Power, Control and What Is Our Responsibility

Relationship Triage: How to Turn Around a Failing Relationship

How do you know when your relationship is failing?

Not all relationships were built to last, but how can you tell which ones you should end and which ones you should fight for?  Failing relationships affect every demographic from celebrities to those living in poverty and everyone in between.  Learning the signs of a negative relationship can help you identify which relationships are worth fixing and how to get over those relationships that ultimately fail.

There are also many relationship types.  The below information and advice is related to all relationships in general and especially romantic relationships.

What is really meant by relationship status: Reading the signs and what to do.

  • Signs of a negative relationship
  • Fix or flee?
  • Fixing your relationship
  • Signs your relationship is over
  • Getting over a failed relationship 

Signs of a Negative Relationship

  • You don’t feel like a priority – In this situation, you may often feel as though your partner always has better things to do than spend time with you. They may offer up recurring excuses to ease your mind about why your time together is limited. 
  • You don’t trust them – Are you worried that your partner is cheating? Do you feel the need to check their phone or e-mail in the search for infidelity?  If so, the trust in your relationship is severely lacking.  Even small things can signify a lack of trust, such as doing certain chores or tasks yourself because you don’t trust your partner to do them even if you ask. Trust is one of the 10 most important things in a relationship, and not having it is harmful to your relationship.
  • Your partner limits your time with your friends – Every couple wants and needs to have alone time together, but if your partner continuously deters you from spending time with friends, this could be a sign of relationship control issues.
  • You keep score – If you’re constantly recounting each other’s mistakes and using them as ammunition during arguments, that’s a definitive sign that your relationship is unhealthy.
  • You’re wondering if you’re in a bad relationship – One of the most straightforward signs that you’re in a negative relationship is by reaching the point where you’re questioning the quality of your relationship at all.

Fix or flee: How do you know if your relationship is worth fighting for?

Historically, there are a number of different things that signal a doomed relationship.  For each of these things, you must ask yourself a series of questions. 

  1. Am I willing to accept it?
  2. Can a compromise be reached?
  3. Can I continue this relationship in spite of it?

“One of the hardest parts of life is deciding whether to walk away or try harder.”

Here are a few examples of some of the biggest relationship dangers.

Mutually Exclusive Important Needs

For a vast majority of people, this particular topic doesn’t come up until the relationship is well underway.  Among the biggest need that divides couples is children.  Does only one member of the relationship want children?  Is there a discrepancy between number of children desired?  Would religious differences make raising children more difficult and complicated than anticipated?  If children are not an issue in a relationship, then it may be finances that divides you.  Sources of income, amount of income, and priorities for how money is spent can all lead to a realization of irreconcilable differences.

Unacceptable Past

Often times, people hide certain events or aspects of their past because they know it will be detrimental towards future relationships.  Once the relationship is established and going well, these confessions are made with the hope that the current state of the relationship will make it easier to forgive them.  Examples include previous marriages, a child from previous relationship, or an STD that was not mentioned before the relationship became sexual. 

Power Struggles

The power dynamic in a relationship is incredibly important and, often, a testament to whether the relationship will survive.  If the power dynamic of your relationship is skewed heavily one way or another, that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.  This problem can be remedied by realizing the power struggle and creating the changes necessary to establish balance.  Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. 

Fixing your broken relationship

What is needed to fix a broken relationship
  • Re-Evaluate Your Reasons
  • Communicate
  • Cut Out External Influences
  • Forgive

Re-evaluate Your Reasons

When your relationship is struggling, one of the first things to do is think about the reasons why you’re together.  Think about what qualities you admire in your partner.  What little things do you love about them?  What do you love about your relationship with them?  Evaluating these reasons can help you recall why you chose your partner and reignite the spark in your relationship.


Be honest about your expectations for the relationship.  Voice your concerns and encourage your partner to do the same.  Talk through problems and discuss where you hope the relationship will go and what you’d like to achieve together. 

“We learn the most from imperfect relationships – things like forgiveness and compassion.”

Cut Out External Influences

Often times, family members or friends can (inadvertently) plant seeds of doubt and create a toxic environment in our relationships with our partner.  Identify these people and limit their influence.


One of the most powerful things you can do to heal a broken relationship is to forgive your partner… and yourself.  By letting go of negative emotions, like guilt, shame, and embarrassment, you create a healthier, more positive environment for your relationship to recover and thrive.

By exploring the dynamics of polyamorous relationships and discussing expectations and needs with partners, individuals can create healthy and fulfilling relationships that work for everyone involved.

Signs your relationship is over

  1. Decrease in sex and affection – This may signal a decline in the connection you have with your significant other. The amount of sex in a relationship does tend to decrease as a relationship moves from the initial stages to something steadier; however, if your sex life has been put on an indefinite hold or all those small displays of affection have disappeared, it could represent a downturn in the relationship.
  2. Communication breakdown – Does every conversation you have turn into a fight? Are you incapable of agreeing on even the smallest of matters?   While disagreements are a normal part of even the healthiest relationships, constant fighting is a bad sign.  Alternatively, communication between the parties could simply not exist.  In this scenario, boredom or fear of an argument may prevent conversations from occurring. If you’re walking on eggshells, it’s time for a relationship reality check. For tips on how to handle arguments in a relationship, check out that article.

“In a relationship, when communication starts to fade everything else follows.”

  1. Pet peeves become overwhelmingly irritating – While little things can get on our nerves occasionally, it may be a sign of a failing relationship when the emotions provoked by these minor irritations are out of proportion. This, especially when combined with other signs, is a red flag that your relationship is in a downward spiral.
  2. Escapes become more important than the actual relationship – If you will do anything and everything to spend time away from your partner, it’s time to seriously consider where your relationship is headed. This is especially true if you find yourself thinking about your next escape while spending time with your partner.
  3. You imagine life after them – If they are not included in your future plans or you are not included in theirs, it’s probably time to move on.

How do you get over a failed relationship?

If your relationship with someone has ultimately failed, it can difficult to move on.  One of the first things you should do is talk about it.  Breakups are difficult, painful situations.  Your friends and family can provide you with a listening ear and support you during this transitioning time.  Breakups often leave us with residual feelings of anger or sadness or both.  Try to let go of these emotions and practice self-care.  This new phase of your life won’t last forever and devesting yourself of negative emotions is a step forward.  Finally, embrace your newfound freedom!  Find something new and exciting to do with your time.  Spend time with friends or volunteer and meet new people. Embrace the yogic lifestyle. Start a new hobby.  Eventually, you’ll be ready for your next relationship, but in the meantime – take some time to care for yourself.