It's easy to assume that your partner is just as happy in the relationship as you are. But subtle changes in your partner's behavior can indicate problems in your relationship that you may not be aware of. If you're not paying attention, you may miss some key signs that your partner isn't as happy as you think. According to experts, they may be
giving up on the relationship without you realizing it.
Relationships takes a ton of work on the part of both partners to make it last long-term. When you feel like your
partner is getting distant or giving up, it's so easy to put the blame on yourself. But as author and therapist, Connie Omari, LPC, tells Bustle, that's not usually the case.
give up on relationships because of themselves," she says. "People could be facing a major transition such as working a stressful job, or recovering from the loss of a loved one. As people go through these major life transitions, they may find that balancing this with the demands of a relationship is more than they bargained for." In some cases, people don't know how to handle conflict. So when things get rough, they automatically assume it's time to leave.
Unless you can somehow read your partner's mind, you can never really know what your partner is thinking. That's why paying attention to the details, and talking to them about it, is key. So here are some easy-to-miss signs that your partner may be giving up on the relationship, according to experts.
They Spend More Time Alone Than Before
It's healthy to spend some time apart from each other. But as licensed marriage and family therapist,
Heidi McBain, MA, tells Bustle, if you start noticing that your partner spends more time with people outside of your relationship and doesn't invite you, they may be giving up on the relationship. While your partner may truly be taking time for themselves, if the time you spend together gets less and less, it can be a problem. McBain recommends talking to them about what you're observing and how it's making you feel. Once you do that, suggest spending more time together doing activities you both enjoy. "If that doesn’t work, and you’re both committed to trying to work things out, getting outside help might be a helpful place to work through and process your issues as a couple," she says.
They Become Evasive When You Ask Simple Questions
If you ask your partner how their day went and they start giving you clipped one-worded responses, that's not a great sign, life coach and relationship expert
Nina Rubin, tells Bustle. Your partner may not want to talk after a long day at work, but this shouldn't be an everyday thing. If it's started to become the norm, Rubin says this can indicate that they're giving up but may feel guilty about expressing this to you directly. "It can also indicate pulling away," she says.
They Way They Speak To You Changes
Sometimes it's important to pay attention to not what your partner says but how they say it. If they've started to become more snappy or sarcastic when they used to be more patient and gentle, Rubin says those are signs they may be giving up. To be fair, your partner may be going through something and that could be the cause of their change. If it's an ongoing thing, however, it may be cause for concern. What you need to do is to maintain your sense of self. "Sometimes people take difficulty out on those they're closest to and you may be on the receiving end of this. This is your invitation to decide if the relationship is working for you, too," she says. "If they apologize and change their behavior, it's probably a phase." If not, they may be giving up and it's starting to show.
There Are A Lot Of Awkward Silences
You don't need to fill every single moment you spend together with words in order to have a healthy relationship. As Amica Graber, relationship expert with
TruthFinder, tells Bustle, comfortably sitting in silence can be a sign that your relationship is on a good track. But if that silence has started to feel awkward and you feel like you're trying to force a conversation to happen, your partner may be distancing themselves from the relationship.
Your Fights Have Changed
Pretty much every couple fights. But when your partner is giving up on the relationship, you'll notice some changes in the way that your partner fights with you. "Maybe your partner has stopped arguing with you altogether, maybe they've started adding below-the-belt barbs or maybe they're bringing up issues from the past," Graber says. If your
fighting style has changed, they may be checking out. According to dating coach, Maria Avgitidis, a partner who has stopped fighting signals the beginning of "emotional detachment" or indifference.
The Relationship Happens On Their Time
If you feel like you're only in a relationship when your partner has the time, they may be giving up. You may notice that they "forget" to respond to texts or they're too busy to respond at all. "Actions can speak louder than words and if you are in a serious relationship, time shared is your greatest commodity," matchmaker
Tammy Shaklee, tells Bustle. This doesn't have to be time shared together in person. It can be little things like checking in with each other throughout the day through texts or calls. "Often when this starts decreasing, it can mean that your partner’s attention is elsewhere or they may be checking out," she says.
Your Partner Barely Says "I Love You" Anymore
Verbalizing your love for your partner in some way each day is important, especially if
words of affirmation is their love language. In fact, putting in the effort to make your partner feel loved in some way shows that you're definitely on the right track. "People typically do such endearing things like [...] saying 'I love you' when they are emotionally invested," Omari says. "But as interest in the partner declines, so do these affectionate endeavors." So if you're the one putting in effort to make your partner feel loved and you can barely get an "I love you" out of them without prompting, they may be giving up.
You may not notice these signs right away because they're slow changes that tend to creep up on you. But you can't really assume you know how someone is feeling. If you notice that your partner has been getting distant, have a conversation with them about what needs to be done and maybe you can find a way to get your relationship back on a good track.