4 signs that your relationship is not working well


The couple is a complex entity in which various behaviours and dynamics develop. Some favour a strengthening of the relationship, and others do not so positively. They cause the connection to weaken.

No relationship can generate behaviors in both directions: positive dynamics such as active listening, empathy towards the other, collaboration, and mutual support, and negative dynamics such as withdrawal of attention, criticism, communication blocking, etc.

Although the ideal would be to eliminate each of the negative behaviours, we can say that a relationship with good health maintains a high rate of positive dynamics and a low rate of negative ones.

Despite this, a series of dynamics predict success or failure regardless of whether positive behaviours exist. 

Negative Couple Dynamics

Communication Breakdown

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. When communication starts to break down, it can be a clear indicator that the relationship is facing problems. Here, we’ll delve deeper into the different aspects of communication breakdown and explore strategies to address these issues.

One of the most apparent signs of communication breakdown is the prevalence of silence or avoidance. When you and your partner are avoiding important conversations or giving each other the silent treatment, it can lead to misunderstandings and unresolved issues. On the other end of the spectrum, excessive arguing can also signal communication problems. If you find yourselves constantly in conflict, it may be a sign that your communication style needs improvement. Arguments can be healthy, but when they become a daily occurrence.

Misunderstandings can happen in any relationship, but when they occur frequently, it suggests that you and your partner are not effectively communicating your thoughts, feelings, and needs. These misunderstandings can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment. 

Recognizing and addressing communication breakdowns is crucial for maintaining a healthy and thriving relationship. Open and honest dialogue, active listening, and seeking professional help when necessary are key steps to overcome communication issues and improve your connection with your partner. By focusing on healthy communication, you can foster a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.

Emotional Disconnect

Emotional connection is the lifeblood of a healthy relationship. When that connection weakens or disappears, it’s a significant sign that the relationship may not be working well. A lack of emotional intimacy is a telltale sign that something is amiss in your relationship. Emotional intimacy involves sharing feelings, thoughts, and dreams with your partner. If you’re emotionally distant, it can create a sense of isolation.

Pay attention to moments when you or your partner are hesitant to share your thoughts, feelings, or vulnerabilities. It may manifest as a need for deep, meaningful conversations. If emotional disconnection persists, seeking the assistance of a therapist or counsellor can guide you in rebuilding your emotional bond. A professional can offer valuable tools and techniques to enhance emotional intimacy.

Indifference or apathy towards your partner’s joys, sorrows, and experiences can indicate an emotional disconnect. When you’re no longer excited about each other’s successes or empathetic during difficult times, it’s time to address the issue. Take note of moments when you or your partner appear disinterested or apathetic about each other’s experiences and emotions. It may manifest as a lack of enthusiasm or empathy. Make an effort to reconnect on an emotional level by practising empathy. This involves understanding and sharing in each other’s emotional experiences. Listen actively and show that you genuinely care about your partner’s feelings.

Trust Erosion

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. When trust erodes, it can cause significant damage to the partnership.

When promises and commitments are repeatedly broken, trust erodes. This can involve anything from small promises to significant ones, like fidelity in a romantic relationship. Please pay attention to situations where you or your partner frequently fail to keep promises, whether they are related to daily responsibilities or more significant commitments. To rebuild trust in the wake of broken promises, prioritize transparency. Be open and honest about your intentions, actions, and any potential challenges that may impact your ability to keep promises.

Constant suspicion or jealousy can signify trust issues in a relationship. When you’re unable to trust your partner’s actions or intentions, it can lead to insecurity and conflict. Be transparent about your actions, feelings, and intentions. Open and honest communication is key to rebuilding trust. Share your thoughts and experiences with your partner to demonstrate your commitment to transparency. If trust issues persist and rebuilding seems challenging, a therapist or counsellor can provide a safe and supportive space to address trust issues. They can offer strategies and tools to rebuild trust and strengthen the relationship.

Trust erosion is a serious issue in any relationship, but it can be addressed and rebuilt with effort, commitment, and professional assistance if needed. Reestablishing trust is a crucial step in maintaining a healthy and thriving partnership, and it can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.

Unresolved Issues

Unresolved issues from the past or ongoing conflicts can indicate that your relationship needs to be fixed. Ongoing conflicts that are never fully resolved can indicate deeper issues within the relationship. When arguments are cyclical and never lead to solutions, it’s a sign that you need to be more effectively addressing the root problems. Ongoing, unresolved conflicts can lead to emotional exhaustion, frustration, and a breakdown in communication. They can create a negative atmosphere in the relationship.

If past conflicts and grievances continue to resurface in your current relationship, it suggests that these issues were not adequately addressed and resolved. Past resentments can poison the present. Pay attention to recurring resentments or unresolved issues from the past that continue to impact the relationship. These may be related to previous conflicts or grievances. 

Addressing unresolved issues is essential for maintaining a healthy and thriving relationship. By implementing conflict resolution skills, seeking professional guidance when necessary, and assessing the relationship’s direction, you can work towards resolving past conflicts and fostering growth and improvement in your partnership.


Recognizing when a relationship is not working well is the first step towards addressing and resolving issues. Communication breakdown, lack of intimacy, trust issues, and constant conflict are common signs that your relationship may be in trouble. By acknowledging these signs, you can take action to improve the health of your relationship, whether through open communication, seeking therapy, or other strategies. Remember that every relationship has its ups and downs, but with effort and dedication, many issues can be worked through, leading to a stronger and more fulfilling partnership.