Whether you're worried about a friend or about your own marriage or relationship, it helps to be knowledgeable about some of the signs that a couple is feeling disconnected. A lack of affection, harsh words or mutual disdain are all likely to happen from time to time in an honest relationship, but signs such as these that go on for long periods may be evidence of some serious problems in the relationship.
A certain amount of criticism is inevitable between any two people who live together for a long period of time. But in a healthy relationship, the criticism is within a context of love and support, while in a disconnected or unhealthy relationship, it is present in all the interactions between two people. A further symptom is that the criticism is directed at the individual rather than at the act or the situation. Instead of expressing the contentious but not necessarily destructive "I don't like it when you do this," a partner in an unhealthy relationship will criticise the partner as a person, essentially saying "I don't like you."
Disconnected couples often act with indifference toward one another. Many couples who have fallen out of love are still together only out of habit, or for their children, or because it's financially unfeasible to part ways. Couples in this situation may live largely separate lives while living in the same household. Some disconnected couples live within a context of recrimination, arguing and even violence, while others have separated so thoroughly in their minds that there is little conflict between them, just a vast gulf of indifference. To others, this situation may manifest itself as rarely seeing the couple together in public, or spending time with one of the partners and noticing that he or she rarely mentions the other, or avoids the subject when it comes up.
Lack of Future Focus
Disconnected couples will avoid the subject of their future together, with each other and with other people. Because they have become emotionally separated, neither one of them may see much of a future with the other, and they may be avoiding the subject in order to avoid the inevitable uproar when it becomes clear that they don't intend to stay together. In a disconnected relationship, the idea of the future may be frightening, as it is far more unknown than for someone who intends to remain with their partner for life.
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Jagg Xaxx has been writing since 1983. His primary areas of writing include surrealism, Buddhist iconography and environmental issues. Xaxx worked as a cabinetmaker for 12 years, as well as building and renovating several houses. Xaxx holds a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from the University of Manchester in the U.K.