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Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Esther Perel says that we need two things in relationships: stability — knowing your partner has your back and desire.

Unfortunately, stability kills desire. Conversely, what creates desire? Risk.

At the beginning of a relationship, we have plenty of risks. What if you get heartbroken, what if the other person doesn’t like you as much as you like them? Is this the one? Are you wasting your time?

There is the thrill of the chase in the beginning stages of romance. It’s exciting and creates the butterflies, the intoxicating feeling of love. Love conquers all.

This new love high usually lasts 1to 2 years and then we settle in and become comfortable in the stability of the relationship.

While stability is important and imperative to the success of a relationship, it’s not very exciting. We have a home to take care of and bills to pay. This isn’t the sexy side of being in a relationship. We may not always agree on things that can cause additional stress and strain on the relationship too.

Is It Normal to Be Bored in a Relationship?

It’s completely normal to become bored at some point in your relationship and it’s not your fault.

We work hard to find the one. The person who completes us, then what? We live happily ever after in a blissful state of the union of course. This is what we’ve learned from fairytales and Hollywood. Most of us were never taught how to maintain a relationship nor did we have great role models to show how to keep the romance and passion alive.

Unfortunately, this stuff isn’t taught in school and most of us didn’t receive a reference book for guidance. Although it probably should be with divorce rates in the US still hovering around 50%.

Why Do Relationships Get Boring and Lose Their Luster After Time?

At the beginning of a relationship, many times we put forth so much effort to woo our potential partner; planning activities, experiences, and even surprises for one another. We go to dinner and talk for hours because we have so much to share and learn about one another. We have engaging conversations about everything, inhaling, and soaking in the essence of one another.

Then life happens. We settle into our daily life and routines, maybe throw in a couple of kids and the busyness of life allows us to easily put our most important relationship on the back burner.

Date nights are now relegated to dinner and a movie if we make it out of the house at all. I get it, you’ve worked hard all week, and planning a date night probably seems overwhelming, and putting on your pj’s ordering take out, and watching Netflix seems like the path of least resistance.

The reason many relationships become routine and boring is that couples stop dating each other. It’s as simple as that.

Giving your relationship scraps of time can lead to its demise. At the beginning of a relationship, it’s straightforward to be intentional but over time if you don’t pay attention to it, it’s easy to get into a relationship rut.

How Long Does It Take for a Relationship to Become Boring?

We’ve all heard of the 7-year-itch. The estimated time when the happiness of a couple diminishes.

Every couple is different and it really boils down to how exciting you keep your relationship. If you quickly get into a relationship rut of doing the same boring things, you will become bored with your relationship more quickly. However, if you are committed to avoiding falling into this routine and are intentional about keeping the desire alive in your relationship, you can avoid becoming bored for the most part.

Relationships do have ebbs and flows and of course, there are times your relationship will be more interesting. The problem arises when your relationship becomes stale for long periods of time.

In most relationship studies, romantic love dwindles over time and we lose the butterflies we once had in the beginning. In a relationship study conducted by Dr. Arthur Aron at the University of New York at Stony Brook, it was determined that novelty or trying new things can create the chemical surges of courtship and can significantly increase the satisfaction in a relationship when practiced consistently.

Life can be messy and even great relationships can become stale and boring at times; this is absolutely normal. You won’t be at risk of abandoning your relationship if you’re aware of this and have a plan to get out of your rut when you see this happening.

What to Do If You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

Plan a date of course! I’m a fan of surprise dates. In fact, I recommend this to my clients. Commit to plan one surprise date for your partner every month and have them plan one surprise date for you each month.

Preferably an interactive or doing date. Then when you grab a bite to eat, you’ll have something to talk about, the new experience you just created together.

When is the last time you really had a great conversation? A conversation that doesn’t involve talking about work or the kids?

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

How Long Does It Take For A Relationship To Become Boring?

We’ve all heard of the 7-year-itch. The estimated time when the happiness of a couple diminishes.

Every couple is different and it really boils down to how exciting you keep your relationship. If you quickly get into a relationship rut of doing the same boring things, you will become bored with your relationship more quickly. However, if you are committed to avoiding falling into this routine and are intentional about keeping the desire alive in your relationship, you can avoid becoming bored for the most part.

