What struck me about these stories was the absolute blindness these men exhibited with regard to the health of their relationships. I suppose a woman could pretend to be happy but if a relationship is that far gone, you can be sure there were clues. In fact there were probably huge fire-engine red banners that read, "I'm really unhappy! I can't take it anymore!" waving all over the place.
So what's a clueless man to do? Just how do you know if a woman is close to the point of leaving?
If a woman is thinking of abandoning the relationship, she is likely to behave in one or more of the following ways:
According to one study, there are four specific signs of deterioration of an intimate relationship that can predict a break-up:
If one or both of you is engaging in the above behavior, you need to get some professional counseling as soon as possible if you want to save your relationship. Once it gets to this point, it can be very difficult to sort everything out by yourselves. A professional can teach you the skills necessary to resolve ongoing problems and issues, how to improve your communication, and how to work on rebuilding intimacy.
If you think your woman may be on the verge of dumping you, then here's an assignment: sit your partner down and ask her point blank how she feels the relationship is going. Be prepared to get an earful. Don't say anything other than to encourage her to say whatever is on her mind. And don't defend yourself, regardless of what she says. The point is to get her to tell you everything, no matter how much it might hurt.
If she says she wants to leave, or is just very unhappy, ask her if she is willing to work on things together by going to see a therapist. Indicate your willingness to do whatever it takes to get back on track with her. Follow through with your words by finding a therapist and making the first appointment.
You may be very shocked at the intensity of her feeling of unhappiness because you had no idea what she was going through. This is a wake-up call for many men and if you don't want to lose her, you'll have to let go of the naïve idea that "everything was going just fine." It wasn't fine!
This situation, scary and painful though it is, can be a tremendous opportunity to grow and become a better person. And it can be the beginning of a much better relationship. (Assuming she is willing to hang around to give it one more chance.) Even though you might have believed you were happy before, the growing pains of relationship therapy will show you just how much better it can be. But it's not easy. You have to be willing to face some not so pleasant aspects about yourself and admit your weaknesses, a very tall order for most men.
Don't let your woman dump you. Take some action to fix what's making her so unhappy.
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