The biggest tests of stability in relationships are not the obvious, earmarked faults like infidelity, financial mismanagement, debts or flaws in property acquisition and investments. While all of these may have a negative impact on any relationship, the real relationship breakers are those little – often ignored mistakes that spouses easily allow to take over and steer their love to the pit of destruction.
The beginning of downfall in many relationships is constant contempt and open disrespect. If you walk in the rain and you want to find out how much rain has fallen on you – don’t squeeze out your outfit. Just remember where the first drop fell on you. Contempt is like the first rain drop. It marks the beginning of many relationships downfalls. Couples who live contemptuous lives don’t have to scream it out to each other. The body language tells it all. Beginning from the way they roll their eyes, their scornful lips, pushing the furnitures and tossing the cutleries on the dinner table.
Lack of attention.
Without attention, couples hardly communicate. An good indication that a relationship is falling is where one partner walks out on the other in the middle of a conversation, hides behind a newspaper, increases the TV’s volume, begins to talk to kids or other people when the other partner is addressing him or her.
Although two grown ups raised in different backgrounds cannot be expected to agree in everything, constant criticism may be a sure sign that a relationship is beginning to fall apart. Unhappy spouses can criticize about anything. From the way he or she walks to the way they sit, leaving the toilet seat up or down, a perfume they wear, a hair cut or even a make up. Fault finding and constant criticism are perfect ways of pouring cold water on the flames of a relationship.
Developing a defensive mechanism.
When things become unbearable, as a result of too much criticism, missed attention and outright contempt, couples often form cocoons for self defense. They by default adopt survival through hibernation. This habit may vary from person to person, the most common ones being making excuses, blaming the other person even on your own faults, or totally withdrawing, employing silent treatment to avoid being taken to task on any issues and so on.
If all or some of these things are happening within your relationship, you need to take a step and do something before it’s too late. If you can’t agree by yourselves on the way forward, then either of the spouses can take the initiative to invite a friend you both respect to help in mediation, talk to your local church minister or see a professional counselor.