Relationships do have ebbs and flows and of course, there are times your relationship will be more interesting. The problem arises when your relationship becomes stale for long periods of time.

In most relationship studies, romantic love dwindles over time and we lose the butterflies we once had in the beginning. In a relationship study conducted by Dr. Arthur Aron at the University of New York at Stony Brook, it was determined that novelty or trying new things can create the chemical surges of courtship and can significantly increase the satisfaction in a relationship when practiced consistently. [1]

Life can be messy and even great relationships can become stale and boring at times; this is absolutely normal. You won’t be at risk of abandoning your relationship if you’re aware of this and have a plan to get out of your rut when you see this happening.

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Relationship becomes boring

What To Do If You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling?

Plan a date of course! I’m a fan of surprise dates. In fact, I recommend this to my clients. Commit to plan one surprise date for your partner every month and have them plan one surprise date for you each month.

Preferably an interactive or doing date. Then when you grab a bite to eat, you’ll have something to talk about, the new experience you just created together.

When is the last time you really had a great conversation? A conversation that doesn’t involve talking about work or the kids?

When you share a novel experience, this gives you something new to talk about after your date. It’s great to print out a few questions to take on your date. You can find some great ones on the web or another option is TABLE TOPICS Couples: Questions to Start Great Conversations if you need more inspiration.

You can keep it light with something like “If you had a superpower what would it be?” to something a little deeper such as “If today were the last time we saw each other what would you want me to know?” These probing questions provide greater insight and awareness into your partner and them of you.

The great thing about taking turns planning dates for each other is that you eliminate the age-old question, “What do you want to do tonight?” which is usually followed by, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Then after debating for 45 minutes, you may end up doing nothing.

This is the secret sauce of the surprise date. Just tell your date when to be ready and what to wear and there’s no debate or resistance. No shooting down your date ideas. Just the addition of novelty and doing something different together to increase connection and romance.

Once a month, you get to give the gift of adventure and surprise and once a month, you get to sit back, relax and enjoy the date.

If you’re on a budget, no problem. There are numerous free date ideas. Some of my favorites are building a tent over your bed, a scavenger hunt, or dance lessons using free YouTube videos.

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

The reason for become boring a relation

Relationship means; it is a way in which 2 or more person or things are connected together or a state of being connected together. Hence, it is important to maintain a cordial relation always to avoid any boredom. When a person feels tired and also unhappy because of something is not interesting or because they have nothing to do they may get bored. But the cause of become boring in relationship has many reasons.

From the early stage of a newly wedded couple; they may start to feel secured and may believe nothing in the world can rive them apart. Then their life may become automatic and they often stop to putting effort into their relationship. that too without much thought or investment finally it leads them into indifferent. This indifference invites other feelings such as annoyance and irritation which in due course turn prompts arguments. Arguing each other may be good for the relationships but it should be healthy. Yes, the important thing you want is to be in an indifferent romantic relationship.

How to Fix a Boring Relationship

Always remember that the boredom is a common phenomenon as it is a normal emotion. There is nothing as perfect relationship and everybody may feel boredom sometimes. If you have good times, then remember you will have bad times too. Whenever a problem raises then tension happens. Don’t forget that it is normal to have these feelings from time to time. The secret key to have a successful relationship is how you approach it and how you handle the disagreements in between you. Everyday spend some time with your partner. Avoid arguments on the past incidents if any because past is the past and let it stay it there only. Another important aspect is making your future plan together.

Copyright Notice

No cheesy date-night suggestions included.

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

You once sat in a Starbucks for seven hours with this person discussing your hopes, dreams, and GoT fan theories and now you’re…bored? How the eff did this happen? Where did the spark go? And more importantly, will it ever come back?

“Oftentimes I hear from young couples a couple years after the wedding that they feel a little bored, and it’s kind of a let down,” says Rachel A. Sussman, L.C.S.W. and author of The Breakup Bible. “The excitement of dating has passed, the excitement of falling in love has passed, the excitement of the engagement and the wedding has passed, then it gets stale.”

Here’s what it means if your relationship is giving you the yawns—and how to break out of a rut without breaking up.

Step 1: Stop Worrying

If you two have been together for a while, getting bored at some point is pretty inevitable. Phew.

