Your Relationship Is Doomed If Your Partner Does This, Experts Say

Paul Thompson
·3 min read

No relationship is perfect. In fact, being able to successfully navigate the ups and downs and overcome challenges as a team is a huge part of what makes being in a relationship such a meaningful experience. However, while disagreements, frustrations, and disappointments are inevitable in even the strongest and most loving relationships, the way you and your partner behave in those difficult situations says a ton about the strength—or in this case, weakness—of your relationship. With that, if you notice your partner doing any of the following things, your relationship is probably doomed to fail. And for more dating dilemmas, this is The No. 1 Reason Your New Relationship Isn't Working.

1

They withdraw during arguments.

couple arguing on the sofa, rude behavior
couple arguing on the sofa, rude behavior

While confrontation is often unpleasant, occasional arguments with your partner are a normal and healthy part of being in a relationship. But if your partner shuts down every time you raise an issue that is bothering you, that's a sign of larger problems.

In his 2015 research published in the journal Psychological Assessment, Keith Sanford, PhD, a psychology professor at Baylor University, found that partners who admitted that they withdrew often during arguments reported being unhappier and more apathetic about the relationship overall.

"Withdrawal is the most problematic for relationships," Sanford said in a statement. "It's a defense tactic that people use when they feel they are being attacked, and there's a direct association between withdrawal and lower satisfaction overall with the relationship." And for more relationship red flags, check out 17 Relationship Trouble Signs You Should Never Ignore.

2

And they never apologize.

depressed man sitting on couch and looking away while his wife shouts at him holding credit card
depressed man sitting on couch and looking away while his wife shouts at him holding credit card

Along with shutting down in the face of conflict, if your partner simply refuses to apologize, no matter what they did or said, then you are in a toxic relationship. It shouldn't take a big fight or pleading on your part to get your partner to say a simple "I'm sorry" for doing something that upset or hurt you.

"In an unhealthy relationship, partners usually have to come to some conflict place in order to get an apology or even awareness of an issue," Michele M. Paiva, a licensed psychotherapist, recently told Bustle. And for more on the other side of the forgiveness spectrum, here are 15 Signs That You Apologize Too Much, According to Experts.

3

They hold grudges.

older asian couple sitting on couch looking upset and angry
older asian couple sitting on couch looking upset and angry

All relationships are going to have challenges, and both of you are going to make mistakes. But if your partner still harbors anger towards you about something you had thought the two of you had resolved and moved forward from, this is a bad sign.

"Holding a grudge, feeling irritated with your partner, and passive aggression are often signs of resentment," says Cody Mitts, LPC, founder of Ipseity Counseling Clinic in Denver, Colorado. "Resentment prevents you from healing and moving forward in your life. It prevents you from reconciliation with your partner and keeps conflict alive."

4

They are constantly looking at their phone.

Young couple obsessed with social media ignoring each other in a cafe.
Young couple obsessed with social media ignoring each other in a cafe.

To be fair, we all look at our phones too much, so this one can be tricky to interpret. But, if there is also a breakdown of communication or palpable tension between the two of you, that means trouble. Your partner may even be using their phone as a passive-aggressive way of "getting back" at you for something or to avoid a more difficult conversation, Paiva told Bustle. And for relationship tips and more helpful information delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.