Turning your break ups and breakdowns into breakthroughs!
Are you experiencing a relationship crisis? You may be experiencing frustration, confusion, but most likely of all uncertainty.
It's unnerving. It's annoying. Its an opportunity for a relationship breakthrough!
Sometimes, what is not obvious to you is obvious to everyone around you. I want to share six common signs of relationship crisis to help you assess where you are and where you need to focus your attention.
Before you read the rest of this page we want to add a disclaimer. Relationship Coaching clients ask the question "Will my taking this step mean that my partner and I will split up?"
We have no idea what raising your awareness about your relationship will mean to you. When you transform yourself, you transform your relationship in very deep and profound ways. A mind once stretched can never shrink back to its previous limitations. That is why we warn people to expect to be challenged and step out of their comfort zone.
We can promise is that when you are aware of the warning signs of your relationship crisis, you can become empowered to resolve those issues.
Finally, every one of the signs may have other factors influencing them and coaching can uncover deeper level problems, that once overcome can cause the presenting problem to dissolve.
After years of research and painful experience, we realised there are common themes, or patterns that people in relationship crisis experience. We want to share these with you. These are simply suggestions and may give you some awareness of the six classic signs of relationship crisis that may be present in your relationship. They do not necessarily mean crisis for you because everyone is different, but these idea's may give you some food for thought. So here goes...
This happens far more frequently than you may imagine, principally when 2 people have been married or living together for a number of years. You share a house, you share a bed, but little else. I was in a marriage and we didn’t even share the same bedroom and I am a physical, kinaesthetic guy. If that’s raising some questions for you, read on. Instead of actually living as a couple, you both do your own thing. You survive more like roommates than a loving couple, as well as your own activities, hobbies, along with friends. You might eat separately, watch different television's. That might be fine while the match and the popular soap are on at the same time, but not if this is becoming the norm.
Despite the fact that your relationship might appear to be "working," it is frequently a red flag of a critical relationship crisis. If you ask yourself deeply, you know this already, and so does everyone you have been putting that front up to.
Domestic Violence is not just physical violence. Do not accept Domestic Abuse of any kind. Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Abuse are three major categories of relationship abuse that are far more prevalent than you might believe. This is like a ticking time bomb in any relationship.
People, men and women, often deny the mistreatment if their significant other is hitting them or else physically harming them. I have often heard people say that they "deserved" that kind of treatment. They fail to acknowledge that ill-treatment also encompasses things such as pushing, using intimidation or threats, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
When mistreatment is present, it should represent a neon-flashing indicator of a extremely serious relationship crisis. As they use to say on the Fire Service TV adverts, "Get Out, Stay Out, Call Us Out!" (They used it to emphasise the importance of smoke detectors in the home. Imagine if you could have your own early warning system in your relationships)
There are also patterns of abuse (follow this link to find out more the cycle of abuse) that can lead to an increase in frequency or severity. If any form of physical violence exists get some support, even if only to speak to someone who knows what you are experiencing on an emotional level.
You are either at cause or at effect of the results you are experiencing in your relationship. You may want to just re-read that.
Part of being a grown-up entails taking responsibility for your situation especially in any kind of relationship with another. That means through sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer remember?
No one is flawless and relationship problems are by no means one-sided. If nothing else, at least one person is permitting the other to be disrespectful to the other person’s values. Blame is harmful and accomplishes nothing. Blame simply reinforces that size nine boot you just used to trample on your partners values. And it comes right back at you. Its like wanting to hurt somebody and picking up a red hot coal to throw at them!
If one or both of you is blaming the other for any troubles in your relationship, you are already in or heading in the direction of a relationship crisis. If you are achieving nothing, you can guarantee nothing will get resolved until the blame game stops, and you step up to your own responsibility.
Nothing is your fault. Everything is your responsibility.
One of the top ways to keep a relationship healthy and prevent a major relationship alert state is to keep the avenues of interaction open and work to resolve conflicts speedily.
In the corporate world management feedback is only effective if it dealt with up front as soon after the issue as possible.
Regrettably, a lot of couples permit conflicts to go unsettled for days, weeks, months, and even years. And they fester for an awfully long time. When this happens your day can spoil quicker than a pint of milk left out in the midday sun!
Have you ever had an argument where you or your significant other brought up something so awful that happened months ago and how that was just typical of them, just like the current situation? Effective resolution tool huh? Could you imagine The British Prime Minister negotiating with the US President and keep bringing up the "friendly fire" scenario's from the Iraq war? Wouldn't help would it? It would probably just tick the President off, and I bet he'd be thinking "I might just order some friendly fire right now!" Well, hopefully not, but I hope you get the picture.
Sadly, unresolved conflicts won't go away on their own, and can gradually tear your relationship apart. One or both of you will regularly feel aggrieved or infuriated, plus those pent up emotions always emerge one way or another. If you are storing these emotions for a rainy day, make sure your flood defences are adequate!
When infidelity creeps into a relationship it will always impact the relationship in some way, even if the "non-offending" (not intended as judgemental) partner is totally ignorant of the affair. People who are in truly happy, fulfilling relationships will hardly ever cheat on their partners.
Those who do are often seeking to have needs met (whether emotional or sexual) that are not being met within the relationship. While often a symptom of a relationship crisis that already existed, infidelity can also be the cause and shift your alert state right up to critical!
There are of course schools of thought where infidelity can be overcome, and can be worked through. It will all come down to your own values and how you perceive this threat to your relationship. The meaning that you attribute to this behaviour will massively dictate what your response will be.
Whilst some incidents are definitely best forgiven and forgotten, others might be crucial to your own personal, emotional and spiritual development. The Jewish community don't hide from the horrors that happened to their communities during the second world war. They simply use it a powerful symbol, that never again will we allow this to happen.
If it happened, face it, choose to resolve it, and move forward.
Sexual intimacy is one of the fundamental human needs and separates a marriage or other healthy relationship from the other social relationships in each partners' lives.
For women, sex is often driven by emotion and makes them feel loved and desired, and for men sex is a physical need and often a primary way they communicate love for their companion.
When sex is absent or taking place only occasionally, it can be a clear sign of a major relationship crisis and likely to be heading toward level critical if it isn’t there already.
For either party, sex is a basic human need and if you're not getting any I would guess there will be some feeling of rejection present. Maybe even resentment, or humiliation if this has persisted over time.
There may be many other factors involved, medical reasons even, and these must be considered before making any clear decision on what lack of intimacy means for you and your partner. Consider speaking to your GP and particularly talking each other before making decisions around this. You both have needs and if they are not being met, chance are you will look elsewhere to meet them.
Thats a great question!
One size does not fit all! Some of you will experience fear, some relief, some of you may even experience a deep sense of gratitude that all the issues and challenges you have been imagining are not as significant as you once thought.
In order to use the six signs of relationship crisis, simply take whatever comes up for you as a guide. Imagine you are in a department store that sells all the beautiful merchandise that will make your life magnificent.
Find yourself standing at the notice board outside the elevator that will take you to the floor you want to visit. Make a decision that you need to make an investment on whatever floor seems most enticing for you.
Surviving relationship crisis starts with awareness. One of the most powerful action steps you can take the moment you become aware is that of forgiveness. Continue working through this page first and then follow the links to take a look at the section on the power of forgiveness.
A relationship breakthrough is about surviving a relationship crisis and coming out stronger. Surviving is possible if you know where the storm is coming from and how it will hit. Take action now, today, or at the very least this week to turn your breakup or breakdown into a relationship breakthrough!
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Relationship Coaching Practice based in London UK. For Support click here...
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