Our brains are hardwired to look for the newest, most exciting things, says Sussman. (Hello, why do you think Apple gets away with putting out a new iPhone every year?) We get tired of the same old, same old in every aspect of our life—jobs, fitness routines—and that goes for our relationships, too. “Expect it to happen, notice it, and try to make a change,” says Sussman.

RELATED:6 Reasons Why Your Foreplay Routine Feels Stale—and How to Freshen It Up

So what do you do? Well, you could break up and flit from relationship to relationship, always ending it once you get bored. Or, if you value your S.O. and want to make it work, proceed with the next two steps. After all, runners don’t quit running, they just find a new path.

Step 2: Figure Out the Root Cause

First, determine if this is mere boredom or something bigger. While this problem is super common, it could also hint at underlying issues. Sussman suggests asking yourself these questions to assess the damage: Are you still having sex? Are you questioning whether or not you’re attracted to this person? Are you on the same page when it comes to family and friendships? Do you argue over finances or work/life balance? Are you questioning if you have anything in common? Do you feel yourself growing apart? If the answer is yes to any of these, then you’ve got more than just a snoozefest on your hands.

“Expect it to happen, notice it, and try to make a change.”

If you’re just feeling a little restless, ask yourself if you’re also feeling lost in other areas of your life. “You have to have balance, relationships can’t be your everything,” says Sussman. “Make sure you feel stimulated in your job, in your friendships, and in your relationship. If you want to have a stimulating and exciting life, it’s each person’s responsibility.”

If you’re feeling pretty solid in other areas of your life, it’s time to have an honest discussion with your partner about what you can do to spice things up.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Keep a Healthy Dose of Mystery in Your Relationship

“If you want to have a stimulating and exciting life, it’s each person’s responsibility.”

Step 3: Make a Plan

Now, the fun part. Sussman says she and her husband solved their relationship boredom by planning a vacation together. “Not only did we plan a trip to Italy, we decided to take Italian lessons for the whole six months leading up to it,” she says. “We studied together, we quizzed each other, we cooked Italian food on the weekends. So by the time we got on our trip, it was so enhanced because of that.”

Try and pinpoint what part of your relationship is boring you. Is it the lulls in conversation? Hit up a museum or read a book together to get things flowing. Has your sex life become routine? Change things up with naked Sundays. No shared hobbies? Try something new, like running a half-marathon together. Whatever the case, the key is to get out of the ordinary and mix it up.

Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up—this happens. Use it as an opportunity to have fun and learn a thing or two.

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Relationships are weird. Yes, they actually and I have enough reasons to prove it. We love the chase but we fail to work on the catch. We go to great heights to have someone but then eventually that spark wanes for no specific reason at all. Sometimes without a specific cause you find the relationship boring. This is very common and in fact there is no reason to feel bad or guilty about it. This is just the way humans are. We yearn for change. We detest stagnation. Are you feeling bored in your present relationship? Does it fail to excite you the way it did initially? Even if you shouldn’t feel guilty about it, you should nonetheless accept the fact that you didn’t put enough initiative to make it exciting as well. In fact, once you know the causes clearly, you are in a better position to make amends.

Here are a few things that are turning your relationship into a boring one:

Your mundane routine:

Your relationship has no spark. It is moving exactly the same way every day. There is no excitement that will keep you looking forward to something new. Such stagnancy has made your relationship monotonous and has killed all your expectations. Either of you lack the initiative to make your mundane relationship into an exciting one.

You have taken each other for granted

You just know that your partner is there and is not leaving you. You have taken his presence in your life for granted. This has led to a lack of initiative on your side to pull out your lazy bum and infuse new ideas to add some spice. Instead plan out surprises. Get him gifts, go out on dates, give him surprise visits at his place of work. You can do so many things to resuscitate the lost excitement. Just been keen and you will devise newer and more creative methods.

You are eyeing other men

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

You have already lost that interest to keep yourself hooked onto your man. You have gone in for another chase and you feel that it will bring you greater happiness. You feel like you are worthy of something better and this lies outside your current relationship. Even if you love him, it’s just not enough for you to make yourself stay committed to the small initiative that you ought to be taking to revive your relationship. There is no point then sticking to your boring relationship because you are already in the process of hurting your partner.

