We all know what the major signs of a failing relationship look like, but what about the subtle clues that reveal a steady, unnoticeable decline?
Unfortunately, overlooking these clues can often leave you feeling blind-sighted when a relationship does come to an end – you aren’t expecting it.
So, before it gets to that point, here are 10 easy-to-miss signs of a relationship in trouble!
1) Communication takes a back seat
So, if you or your partner is struggling to:
- Have constructive conversations (that don’t end in arguments)
- Express your thoughts or feelings comfortably
- Feel heard/understood
It could be a sign of relationship trouble!
Pay close attention to how you communicate with your partner…especially if something has changed recently. This could be a red flag, especially if you don’t feel you can talk to your partner or that you need to tiptoe around on eggshells.
2) Dodging quality time together
At the start, you couldn’t get enough of each other, but now you guys find yourself looking for excuses to get out of hanging out.
If one or both of you keeps canceling plans or delaying spending quality time together, it could be a sign your relationship is in trouble.
Ultimately, you won’t know what the issue is unless you speak to your partner. And if you’re the one avoiding them, it’s worth reflecting on why you feel this way!
Because without quality time together, your relationship will go downhill fast before you even realize it.
3) Affection? No thanks!
But if it’s not just quality time you’re dodging, but affection too, this is another easy-to-miss sign of relationship trouble.
You see, there’s only so long you can put a dry spell down to tiredness or conflicting schedules…
If you guys can’t remember the last time you had sex, or even sat on the sofa and cuddled, it shows a shift in your relationship.
Sure, it really could be just a tough patch that you’ll both get over, but left unchecked, you may find the spark slowly fading and your connection suffering as a result.
4) Getting irritated way too often
Another subtle sign that your relationship is in trouble is if irritation levels are at an all-time high…
Of course, it’s normal to bicker with your partner or find them annoying from time to time. But if just the sound of them breathing drives you crazy, it could be a sign that deeper issues are going on.
The same applies if you or your partner continuously criticize or nitpick at each other.
Keep an eye on this, especially if small issues are being blown out of proportion!
5) No longer prioritizing the relationship
Do you make time for each other? Or are you both focused on external factors?
The truth is, if you find yourselves prioritizing:
Over the relationship, it could be another easy-to-miss sign of relationship trouble.
We all have to play a balancing act between our love lives and the other areas that make up a fulfilling life.
But with that being said, relationships do require attention and time. And if one or both of you isn’t giving it the care it needs, it could quickly fall apart.
And that’s not all…
It could indicate a change in feelings. When you’re feeling loved up and committed, you naturally prioritize your loved one and the relationship you have with them.
So a lack of attention could stem from losing interest or even harboring resentment and negative feelings towards your partner.
6) Emotional support goes MIA
Emotional support is crucial in every relationship.
So, what does it look like if it goes MIA?
- You feel like you’re burdening your partner when sharing emotions
- You feel like your partner isn’t interested in listening to you
- Your partner dismisses your feelings
For whatever reason, something is holding you or your partner back from giving emotional support – it could be due to a change in feelings, but usually when one person becomes emotionally distant, it’s for complex reasons.
But the bottom line is, if you or your partner feels unsupported in their struggles, it can massively impact your relationship.
7) The constant need for validation
Another easy-to-miss sign of relationship trouble is if you or your partner constantly needs validation.
The truth is, it’s quite normal to seek approval for your decisions every now and then, after all, your partner is the person you trust the most and you value their opinion.
But if you can’t make a simple decision without checking in with your partner first, it shows a lack of confidence in the relationship.
Perhaps if one of you is quite volatile in your reactions, the other feels they have to preempt this by seeking validation first.
Another reason could be codependency – you or your partner is dependent on the other to feel emotionally fulfilled and secure.
Either way, this isn’t healthy relationship behavior. It’s something that can be dealt with through therapy, though, so that may be an avenue to explore!
8) Secrets and sneaky behavior
Now, this next sign might sound obvious, but the truth is, when someone is being sneaky, it’s easy to overlook the signs or even brush them off!
For example, if you notice your partner being secretive with their phone (when in the past you had their password and full access), it could indicate that they’ve got something to hide.
Equally, if they’re sneaking out, not being clear about their plans, it’s not a good sign.
Everyone has the right to privacy, but it’s common courtesy and a sign of trust if partners willingly share their plans with each other.
If you’ve noticed sneaky behavior and brushed it away with excuses, it might be time to pay closer attention and determine if this could be a signal of trouble on the horizon!
9) Arguments escalate too quickly
Are arguments going from 0-60 in no time?
Some people are naturally hot-tempered, but if this is something new in your relationship, it could be a red flag that something isn’t right.
Sure, it could be down to external factors such as stress or burnout. But if not, it could indicate that one or both of you is fed up with the relationship and this results in blowing up over the smallest of issues.
Another possible reason could be if there is harboring resentment – think back, is there anything that has happened which hasn’t been properly dealt with?
It could be that when you’re arguing over the washing up, you’re actually releasing pent-up frustration over something entirely different!
10) Obsessing over what others have
And finally, an easy-to-miss sign of a relationship in trouble is constantly looking at what other people have.
It’s super easy to think your friends, celebrities, or even influencers, have perfect relationships.
News flash – they don’t!
Every relationship has ups and downs. But if you’re constantly obsessing over it and comparing your relationship to everyone else’s, it could be a sign you’re unhappy or unfilled.
Perhaps your emotional needs aren’t being met, or you feel disconnected from your partner.
This is a subtle sign that can go unnoticed but can have heavy consequences in your relationship.
And the very last thing you want to accidentally blurt out in a fit of anger is, “Why can’t you be more like ___” to your partner – it won’t go down well!
So, now you’ve read through the signs, is your relationship in trouble?
If so, it’s best to get honest with yourself and your partner. All of these points can be overcome but they require patience, open communication, and a willingness to work on strengthening the relationship.