These are signs that things are not going well between you and your partner

You argue more and more, there is little (positive) energy or you no longer see the future together: no matter how painful and difficult it is, sometimes you and your partner are no longer the perfect match. Relationship therapist Vanessa Muldermans tells you the signs that your relationship is no longer good.

You can still get many signs that clearly indicate that things are not going well, the most important thing is what you are going to do with them next. If you respond to it, you can improve your relationship. If you don’t respond or you can’t improve the situation, you better get out of the relationship.

The four knights

Muyldermans: “For a theoretical answer, I refer to one of the theories of John Gottman, a well-known relationship therapist. He and his partner conducted various studies on a number of pairs and came up with four points, which he called the Four Musketeers of the Apocalypse. He points out that if one of these four Musketeers broke into the relationship, It means something is not going well. You desperately need to respond to that and do something about it. If you don’t, we’re no longer talking about a healthy relationship.”

“First of all, we criticize. If there is a lot of criticism in the relationship and you can no longer turn it into good communication, this is an important signal. If you try to make it clear to your partner that criticism hurts you or blocks, but nothing changes, this is a signal. You also have contempt. , but I feel it aligns a bit with criticism. If you’ve been disdainful or received disdain from one person to another for too long, you can’t even hold. Then you can’t talk about a healthy, happy relationship.”

defensive behavior

“Plus, Gottman talks about defensive behavior. When something happens and you or your partner constantly feel the need to get defensive, you can no longer touch the core part, the emotional part. This is how we get to the last runner: building a wall. That wall prevents you from reaching to the deeper layer with one or both partners and you can talk about it. You can have this temporarily, or as some kind of survival mechanism. If there is a chance to work on this together and evolve trying to create, that’s fine. But if it doesn’t happen at all and you don’t feel any Go ahead, that’s a sign, too.”

Muyldermans: “When I look at my own practice, I always tell my clients that engagement is very important. I often refer to the TV show Love at first sightTwo strangers had to press a button at the same time if they wanted to get to know each other better. Behind them was a large, fully colored heart when I pressed the button. But you can’t wait to see what the other person will do first. Sometimes I saw half a heart there. It works the same way in a relationship. Still want to squeeze and go for a relationship? No matter what your partner may or may not want, you have to look at yourself. This is the first step.”


“The second part of that commitment is faith. Do you still think you’ll be able to do whatever it takes to get the relationship to a better point for both of you, or do you think it just isn’t possible anymore? If you say yes, that’s a signal to me that maybe it won’t happen.” Again. It’s very hard to realize, but it’s definitely necessary at the time. You can be sad about it, you can be angry with it, but it’s good that you know then. In the back of your mind you also have to remember that it’s not only hard On those who still want it. If you indicate that you love someone, but you no longer see a relationship with that person and therefore no If you can say yes wholeheartedly, that must hurt too. Because in that moment you are hurting someone , and you disappoint him and that’s not a nice feeling. This person too is missing something, you shouldn’t forget that.”

“There are also some other signs you can recognize. Have you always seen a future with your partner, but it’s fading away more and more? This is a sign that the relationship is getting tough together. If you don’t ‘don’t want the same thing anymore’ then you give a completely different interpretation.” For your future and you don’t really agree with it, you better stop. In addition, it is important for the relationship to keep moving. It could be about small steps, about two steps forward and then one back, as long as they are moving. If you are making progress, you are doing well. But if you’ve been pulling and pulling for a long time and still nothing has changed, that’s a sign for sure.”

No more energy

“Furthermore, one or both people’s energy tank can gradually empty out. If someone points out that they are completely exhausted and no longer find the energy to continue, you have to accept that. This is possible and permissible. The relationship is also very tiring. If they run out of fuel, so be it.” .

“Then there is another very clear signal, which is that you are developing feelings for someone else or you feel a certain attraction to a new person. This may indicate that something is no longer appropriate in your current relationship, or that the person at home is waiting for you, it is not right for you Absolutely. And if your partner can no longer offer this to you, that is definitely a sign for me.”

“No (good) communication is also a very clear signal to me. You have to keep talking to each other, which is very important. Of course you also have to want both. You have to listen to your partner and hear what he or she has to say. Relationship are give and take, listen and listen. What you feel is your truth, and what your partner feels is also their own truth. You may experience situations very differently, but then it is important that you express that to each other. Because only in this way can you learn from each other And move on. But if you no longer understand each other, it will stop.”


“Finally, there may be a breach of trust in the relationship. If you can fix that and move forward together, that’s just fine. But if one of you feels so hurt and indicates that he can’t stand it anymore you can let go of the past and bring up the past over and over in a new discussion, Then you can’t agree anymore. You can’t undo mistakes, you can just try to do better now. If you or your partner keep holding on to mistakes, you can’t do anything about changing any more. If after a while you can’t put them behind you, they’ll stay there and may I did everything around it already, but it still doesn’t work? Then it stops.”

“Like I said, you both have to jump. Both of you have to press that button. But if one of them doesn’t want to, you have to put up with it. If you recognize all these signs in your relationship, it is up to you to decide what you are going to do with it. Are you going to put some energy into it. And you try to straighten it out again? Or will you just leave it as is and start writing a new story? That choice is entirely yours, no matter what your partner wants or doesn’t want.”

Source:, in association with Content Exchange.

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