Signs that Your Relationship Isn't Working

Worrying about your relationship can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if you feel your relationship isn't working. If this is the case, it's best to face the problem head-on and find out how your partner is feeling
Signs that Your Relationship Isn't Working
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Written by Naí Botello

Last update: 27 December, 2022

The emotional and social ties we create in romantic relationships are complex. Both parties in a romantic relationship have to be willing to be somewhat vulnerable. It’s also necessary to make at least some compromises in order to build intimacy in the relationship. If the other person is always putting up barriers and not reciprocating affection, this can be a sign indicating that your relationship isn’t working.

A good relationship requires good communication, trust, empathy and sexual compatibility on the part of both parties, among many other factors. If you constantly feel that something isn’t right in your marriage or relationship, you should try to get to the bottom of the problem with your partner.

We all have very idealistic notions of romantic love thanks to movies and literature. We’ve all been instilled with the fairytale idea that you should do anything for love. In this view, an ideal relationship should withstand all adversity, even infidelity.

Furthermore, it was often thought you should forgive most transgressions on the part of your partner in the past. Women were taught to keep the relationship going at all costs.

If a relationship is in trouble, you need open and clear communication. Likewise, a good therapist can help couples to reestablish their emotional connection and get their relationship on the right track again.

Signs that your relationship isn’t working

Taking into account research carried out by psychoanalysts and the relationship advice they emphasize most, we provide a list of warning signs that your relationship isn’t on the right track below.

1. Your partner keeps a physical distance

One of the clearest signs of relationship trouble is if your partner is being distant. One way to tell if your partner now feels differently about you is to observe their body language.

Our posture and body language reveal what is in our mind and in our hearts. Although people vary in how much physical affection they give, a healthy relationship tends to have more physical closeness.

Therefore, if you suspect some tension on the part of your partner, observe what happens when you’re together. It’s an indication that something is wrong if he or she doesn’t take your hand. Likewise, if they cross their arms the whole time they’re sitting next to you or turn their back to you in bed, it’s possible they no longer feel attracted to you.

Signs That Your Relationship Isn't Working

2. You end up arguing about everything

When there’s a constant negative dynamic in the relationship, you and your partner will have many misunderstandings and differences of opinion. Moreover, there will be a tendency to complain and feel uncomfortable. It’s also common for partners to feel guilty and to pass blame.

If you’re constantly having to prove your own worth in a relationship then something is definitely not right. This kind of dynamic will only build more tension and resentment that will chip away at the relationship.

3. Signs your relationship isn’t working: You’re not included in their plans

An important sign of distancing in the relationship is when you don’t include the other in future plans. If your partner is evasive when you talk about going on vacation next year or buying a new house, it’s likely that he or she isn’t expecting to continue with the relationship much longer.

“If a relationship is in trouble you need open and clear communication. A good therapist can help couples to reestablish their emotional connection and get their relationship on the right track again.”

4. You’re afraid to talk to your partner or express how you feel

It’s also an indication of relationship trouble if you don’t like the way your partner is treating you, but you’re afraid to speak with him or her.

You may be afraid that your partner will say something you don’t want to hear. You might feel they’re being distant or you want more affection from them. However, you fear a deep conversation that might lead to the beginning of a breakup.

It’s important that your need for affection doesn’t cloud your sense of judgment. If you’re afraid of asking for what you need in a relationship with your partner, surely you know deep inside that the relationship is in trouble.

At any rate, one important principle in life is not to make assumptions or get ahead of a situation.  Be strong and start the conversation you so want to have with your partner.

If the final outcome is to end the relationship, at least you can move on and avoid staying trapped in a toxic relationship.

Signs That Your Relationship Isn't Working

5. Your relationship isn’t working if you’ve lost sexual desire for each other

Finally, we should also take time to mention something that is fundamental in romantic relationships: sexual desire. Experts also say that sexual desire has its ups and downs in any relationship and that it’s completely normal.

Nonetheless, if long stretches of time pass without touching each other or you have unsatisfying sex, sexual incompatibility could end up being a factor that leads to the end of the relationship.

As a final reflection, relationships take work. Therefore, experiencing one of the problems mentioned above doesn’t necessarily guarantee the marriage or relationship will irremediably end.

You might be going through a difficult time in your relationship but with willingness, patience, and maybe some professional help, any relationship can overcome such difficulties.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.