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Signs of a Breakup

We have all heard the saying that “breaking up is hard to do”.  While this can be true, there are several signs that can help you predict when a potential breakup is about to take place.  Recognizing these indicators will allow you to prepare, and perhaps even stop the breakup before it happens.  Here are five warning signs to look for...

Distant Behavior.  This is the most common behavior associated with relationship troubles.  In this phase your partner suddenly becomes quiet and disengaged around you.  They offer very little feedback to your communication and it becomes very difficult to maintain a conversation with them.  Frequent uses of apathetic statements like “I don’t care” and “I don’t know” are indicators that they are going out of their way to avoid conversation.

Signs of a Break UpAvoidance.  Nothing is worse than being pushed away from a loved one, yet this is a common tactic used to force a breakup. Ignoring phone calls, working longer hours, and spending more time with friends are all indicators that you are being avoided. Unfortunately, this behavior can often lead to more devious behavior such as lying and cheating.

Confrontation.  Another sign of a pending breakup is the display of confrontational behavior.  Your partner might challenge everything you say, or argue about the most trivial of problems.  They do this to create the illusion that you are incompatible as a couple.  It can leave you feeling as if everything is your fault, when actually you have done nothing wrong.

Disappearing Friends.  Sometimes you'll find clues that things are not going well within the shared social networks of you and your partner.  You may find that good friends begin to ignore you, as they have chosen to side with your partner.  This can even bleed into family members.  Perhaps you considered yourself close with your partner’s mother, but now she barely speaks to you.  This is a bad sign that discussions about your relationship are being held behind your back.

Threats and Ultimatums.  Threatening behavior is not always physical.  In fact, some people use verbal threats to manipulate others.  Breakup threats are used to make you second-guess yourself and feel uncomfortable around your partner.  Ultimatums on the other hand are specific conditions communicated by your partner that must occur in order to prevent a breakup.  Both of these tactics take advantage of the fear of rejection to exploit you.

In many failing relationships you'll find multiple examples of these behaviors.  Typically the unhappy partner will do anything they can to create tension and confusion.  Those who fall victim to the manipulation often wonder why the aggressor simply doesn’t just break up with them instead of making excuses.  The answer to this mystery revolves around accountability.  For whatever reason, the aggressor does not want the responsibility of ending things.  They would rather make your life so miserable that you have little choice but to breakup with them.

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