Do you know when your relationship is in a rut?

Relationship in a Rut

There is not much that is better than a happy relationship, right? You feel comfortable and safe with one another, you are getting your important needs met. You’ve relied-upon routines that give structure and personality to the life you have created together. But what happens when, over time and initially without you even noticing it, some of your dual routines feel lifeless and still? What if they start to cut off the circulation to the rest of your relationship? What if, like that errant limb, part of your relationship has fallen asleep? You, my friend, have hit a relationship rut. Getting over it might take a little more ingenuity and focus than rubbing a tingly arm or shaking pins and needles out of a leg, but it is well worth it for the longevity of your union.

Undoubtedly, sleep is a good thing for your body. Even when you crush a limb because you’re in such a deep sleep, it’s still a good thing and you don’t decide to swear off sleep because that might happen again. Likewise, relationship routines are good things. And rituals, as one facet of relationships, create a rhythm and predictability that permit a sense of security. You do not abandon rituals and resign yourself to an ever-shifting landscape of chaos because you found yourself in a rut.

The first step in breathing life back into your relationship is to locate ruts in your relationship. Just as feeling sad once in a while doesn’t mean you suffer from depression, being bored with your partner or with the things you do with your partner doesn’t mean you are stuck in a rut with your significant other. Boredom is something we all feel from time to time, and fleeting boredom with aspects of your relationship doesn’t signal a rut. Further, all relationships go through low points, especially if you and your partner are dealing with a great deal of stress. As long as you’re willing to find time, energy and creativity, relationship ruts are generally easy to fix.

With your partner, make a list of all the relationship routines that give both of you comfort and create a sense of safety. This list might include: eating dinner together each evening, going to the gym, renting movies every Sunday, visiting extended family…and so on. Discuss why these routines are special. What about them makes you feel safe and secure with your partner?

Then make a list of all the routines that you and your partner have grown tired of. These are the routines that are causing part of your relationship to fall asleep. When you identify routines that you both agree can and should be eliminated from your lives, do so. Unfortunately, some of the routines you identify as problematic might be necessary or fall under the category of “life maintenance tasks.” In that case, brainstorm ways in which you might make small changes to make them feel different on some level.

Now brainstorm a list of all the activities that you and your partner would like to add to the relationship. Choose something on this list and try it for several weeks. The activity should be fun and easy to execute. If it’s not mutually gratifying, it shouldn’t become part of your dual routine repertoire. Also, remember to mix things up a bit: rotating activities will imbue your relationship with the new life it needs and will help you avoid getting stuck in a future relationship rut.…

Do you know the signs of an unhealthy relationship?


Unhealthy Couple

A lot of people think that they know signs of an unhealthy relationship even when they don’t really. An abusive relationship is when one partner uses various tactics to control and overpower their partner. If you are at a point where you might be a little suspicious, I encourage you to continue reading because one of the ‘symptoms’ of being in an abusive relationship is denial, which hugely minimizes and justifies the abusive behavior. Although it may be popular opinion that a majority of abusers are male, this is in fact not true.

What types of abuse are there? There’s physical, financial, verbal, emotional and sexual.

Physical Abuse

When it comes to physical abuse, it often comes in the form of pushing, choking, hitting, kicking or any form of aggressive physical contact. This could also include threats of such violence or damage to surrounding property in order to vent.

This is the kind of abuse we often think of when we abusive relationships are involved. We also tend to think of the battered wife. Contrary to popular belief there is nearly an equal number of ‘battered’ men. These men are just as vulnerable because they are just as likely to suffer serious physical harm, but apart from this, there are pretty limited resources to help such men, they afraid that they won’t be taken seriously, and because of their nature, they would find it very hard, if not impossible to discuss such a problem with friends or family.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse is where one person in the relationship uses finances to control their significant other. This could take a number of forms. It could be that you have to constantly ask your partner for money when you need it for normal household expenses or your significant other could spend large amounts of money putting your household in debt, or just leaving a very small amount of money at your disposal. It could be that you have to constantly justify what you have spent to your significant other even though there is more than enough to go around or your significant other may hide their assets so you have no idea how much money they have.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is when your significant other resorts to calling you names or undermining you verbally. This could take a number of forms such as calling you an idiot, stupid or ugly. It could take the form of blaming you for all the problems in the relationship, or any events that your partner does not like. It may be that you are regularly judged and criticized by your significant other or even humiliated in front of family and friends.

Emotional Abuse

All types of abuse are insidious in nature, but this form of abuse is particularly so. This could take a large variety of forms so I’ll give just a few examples. In every abusive relationship, it is important that the victim is isolated as much as possible. This allows the abuser an increased amount of control because the victim loses the support of loved ones and friends, so the emotional abuser will try to restrict access to them. They may try to control the places you go and what you wear. They may undermine and humiliate you either at home or in a company. They may also fly into a rage when challenged or withdraw any kind of affection or support if you do something that does not sit well with them.

Sexual Abuse

This type of abuse could take a number of forms. Your significant other may frequently insist that you perform sexual acts that you don’t want to perform. It could also be that your significant other tries to persuade you to have sex when you don’t want to. He or she may then fly into a rage if you won’t comply or threaten to go elsewhere for sexual pleasure.…