Relationships can be hard. In fact, it’s said that relationship that are the hardest to work through tend to be the best. If you don’t find yourself believing that, do a little research on twin flames. Though relationships can be difficult, and one might think, “It shouldn’t be this hard.” It might be advantageous to look at the latest trends in relationship anxiety.
If relationships were easy, a lot of counselors and attorneys would be bankrupt, as well as many other industries and programs which are supported by relationship anxiety.
In my work with couples, I see particular trends which seem to come up. The mix changes from time to time, but they all seem to come in groups of waves. This year, it seems like there is a pattern representing a group eight recurring issues that may be a source of friction, breakdown, or relationship anxiety.
While a partnership between two people should encourage each partner to grow and change, sometimes this growth and change can lead to a separation, where the independence of each partner overshadows the union or togetherness, and they find themselves drifting apart, as they traverse different roads. In this case, the best decision might be to put an end to the confines of the relationship and each goes their own way with God’s blessings.
Even though the trends in relationship anxiety might indicate the end of an era, resulting in the total loss of the relationship, any relationship can be restored to its full potential, with the commitment, and diligence of both parties recognizing the problems and doing the work of reparation.
The trends in relationship anxiety of the day appear to be,
1. Not Working on the Relationship
When one of the partners is doing most of the work of keeping the relationship together, while the other just seems to coast along, this indicates there’s trouble ahead. A relationship is a two-way street. For it to work efficiently, both partners should be vested, ready and willing to do the work of maintaining connection and managing the relationship. Solo relationship management will result in the deterioration of the relationship and the one who has put forth the greater effort will feel the most pain in the end.
In a healthy relationship, two people hold each other up and support each other emotionally. When the support of your partner is waning, you can bet so is his or her connection to you. This is apparent, and you’re able to recognize it with your feelings. You don’t feel like your partner isn’t supporting you, or lacks interest in those things that make your heart sing which you are deeply passionate about, you’re feeling more isolated, and you are. If your passions cannot find reconnection when you first feel this drifting apart, it may not be salvageable in the future.
3. You Don’t Come First
In the hierarchy of values which exist within a relationship, you need to be number one, just as your partner needs to be your number one priority. Certainly, in a healthy relationship each participant has their own independent lives they live, but in their togetherness, the other partner is the priority, and in keeping with this perspective decisions which are made should contain the weight of how your partner might feel about this or that. Taking you partner’s perspective into consideration is important, for without it… If your partner is making decisions without taking you into consideration, this will lead to a falling away, as he or she finds other interests which are more interesting and your station within your partner’s life fades to nothing as he or she spends more time with his or her hobbies, friends, coworkers, etc.
4. Broken Promises
Trust is the backbone of any relationship. Without trust, what do you have? Nothing. The way you bolster trust and integrity with strength and honor is to make a promise and keep it. Broken promises are the enemy of trust. Your word is your bond. If you say you will do something, do it. If not, be honest upfront and say you just can’t see yourself doing it. If your partner is continually falling short, and you’re feeling more and more frustrated, thinking about his or her “lies” (which they may not be) don’t think it’s going to get better. You can’t change him or her. That’s the way your partner is wired. If you can’t accept that, it might be worth setting a firm boundary, that you refuse to be treated like that, and move along. Or you could just accept that’s how your partner is and try to accept and ignore it as best you can. Can he or she change? Certainly, but it won’t have anything to do with you. People only change for their own reasons (if it’s to be lasting change).
5. Devices are More Important than You
This is a growing trend in the deterioration of relationships. It’s difficult to predict the effect technology will have in the future based on how our relationship with our devices appear to be overshadowing our face-to-face encounters and authentic connection with others. If your partner favors his or her phone or other devices over you, this is definitely cause for concern. Both of you spending a lot of time plugged into your devices seems like an insignificant distraction at first but the first one to break out of this techno-trance sees the price that was paid when he or she discovers that your human connection has lost its meaning.
6. Being Secretive
We all have our lives, our intimate private details which we keep safely locked away in our psyches, but if you or your partner are keeping secrets from each other so as to keep things on an even keel, this will backfire when the truth comes to light. In the most healthy relationships, there is an openness and honesty, even intimating difficult details and circumstance. We all realize there will be bumps in the road, but sharing and caring about them and keeping them on the table, openly discussed, makes all the difference. This level of communication can make a couple grow stronger while keeping secrets causes separation, each one disconnecting you a little more.
7. Your Plans Don’t Include Me
We all know it’s healthy to have a little time with our friends, a girl’s or guy’s night out, but when these soirées take priority over your significant other, your significant other loses his or her significance. N’est-ce pas? Togetherness must include some being together and it’s important to schedule time together in those times when you’re not under bondage to some more important commitment (like a job, let’s say). If you’re spending more of your available hours with others, don’t be too surprised when your partner packs his or her bags. This will happen if your partner is feeling as though you care about others more him or her. And if you’re hearing about your partner’s hopes and dreams of the future, and you’re not hearing how you factor into all of that, there’s a reason; he or she does not see you as a part of his or her future.
All of us have a little narcissist inside, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if your partner is only all about himself or herself, then you know there’s going to be trouble ahead. All that, “Oh, I don’t want to eat this, I want to eat that,” which was so cute in the beginning is starting to get old, and since then there’s been so much piled atop the heap of selfishness, like, what television programming or movies to watch, what and where you eat, vacation destination and activities. A relationship is give-and-take, not take-take-take. If your partner’s interests are often self-centered, he or she is not into you.
Keep in mind, these trends in relationship anxiety are just food for thought. They don’t mean you should bail out of the relationship altogether. These trends only indicate the most frequent issues I have been seeing as being problematic sources of relationship anxiety in my work with couples. Left to themselves, yes, the relationship will fail but if these issues are addressed and worked on, overcoming such obstacles could lead to the greatest relationship of all.
But it takes two.