He doesn’t satisfy you sexually

If you have a high sex drive and your partner doesn’t, it just instantly kills you mood. Sex with your partner has gotten very predictable and you no longer look towards having a great time with him. If you are already coming up with excuses, that means you just can’t bear the thought getting into any sort of sexual activity with him.

There is no effort to communicate

Sometimes it’s just easy to avoid any conversation because you can at least remain at peace instead of digging topics that have always remained contentious. You give each other enough silent treatment which is why you find him boring. Neither he nor you make the effort to communicate about your daily issues, you successes, your failures, or anything that should be spoken about in relationships. This has in turn slowly killed all the initiative to relive things again just like old days.

You have found better opportunities

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

You are more interested in your career now. You have become more ambitious and you no longer derive any pleasure in the company of you man. The fact that both of you think differently about success has driven you into getting secluded and remaining in the company of those who help you focus and motivate you towards your goal. Hence, boredom has crept in your relationship and you only choose to spend time with yourself and work towards your goal on your own.

You are not given your due share

You feel completely neglected now which has made the relationship boring. He no longer treats you the way he did before. In fact the very things that he liked are the source of his troubles with you now. He keeps you isolated and you feel so locked up that you feel helpless. You don’t connect yourself to the way you were once. You miss yourself so much that you want to have the life that you had.

There may be numerous reasons for your lack of interest in your man. They may be because of either of the reasons stated above or all. In case you feel like you can still work things out then do whatever it takes on a priority basis. However, if you have just given up in some corner of your heart, then you need to find yourself out of this relationship.

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Fighting all the time? Bored as hell (even with the sex)? Spending more and and more time alone? Yup, we’ve been there. And, chances are, your partner is going through the same thing.

Relationship ruts are normal alongside a changing dynamic. As you move from wanting to tear their clothes off every day to a calmer, more regular part of the relationship, the adjustment process isn’t without bumps.

However, the fact that ruts are a natural result of progressing relationships doesn’t make them easier to digest — they’re frustrating, abrasive, and can even turn toxic if people don’t address and work through them.

While there’s plenty to think about, sometimes, simply refreshing the vibe can be enough to put things on the right track again.

That’s why we’ve gathered together a big ol’ list of ways to jump start a fizzling relationship.

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“Gosh, I wish there was some magic formula to help us get along again…” Well, magic might be a bit of a reach, but, as always, science has got you covered.

According to a study carried out in 2011, couples’ long-term satisfaction with each other and the success of their relationship depends on a few key factors: O’Leary KD, et al. (2011). Is long-term love more than a rare phenomenon? If so, what are its correlates? https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550611417015

  • thinking positively about each other
  • thinking about each other when they’re apart
  • acting affectionately toward each other
  • sharing new and challenging activities
  • generally being happy in both their individual and shared lives
  • having sex

Sounds great to us — but the truth is that virtually no relationship elicits feelings of pure bliss all the time. It’s normal for people in long-term relationships to go through ebbs and flows of intimacy.

And while we’re all multifaceted people who are much more than just a relationship or a job, how we feel about our partner can have a considerable effect on well-being while we’re in young adulthood, according to a 2019 review of studies. Gómez-López M, et al. (2019). Well-being and romantic relationship: A systematic review in adolescence and emerging adulthood. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6650954/

There’s no official definition or time frame for lulls in affection, since they take different forms in different relationships.

However, general signs of being in a rut include fighting a lot, being bored, and losing interest in sexual activity. Each part of a rut needs addressing — you can have some sexy fun if you like, but if you’re fighting as soon as you’re finished, it’s still not a healthy dynamic.

Since relationship ruts are a common phenomenon, people have put a lot of effort into finding ways to haul ourselves out of them.

Before trying to rejuvenate a relationship, remember there’s nothing wrong with losing a little passion now and again. Maybe you’re working too much or not striking an even balance between your time for intimacy and your obligations to others.

Perhaps you or your partner have chronic health concerns that might stand in the way of sexual activity or require some workarounds.

You may spend long periods of time apart due to travel, work, or family.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to put in effort to sustain the relationship — if, of course, you both want to continue dating — during these lulls.

