value it. So unless your partner is acting in a manner that breaks your trust, giving them their privacy is the respectful thing to do.
5. You play tit for tat.
You feel as if you do more for your partner than they do for you. The giving and receiving your relationship is the complete opposite of a balancing act. You feel your partner does not love you as much as you love them and it’s beginning to weigh on you.
You surprise them with tickets to their favorite bands, handle most of the laundry, take them out to dinner, and pay most of the household bills. And you are happy to do all that you do for them because you understand they work longer hours than you.
Even though it is easier for you to handle most of the things around the house, you feel they are taking advantage of your kindness.
While no relationship will ever fully be balanced out on a day-to-day basis, playing tit for tat means you are not genuinely giving. Giving comes from the heart without expectations of something in return. If you feel like your relationship is one-sided, then you may need to re-evaluate whether your partner is respecting you.
You cannot date a taker without being a giver too.
6. You stay in contact all day.
Being away from your partner during the workday is like death to you. You cannot wait to get home and snuggle up on the couch, eat pizza, and watch Netflix with them. You are literally inseparable. Without your partner, you feel lost in life.
To get through the work day you message each other nonstop. From sending memes to each other to making a mockery of your bosses, your inbox is poppin’ with alerts. It is so bad, you have even got blocked by the IT department from instant messaging on your computer because it is beginning to affect your productivity.
Constant contact with your partner can often lead to enmeshment. This is an unhealthy dependency where you rely on your partner to fulfill all of your needs. When enmeshment occurs, it can often lead to a lack of healthy lifestyle functioning.
Healthy relationships need space to flourish and grow. Spending too much time together does not allow for you and your partner to meet your individual needs outside of the relationship. When your personal health suffers, then so will the connection you share.
7. You bring a third party.
You and your partner have a mutual friend you rely on for support outside of your relationship. When discord erupts, you both run to your mutual friend expressing your side of the story. You and your partner rely on your friend to take sides, choosing who is right or wrong. It is the only way to resolve the fight, as you both cannot seem to work through it alone.
Bringing in a third party to resolve you and your partner’s discord is known as triangulation. You both refuse to speak to one another about the discord, thus you rely on an outside source to do the talking for you. When this occurs, this keeps you from developing healthy conflict resolution skills.
To work on having a healthy relationship and resolve your differences, working as a unified team will be the best thing for you. If you cannot reach a resolution, it will be best to hire a relationship coach who can teach you constructive communication skills.
8. You keep an ex on the back burner.
Your relationship is as stable a boat with a hole in the bottom of it. At any given moment you may have to jump overboard. You break up and get back together every other week due to petty fights. As much as you want to be with your partner, you do not feel the relationship gives you the security you desire.
So, you keep your ex on speed dial for empathy when things head south.
Keeping your ex in your life to deal with your current relationship troubles will prevent you from fully embracing your new relationship. Knowing you have a way out at any given time, does not force you to own up to your actions and work through things maturely.
When you have nothing but the two of you to face your issues, then it forces you to work through what is really going on beneath the surface. Getting to the root of the problem will be key to moving forward without the help of relying on your ex who’s only a band-aid.
9. You engage in text message wars.
Facing your partner when sh*t hits the fan is beyond terrifying for you. You run from conflict faster than a cheetah. When it comes to working through it, having a face-to-face conversation is out of the question.
So you hide behind a screen and engage in text message wars. You send excessive long-winded messages expressing your concerns, yet nothing seems to get resolved. In fact, it usually exacerbates the situation leading to more misunderstanding than you started with.
The best way to resolve issues with your partner is to calmly address them face-to-face. This allows for further understanding of the issue, minimizes confusion, and often makes it easier to come to a resolution. And if the conversation becomes emotionally elevated, then take a ten-minute break to recenter.
After the break, regroup as a couple and understand you are in it together and need to actively listen to each other to find a resolution.
10. You focus on the “me” and not “we”.
You only care about me, myself, and I. As long as you get what you need and want in the relationship that is all that matters. You consistently put your needs before your relationship. And, you do not even care that your relationship is beginning to suffer. Your selfish ways are starting to be too much to handle.
It seems you have not figured out that a relationship consists of two individuals working together for a greater sum of the two. If your relationship’s needs are not being met and you refuse to compromise, then prepare for your partner to find someone who is more willing to put “we” before “me”.
If you are currently experiencing relationship hiccups, then we recommend setting aside some time to communicate your concerns with your partner. You also may want to take some time to reflect on your own behaviors and how you may be contributing to the immaturity of the relationship dynamic.
Since mature relationship protocols and conflict resolution tools are not formally taught, seeking an outside neutral source can be beneficial to you as a couple. This can help eliminate any confusion around what one partner may consider as juvenile whereas the other may see it as an expression their feelings.
A relationship professional can assist in working through what is healthiest for the relationship to survive before it is too late.
Jan and Jillian Yuhas are Relationship and Lifestyle Coaches who help couples define healthy boundaries and relationship balance. If your relationship is on the rocks or just need some fine tuning, then contact Entwined Lifestyle for a complimentary call.