“I don’t feel any emotional connection with my husband anymore.”
“We have been disconnected from each other for a long time… and I don’t know what to do.”
“It seems like we have nothing in common and we have been living as roommates.”
“I want us to be happy again, but I don’t know what we should do to get the harmony back between us.”
As many of you know, high blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” because it slowly attacks and destroys vital organs that are essential for surviving. If a person doesn’t pay attention to the signs and symptoms, then the whole biological system will be affected and so will the functions for everyday living. And that’s why early intervention is highly recommended by healthcare professionals.
Have you ever thought about the reasons behind an unsatisfied relationship? It may have appeared to you as the most amazing and perfect relationship that anyone could only wish to have.
Throughout my time with working with individuals and couples, I can define 5 relationship dynamics as silent relationship killers because they start attacking couples slowly, invisibly, and powerfully.
It is essential to be able to identify, acknowledge, and respond to them with early intervention strategies.
These are the silent relationship killers that cause emotional and physical disconnection between couples and can potentially lead to divorce:
“We don’t argue with each other.”
“We would rather talk about something that makes us happy than bring an argument into our relationship.”
Per Connie Omari Ph.D., “Avoiding conflict is a silent relationship killer because it prevents the opportunity for addressing conflict to take place.” When you are not openly communicating a problem, it tends to stay in your mind and build up causing the relationship to slowly drift.” Dr. Omari highlights, “Not learning these skills is a sure way to kill your relationship silently.”
There can be certain situations or moments when we can invalidate our partners without realizing it or even meaning any offense. Dr. Omari writes, “When a person feels invalidated, they often feel disconnected and unheard”, which can lead to deterioration in a relationship.
Everyone at some level has baggage from their past that have been carrying on throughout life stages.
If this baggage isn’t taken care of prior to entering a relationship it can affect a relationship in many ways.
For instance, being bullied or putting a child down emotionally can lead to insecurity, low self-confidence, and uncertainty when he/she becomes an adult. You might think that what happened in the past should stay in the past and it will never reflect you and your relationship.
Unfortunately, in many cases, unresolved trauma significantly impact couples’ live by being triggered or reminded you of the trauma, which further leads to emotional distress in a relationship.
Stonewalling is another component of silent relationship killers
Everyone, at some point, withdraws from a relationship when they are feeling hurt, unsupported, misunderstood, or fearful of saying the wrong thing.
The main purpose of stonewalling is self-protection because they are attacked by negative emotions and/or experiences. You might’ve seen a scenario when a child curls up into a ball and hides under the table or in the corner when he/she is being ignored or dismissed. The same thing can be observed in a relationship. Only as adults, you stop arguing for emotional connection and eventually give up on the relationship altogether.
Ideally, you and your partner will continue to grow individually as well as together as time goes on: however, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, people started noticing that they don’t have anything in common with his/her partner. Why is that? Divorce attorney, Melissa Fecak shared, “When they were working, the differences that developed were harder to detect” and “Now that the distractions from the relationship are no longer present it becomes more apparent that they don’t have as much in common as they once thought or they changed their opinions on how they want to handle things moving forward.” Change is inevitable and if both partners aren’t committing to go through the changes together and moving forward next to each other in the same direction, they won’t bring harmony in their relationship.
Being in a relationship is like having a 24-hour job and/or like having a house that requires constant maintenance and repair.
Therefore, it is important to identify early these relationship killers and prepare to respond to them in an effective way to keep your relationship in balance.
If you feel like you have noticed some signs of silent relationship killers in your relationship and you need some guidance to manage them, I will be more than happy to help you with that.
Hi, I’m Nadia Padurets, therapist for individuals and couples at Love Heal Grow Counseling.
I help hard-working and stressed-out couples and individuals cope with the chaos of life so they can have more joy, fulfillment, and love.
You can read more about me or schedule an appointment here: About Nadia