Of course, this lack of safety manifests in other more subtle areas, ones that are just as destructive to your relationship. Your tendency to get defensive when she talks about how she feels. Your assumption that everything she says is a criticism makes her think you don’t care about or listens to her at all.
Using manipulative control tactics, like intimidating her, stonewalling her, or taking a patronizing, higher moral ground during arguments, erodes trust and makes her question your loyalty to the relationship. Also, threatening to break up every time a moment gets tough is the ultimate manipulation that compels her to look for safety … elsewhere.
This also surfaces in a the form of competition or tit-for-tat score keeping. If she doesn’t feel like she has your emotional support, or that you’re truly on her team, that feels deeply unsettling for her.
3. She doesn’t feel appreciated or desired
There is a misconception men have that all women want to be treated like queens. While some of them certainly do, most really just want to feel special in your eyes.
If you come home from work and pay more attention to your PS4 than you do her; if you choose to go out with the guys every Friday night; if you expect her to fix you dinner without ever acknowledging the effort, then you definitely take her for granted.
If a woman doesn’t feel appreciated, it’s difficult for her to stay in a relationship. You don’t give her the physical or emotional validation she needs to sustain a connection and more importantly, she feels that you don’t ‘see’ her anymore. She no longer feels desired.
Yeah, you love her. Yeah, you try to have sex with her. But the novelty of love and intimacy wear off if they’re not continually growing deeper.
Seven years into your relationship, do you still desire her? Do you still give her the reassurance she needs that you’re still attracted to her? Even if the physical nature of the relationship has waned, do you still feel drawn to her mind, her presence, her way of being? When was the last time you complimented her?
If she no longer feels you longing for her or truly wanting her anymore (not just wanting ‘sex,’ but wanting her specifically), she’ll close off emotionally to protect herself (can you really blame her?) and what’s left of the relationship connection will slip away.
4. You’re no longer present with her
You stopped asking questions about her — how her day was, what she wants out of life, or if she has any new dreams. You stopped asking because you assume you know her answer. But that lack of inquisitiveness translates to a lack of curiosity, adventure, care, and mystery in your relationship.
You’ve put down your broom and stopped trying to sweep her off her feet. In your mind, you’ve already ‘won’ her, so why bother. But, she wants you to win her over and over again. You forgot that loving someone is not a one-time action, it’s a daily and consistent practice with no end game.
You ignore her tears, passing them off as her being emotional and blaming it on her period. Perhaps you’re a selfish lover, too, only concerned that your needs are met, failing to tend to her wants, needs, and desires.
The consequence? You’re a total turn off to her now. She’s that disconnected. Your mind is always elsewhere — on your career, financial issues, or “stress.” Maybe she even subtly tests the connection, trying to move closer, to reach you, but you pass her efforts off as “needy” or reject her advances without even knowing it.
Face the facts: The woman you’re with is probably about to dump you. And now you must decide if you’re willing to put in the effort to win her back. If you are — she needs to feel these things in a relationship:
- That there’s a future. A shared future led by your masculine direction and strength, which allows her to relax, open up, and trust that you’re committed.
- A sense of security. She must feel free to express herself emotionally, physically and beautify your life.
- That she’s appreciated and desired … continuously. Don’t let routine put the gems and gifts of your relationship to sleep. Remind yourself and acknowledge her often about the benefit she brings to your life.
- That you are truly present with her. Continued growth is essential to your connection as a couple. Be with her, look in her eyes, listen to her speak stay curious about who she is and who she’s becoming.