Hadley Finch presents relationship rescue advice by John Gray, Ph.D:
The pain of breaking up a romantic relationship is worse when it comes as a surprise.
One day, everything feels fine. The next day, you are blindsided when your partner says, “We have to talk”.
It can often difficult for men and women to recognize the warning signs that a relationship is having trouble or even headed towards a break up.
I have been teaching them for as long as I have been giving relationship and communication advice.
I even wrote about them in my first book, What You Feel, You Can Heal.
I call the four warnings signs the “Four Rs” and they usually progress in a particular order as a relationship grows.
First there can be feelings of resistance.
Then feelings of resentment may build.
Next follows different forms of rejection.
Finally, it reaches the final phase of an empty relationship, repression.
I explain the differences between these 4 Rs:
There is resistance in any normal human relationship. Opposites attract.
Resistance occurs when you notice yourself starting to resist something another person is saying, doing, or feeling. You may have pointed some of these things out to them in the past and thought they would change, but they haven’t.
This can lead you to start criticizing them in your mind, and telling yourself that you “don’t like this.” You may also notice yourself pulling away a little bit.
There are two ways to handle resistance. Many people handle resistance by ignoring it and pretending it’s not there.
The best way to approach resistance is to talk to your partner using good communication. Tell your partner what is bothering you and ask your partner to stop doing it.
If your partner can’t change, try to understand and accept your partner to change your feelings. Or change your partner!
If you don’t tell the truth about your resistance and resolve it with your partner, and you choose to remain in the relationship, those little resistances build up and turn into the second R, Resentment.
Resentment is a much more active level of resistance and usually accompanied with anger and tension. Anger, frustration, annoyance, sharpness and hate are all symptoms of resentment.
You may notice you are keeping score in your head. “I do this and this and this for him and he doesn’t do anything for me.” You may also be getting angry over the smallest of things and blowing them out of proportion.
When you keep score in a relationship and think you can give more to get more, you will actually receive less and feel even more resentment.
You are responsible for stopping the resentment you hold towards your partner. You either need to talk to your partner or find forgiveness and understanding and learn to let it go. Or let your partner go!
If you don’t tell the truth about your resentment and resolve it with your partner, it builds up and turns into the third R, Rejection.
Rejection is the natural consequence of carrying around stored-up resentment. Rejection occurs when so much resistance and resentment has built up that it becomes impossible for you to stay emotionally connected to the other person, and you pull away.
You may just say ‘I don’t want to discuss this anymore’. You may leave the room, storm out of the house, or just shut down and refuse to acknowledge the other person.
You are turned off emotionally and sexually.
You may still love your partner, but you are no longer attracted to your partner. You may feel disgusted at the thought of sex, or simply have no interest in sex anymore.
The signs of rejection are:
– Avoiding your partner
– Disagreeing with your partner about everything
– Fantasizing about other people
– Acting on feelings and having affairs
Rejection is usually the stage when most long-term relationship end and most marriages lead to divorce.
If you don’t tell the truth about your feelings of rejection and resolve them with your partner, then your feelings turn to, Repression.
Repression happens when you are so tired of resisting, resenting and rejecting that you successfully repress all of your negative emotions to simply keep the peace in the relationship.
Repression is the most dangerous of the four Rs because it is a state of emotional numbness.
You numb yourself to your feelings in order to be comfortable in the relationship. This numbness spills over into the rest of your life. You lose your enthusiasm and aliveness. Life may become predictable and boring – it isn’t painful, but it isn’t joyful either. You may feel physically tired much of the time and definitely feelings of depression.
Every time you suppress the complete truth and repress your feelings, your ability to love decreases.
The good news is you can reverse these feelings no matter what stage you are in.
Take new steps to get new results and
enjoy happy, sexy love that lasts,