The same way you’d try to push a car with a dead battery the rest of the way to the mechanics to fire up the power, you might need a little elbow grease to get the relationship moving again.

Here’s your action plan to bring the satisfaction back.

Even in the most secure relationships, it’s easy for things to feel stale after a while. When two people fall into a familiar pattern together, they might start adopting all the same habits and daily routines. And while this is great for your relationship stability, it can lack excitement and fun. The texting signals that your relationship is getting boring reveal when it might be time to change things up.

Boring relationships aren’t always a bad thing — in fact, they show that you’re truly committed to the life you’ve built together. But they don’t exactly make you feel fireworks or butterflies. According to Michelle McSweeney, a linguist and researcher who studies the way couples communicate digitally, you can look at your text conversations with your partner to figure out when your relationship might be in need of some extra spice. “There are a lot of different signs that your relationship is getting boring for the other party or yourself,” she explains. And if you know how to spot those signs, you can start making moves to incorporate more novelty into your romance. Even the most stable, routine relationships can be exciting if you make an effort to keep things fresh.

Look out for the following signs that you might be falling into boring territory with your partner.

Asian woman texting smart phone in the car.

Maybe your partner used to text you the same emoji all the time, or send you an update about how their day was going. But lately, this practice has stopped. “They used to text, ‘Good morning, sunshine’ every single day, but there hasn’t been a text before noon in a week,” McSweeney explains. “Though these things are individually very small, they break the norms of the relationship.” Odds are, if you were used to that morning text message, you’ll miss it when your partner stops sending it each day.

In a healthy relationship, McSweeney says texting should get more nuanced and relaxed over time. “When texting starts looking like more formal writing, it’s a big red flag that the spark is gone,” she notes. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for this. “If you just aren’t feeling it, try to remember (or scroll back to) your earlier conversations — a technique that can help you remember that early feeling in a relationship,” McSweeney suggests. Your texting should feel easy and natural, so to loosen things up, try sending silly, casual texts that feel authentic to you.

Side portrait of pretty young black woman outdoors with mobile phone.

On the flip side of noticing a change in your interactions, you might actually realize that nothing at all has changed since you started dating. “[If] you send almost the same messages, at the same time every day, you may have gotten into a rut,” McSweeney explains. “A great way to get out of it is to say the same thing in a different way. If you regularly send heart emojis, trade it for a GIF.” Try breaking out of your normal pattern, and see if it inspires you both to have new conversations over text and in person.

You can also change things up by texting about your shared memories. “Try inviting a conversation about something very specific to you as a couple,” McSweeney suggests. “Reference a past date or something you did together.” If you can reminisce about things that make you happy, you’ll feel moved to create new memories that will add the fun back into your relationship.

“If you just aren’t feeling inspired to write cute, playful, or otherwise romantic messages anymore, it might be worth considering your own feelings,” McSweeney says. Are you tired of the relationship and ready for something totally new, or are you feeling distracted by other things you have on your plate? If other life stresses are keeping you from enjoying your relationship, McSweeney suggests working through those feelings to try to put your love back at the forefront. “It may be worthwhile to try to separate how you feel about the relationship from how you are feeling about other things, and scroll back through [old texts] to rekindle the feeling for yourself,” she says. Remember the things about this relationship that bring you joy, and try to channel that energy into a fresh perspective.

With love and attention, even the most routine relationships can be made exciting again. It’s worth noting that if you feel stuck in your relationship, you have every right to end it and seek out a love that brings you joy and fulfillment. But if you want to bring more fun back into your current partnership, work with your boo to change up your texting patterns a bit. With a few little adjustments, you can feel that rush of adrenaline when you see a text bubble from your partner pop up on your phone.

Is your relationship in need of a little rescuing?

Every relationship has its highs and lows, good days and bad. But what if you sense your relationship has gone cold? Saving a suffering relationship can be extremely difficult, especially when your relationship has been in trouble for a long time. If you’re trying to figure out whether you should be trying to fix your relationship or not, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is: Do I want to save this relationship or do I want to leave it? If the answer is yes, you want to save it, then it’s important that you do the following seven things:

Communicate Your Concerns

If your relationship has gone cold, it’s important to confront the underlying issues that brought the relationship to the place it’s in. There could be a number of factors interfering with passion in your relationship: medication, stress and financial issues are just a few. If there is something that’s interfering in your relationship, it’s time to have a talk with your partner. Voice your concerns and listen to your partners concerns as well. Open communication is a huge step towards bringing your relationship out of the pit.

