I recently watched an episode of ‘First Dates Hotel’ where a middle aged women said that after 22 years of marriage her husband upped and left with no warning. I found it difficult to comprehend – I doubt that a relationship would break down if both parties were happy and in love.
I can appreciate that over time, relationship dynamics change and they move from being passion filled to more of a deep care and mutual respect for one another. But I still think there must be signs that something isn’t quite right in a relationship before a partner resorts to walking out. Could it be that infact, the party that has been walked out on was either too comfortable or too distant in the relationship to notice the changes in their partners behaviour before they walked out?
I can only go on what I have experienced both in my relationships and witnessing my friends in relationships – I can’t express what would happen in a marriage but I can hazard a guess:
- They start to contact you less – whether that’s through calls, messages or in person, they will slowly start to detach themselves from you. It may either be a sudden change – I had a friend who’s partner stopped speaking to them suddenly – or that they gradually call or message you less.
- Less sex – I feel like this is an obvious one, but perhaps not so obvious if you’ve been in a long term marriage. Despite what people may say, sex is a very important factor in a relationship and a lack of that intimate contact over time can create distance.
- They detach themselves from your life – they stop coming to your family events, or if they do, they interact less with your family members. They turn down friends birthdays or stop including you in their personal events.
- The affection fades – I feel that this is more of a noticeable difference, as even if a couple have been together for years, there should still be some form of affection between a couple. Whether that’s holding hands in public, praising their appearance or a small touch to show they care, once that starts to fade completely, I believe it’s a tell tale sign that something isn’t quite right.
- They are more vague – this links in to contacting you less. Whether you live with them or not, once they start spending less time with you, they will begin to give less details about where they have been or what they are doing. Not necessarily because they are with someone else, but because they perhaps have less desire to let you know what they are doing and a diminished interest in being aware of your whereabouts.
- The happiness disappears – where the conversations were once light hearted and filled with inside jokes, they start to change to more tense, serious conversations. It may not be big arguments, but it could be their general lack of desire to keep harmony between the two of you, and finding anything – no matter how small – to nit pick on that slowly chips away at both of you. As a result, their mood is more likely to be down than up, the majority of the time.
- You become complacent – all the above could be happening, but if you become complacent in a relationship and don’t do anything to change the situation because you think they will be there no matter what, then eventually something is going to happen to give you a reality check.
Ultimately, what all of the above show (and I know I have just scraped the surface in terms of telltale signs) is a general lack of care from the other party, that perhaps if it’s gradually happening over a long period of time may be more difficult to notice. But I truly believe if you dig deep into the relationship and start to look for signs your partner and relationship were changing, you will realise that they didn’t infact, just walk out with ‘no warning.’
To my readers – thoughts?