Relationship red flags

Siski Green / 23 August 2016

There are certain events or types of relationships that could mean disaster. Find out if there are warning signs in your relationship.



Your life goals are too different for a compromise

If your goal in life is to simply be close to family and watch your grandchildren grow, and your partner’s is to travel the world and experience something new each day, then it’s tough to find a compromise that will keep both parties happy. “If your partner is holding you back from seeing your dreams become a reality, it creates a fertile ground for resentment and later, a loss of love,” says sex and relationship therapist Dr Ian Kerner (goodinbed.com).

Find out about the most common reasons for divorce

You can’t be yourself 100% when you’re with your partner

If you still feel or have recently come to feel that you’re not truly yourself when you’re around your partner, it’s something that needs to be addressed. 

“Perhaps you’ve changed and you feel that your partner can’t accept that change,” says Kerner. “Or perhaps you’ve never felt confident enough in their love or the relationship to reveal your true self. If you still feel unable to, it might be time to move on and find someone who you can be yourself with.”

You can no longer trust each other

Trust is the glue that holds you together because if you can’t believe what your partner is saying to you or showing you with their behaviour, then it’s near impossible to believe they love you or care for you. 

“This is something that needs addressing and if you’ve tried that but still find yourself doubting your partner for whatever reason, it could be a sign that the relationship is not healthy for you,” says Kerner. “While some trust issues can be a result of low self-esteem and others may be based on genuine concerns, unless you find a way to resolve it and learn to trust your partner again, you will find it extremely hard to make the relationship a positive, healthy one.”

Find out how to rebuild trust in a relationship

You feel drained, tired or simply less happy after each meeting

It’s natural not to feel all shiny rainbows and starbursts 24-7 with a partner but if you feel drained or tired after each time you meet up with a boyfriend or girlfriend and you’ve tried addressing the triggers, you might be better off without him or her. “Try to pinpoint what it is about being with your partner that makes you feel this way,” says Kerner. “Then try to raise the issue with him or her. If you can’t resolve it, or if you feel you don’t want to put energy into trying, it could be time to walk away.”

You try to hurt each other when you fight

Physical abuse is a clear-cut reason to walk away (see below for a helpline if you are in need) but so is emotional abuse. “All couples fight but it’s how you fight that’s important,” says Kerner. “If you or s/he or both of you resort to nasty, mean and emotionally hurtful comments every time you fight over something small or big, then the issue is your relationship not the things you’re fighting over.” See a counselor to figure out a better way to fight or cut your losses and quit.

Find out how relationship counselling can help your marriage

If you are being physically or emotionally abused by a partner or anyone else and need help, please call the Samaritans on 116 123.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.