Spring is here and everything will soon be in full bloom—can you say the same about your relationship? All couples experience ups and downs, but if it seems like you’ve been in a rut for a long time, you may want to step back and reassess the situation.
Does your relationship need rehabbing? Read through the following and get honest with yourself. We all want to be happy, but is it really working?
You Feel Lonely
Bouts of loneliness are common from time to time, but if you feel like you and your partner are just coexisting, you might have a problem. It’s not their job to make you feel fulfilled, but at the very least, you shouldn’t feel alone.
Homework: Think about the good and bad times you’ve navigated together. Have you felt like your significant other had your back? Did you feel supported during struggles and celebrated during victories? If not, ask yourself what you’re actually gaining from this relationship.
You Feel Unappreciated
Being coupled up takes commitment. Even when things are good, it can feel like hard work. When you put in the effort to do help create a happy life, it’s nice to feel acknowledged. When you feel unappreciated, it can turn into resentment over time.
Homework: Pay attention to your significant other’s reactions when you prepare a meal, fold their laundry or go out of your way to do something nice. Do they express gratitude in any way or does it feel like your efforts are sinking into a bottomless pit? If you’re giving without getting much in return, who is really benefiting from this relationship?
You Don’t Feel Like a Team
The goal of a life partner is to have … well a partner! When you balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses, it can help make both daily struggles and major hurdles so much easier to overcome. It can be very frustrating if you feel like you’re pulling all the weight.
Homework: Don’t make this a competition but casually take inventory of who is doing what in your relationship. You might be surprised by how much your partner is contributing—in which case be sure to acknowledge that!—or you may realize that you’re pulling most of the weight. Achieving true equality is nearly impossible but it should be the goal for both of you.
You’re Not Having Sex
There’s no “perfect” amount of sex that a couple should be having. However, if that spark is gone and you’re not reconnecting at a frequency that builds intimacy, it will impact your relationship. It’s an uncomfortable topic for many, but don’t ignore it—especially if one partner is feeling neglected.
Homework: When was the last time you had sexual contact? It doesn’t have to be intercourse, but some sort of pleasurable encounter. If you can’t remember (or don’t want to!), you need to sit down with your partner and have a serious talk. What has been keeping you apart? Is it your busy schedules or something more serious? You need to find out.
You Feel Stuck
One of the best things about being a couple is growing together. Whether it’s changing careers, traveling the world, or raising children, you should feel like being in a relationship adds to those milestones in your life. You shouldn’t feel like your partner or the situation is holding you back.
Homework: Reflect on all the things you wanted to accomplish in life before you met your current partner. Compare that to your current reality. If you’re not meeting those goals, ask yourself what happened.
When we feel unfulfilled in our relationships, it’s tempting to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that everything’s okay. The reality is that, the longer we ignore problems, the worse they can become.
To give your relationship a real shot at success, tell your partner how you are feeling. Create an opportunity to pull together to address the issues and strengthen your bond. If things don’t work out, you’ll know you gave it your best shot but by speaking up, you could emerge better than ever!