Not all long-term relationships are unbreakable. If you’re in a long-term relationship, here are 8 breakup-inducing things you should watch out for to make your bond last longer.
Have you ever heard of the “seven-year itch”? It’s a principle that long-term couples will fall into a huge relationship slump around their seven-year mark. One or both of you may start to feel bored and less engaged, begin questioning your relationship, and tend to cheat on your partner. Most people believe that couples who get past the 7-year mark are likely to end up together, forever.
But last week, I learned that my friend and her guy split up – and they’re supposed to celebrate their 9th anniversary this year. Sad, I know.
Whether or not the concept is real, the truth is not all long-term relationships are unbreakable. Some problems bring even the most solid couple down. While infidelity is the number one reason why most long-term couples split up, there are other factors you should recognize and address.
If you’re in a long-term relationship, here are 8 breakup-inducing things you should watch out for to make your bond last longer.
- Taking your partner for granted
Spending a lot of time at work isn’t the main reason why couples split up – it’s recognizing the issue at hand and not doing anything about it.
It’s being okay with not seeing each other for a week because you’re just too busy and she’ll understand anyway. It’s the failure to reply to your partner’s texts and calls even when you have the chance. It’s spending too much time on your phone and straight up ignoring your partner’s presence. It’s constantly saying, “sorry, I was too busy” and not making up for it.
Ignoring your partner, especially when they bid for your attention, feels like a rejection that can seriously take a toll on your relationship.
- Your goals are not in-sync
Long-term couples may have shared the same goals when they were in the earlier part of their relationship. But as people and circumstances change through the years, they may find themselves heading toward the opposite direction. For instance, you may be contented with a simple yet happy life, but your partner yearns for more, for herself and the both of you.
Unless you’re both willing to compromise and help each other achieve your unique goals, it’ll be difficult to stick with a person whose vision is completely different from yours.
- Your sexual desires change
We can all agree that at the beginning of a relationship, everything seems to be red – desire and passion are high, and both are satisfied. When two people get comfortable and all of life’s other factors come into play, sex drive changes and drops. Couples may have a hard time igniting the fire.
If this is an issue, then both must work to keep the spark alive. If you need to schedule it, research new and exciting methods, or seek counselling, do so. You should be on the same page about sexual frequency and sexual expression.
- There’s intimacy loss
It’s not just about bad sex. It’s about people, getting too comfortable with each other that it becomes normal not to communicate and express romantic gestures.
Intimacy is both physical and emotional. Next to physical closeness through kisses and random snuggles, intimacy is about the connection and comfort in knowing each other on a deeper level. No one wants to stay with a partner who seems like a total stranger.
- Having a low self-esteem
Low self-esteem per se won’t ruin your long-term relationship – the insecurity and controlling behavior, which go hand in hand with it, would do. For instance, your partner may be climbing the career ladder and earning more. You, on the other hand, are struggling. While you’re proud of your partner, you can’t help but feel intimidated by her group of friends. You feel insecure, thinking she’ll find someone better.
- Handling conflicts ineffectively
There’ll be arguments, there’ll be bad times. It’s the way you handle the conflict that makes or breaks your relationship. Do you tell each other awful names during fights? Do you curse each other? Do you shut each other out? Do you resort to throwing things or physical abuse? These habits can make things so much worse.
- The trust is gone
Trust is the glue that keeps relationships together – without it, there’s nothing worth fighting for. While cheating is the biggest way to break the trust, there are other small moments in the relationships that do. If you can’t bring yourself to trust him with big money, or can’t respect his boundaries because of a past event, then you may be heading for a breakup.
- The total absence of fun
Let me spill the tea: all relationships get boring at some point. And with all the real-life mess we need to deal with (bills, rent, arguments, chasing contentment, etc), it becomes easy to forget to have fun. Even strong couples, who used to be happy together, get bored and sick of each other.
The lack of fun is a silent destroyer. If you want your relationship to work, this is where you need to be stronger as a couple and put your relationship as a priority. You need to keep finding ways to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Relationship Room Couples Counseling, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. She may be hopeless romantic but she’s got some straightforward pieces of advice about love, dating, and relationships.