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Do you really think it’s wise to be with someone you can’t trust? Do we have to say more about this one?
This is one of the sure-fire signs that your relationship is over. Anything good you have to say about your partner should be said in public. Anything bad is best kept private unless you’re on your way out and confiding in your family or close friends. Public badmouthing, even if it’s meant as a joke or petty complaining, is the tip of an iceberg of deep dissatisfaction that can sink your relationship to the bottom of the sea.
When you find yourself tuning out, seeking distractions, and making a conscious effort to avoid connection and intimacy, it’s time to step away from the source of your pain. You might still wear each other’s rings or live under the same roof, but if you’ve severed the emotional bond or you’re slowly letting it unravel, you may as well make a clean break.
8. Demanding proofs of love.
“If you loved me, you would . . .” Allowing this absurd request to rule your life is so tempting. After all, it’s often so easy just to get it over with and do the thing your partner asks. But what your partner is really saying is, “I don’t believe, trust, or accept your love unless you go through this hoop for me.” It’s not actually a proof of your love, but a way of soothing your partner’s anxiety and addressing the feeling that he or she is unlovable, and soon enough the hoop becomes a ring of fire. The only person who can change those feelings of unlovability is their owner, and asking you to do it is a sign your partner is mentally unwell.
9. Public humiliation.
Has your partner ever shamed you in public, with outrageous behavior, by airing dirty laundry, or by accusing or severely mistreating you? An apology will always follow, but it wasn’t an accident or the result of too much drinking, and despite the promises, it will be repeated. It’s evidence of a fragile ego and deep-seated self-hatred. No amount of love you give can make someone love themselves, and without help, your partner will only make you more and more miserable.
10. Obsession with another person.
If one partner is obsessed with someone outside the relationship—either a potential love interest or even a best friend—there’s a good chance that availability and connection have broken down within the relationship. It’s healthy not to have all the energy directed inward, but your partner must remain your primary focus. Obsession also indicates an unmet need, but it’s likely one you can’t meet for your partner.
11. Obsession with pornography.
The jury is out, but some find a little bit of smut, enjoyed together, to be a turn-on. Watching others can also be a way for couples to express their fantasies and get in touch with what they want in bed. But obsessive consumption of porn by one or both partners is a sign that satisfaction will always elude that person, and the quest for the holy grail—or multi-orgasmic image—will lead down a road of extreme perversion.
12. Emotional infidelity.
A one-night stand with a colleague on a business trip, a brief fling with the hot personal trainer, distasteful and devastating as these are, they need not be relationship killers. Sexual monogamy is hard and not necessarily hard-wired. The first question a partner inevitably asks when the indiscretion is discovered or disclosed is “Do you love him/her?”
It’s the transference of the emotional attachment we fear the most because emotional intimacy is the core of a relationship and makes everything else possible.