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. Together with his partner he conducted various studies on a number of pairs and came up with four points, which he called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It indicates that if one of these four horsemen invaded the relationship 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, that’s a signal. You also have contempt. , but I feel like that 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 keep. 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 defend yourself, you can no longer touch the essential part, the emotional part. That’s how we come 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 an opportunity to work on this together and try to evolve to create, that’s fine. But if it doesn’t happen at all and you feel no progress That’s a sign, too.”

Muyldermans: “When I look at my own practice, I always tell my clients that engagement is very important. Then 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 push 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 about it, it’s a good thing you know then. In the back of your mind you also have to remember that it’s not just 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, it must hurt too. Because in that moment You hurt someone, you disappoint them and that’s not a nice feeling. That person also loses something, you shouldn’t forget that.”

“There are also some other signs that you can recognize. Have you always seen a future with your partner, but it is fading away more and more? This is a sign that the relationship is becoming difficult together. If you don’t want the same thing anymore, if you give a completely different interpretation of your future and don’t Really get along with him, it’s better to stop. Plus, it’s important for the relationship to keep moving. It might be small steps, about two steps forward and then one back, as long as it’s moving. If you’re making progress, you’re doing well. But If you’ve been pulling and pulling for a long time and still nothing has changed, that’s definitely a signal.”

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 allowed. The relationship is also very tired. If they run out of fuel, so be it.”

“Then there is another very clear signal, which is that you are developing feelings for another person or feel a certain attraction to a new person. This can indicate that something is no longer appropriate in your current relationship, or that the person at home is no longer right for you.” 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 listen to what he has to say. Relationship is 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 it to each other. Because only in this way can you learn from each other and move forward. 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 on 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, there’s nothing you can do about it to change it further. If after a while you can’t put it behind you, It just keeps on and I’ve done everything for it, 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 it anymore, you have to accept 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. Will you put more 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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