Go Out

If you’re caught in a daily routine with your romantic other, it’s easy for things to get stagnant even boring and when boredom ensues, it can manifest itself in every area of the relationship including intimacy. One way to bring passion back is by switching up your everyday routine and creating fresh experiences. Go out. Go to places you’ve never been before. Surprise your significant other with a night out somewhere special. Going the extra mile can go a long way and is just the newness you may need to get things back on track.

Drop the Defense Mechanisms

One reason some relationships go cold is because one or both partners don’t know exactly how to cope with their feelings. When we most need to connect, we’re apt to feel vulnerable and withdraw or put up a wall that goes where we go. Because of this, defense mechanisms will show up in the relationship. Defense mechanisms are manners in which we behave or think in certain ways to better protect or defend ourselves. They are one way of looking at how people distance themselves from a full awareness of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In short, these are ways of keeping ourselves protected from getting hurt. Unfortunately, while trying to protect our heart, we push away love.

When our emotions are on the line, it can be frightening, and our minds use defense mechanisms as a way to cope with the anxiety. If you want to save a relationship that has gone cold, figure out what your defense mechanisms are. Is it denial, projection, rationalization, humor or passive aggression? As you grow in your awareness of your own defenses, you’ll begin to lower them, even if it’s only bit by bit. As you expose your heart, you’ll see that your heart is good. As you get to know yourself, you’ll be getting to know others.

Reestablish Intimacy

If physical affection has declined in your relationship, it’s unrealistic to think you can automatically jump back to the way things were. However, it’s important to reestablish it. A lack of intimacy in a relationship, whether physical or emotional, is not only frustrating but also unhealthy. This requires you to let down your walls and let your partner in, in ways you may be afraid to. This is a gradual process which often starts by reestablishing trust. The more you build on it, the stronger the relationship will be.

Take a Break

If your relationship has gone cold, it may be time to take a break. This will give you both a chance to miss each other. This doesn’t mean that you have to break up altogether, but taking the time out to focus on yourself will help you figure out where both of you stand regarding the relationship. Often times, relationships become unbalanced. If you feel more strongly about your relationship than your partner does, you can become adhesive, a form of clinginess. The best relationships are ones that are cohesive, with both partners working together. Spend some time away from each other to focus on your individual interests and then decide what is best for you.

Remember the Good Times

This may sound like a cliché, but if your relationship has gone cold, remember the good times. Sometimes you need to go back to go forward. If your relationship has gone cold, do things that remind you of happier times. Revisit the place where you had your first date, take a class together, or simply look at old pictures and videos of the two of you together doing things that you loved doing. Unbury your relationship from your real-life concerns and focus on the things that brought you together in the first place. It’s easy to forget how hard you worked to build your relationship to where it is now. It may seem like it happened magically, but it didn’t. You both created the magic, detail by detail. You both formed this special bond by paying attention to each other with the focus that characterizes falling in love. Remembering the good times can help you rekindle the spark in your relationship.

Let Go of the Past

One reason many relationships stay cold is because one or more parties in the relationship refuse to let go of the past and ultimately end up holding on to the hurt. Hanging on to old grievances is part of the intent to protect. Often, we will blame our partner for our pain rather than taking responsibility for whatever choices we made that resulted in our unhappiness. But continuing to hold on to the past pain will drain you of energy, take over your thoughts and prevent you from moving forward. Letting go of your past hurt is vital in moving forward in your relationship and in life. This often begins with forgiveness. Offering forgiveness can help you let go of past hurt. When you forgive someone, it’s about releasing yourself from the pain someone else caused you.

If your relationship is in need of a little rescuing, these seven tips will bring you and your partner closer together and reignite the love you’ve been missing.

Why your relationship has become boring (and how to fix it)

Some problems in relationships can be tackled as a couple: Not spending enough kid-free time together? Call a babysitter. Prioritizing screen-time over quality time? Kindly escort your cell phone out of the bedroom.

Other problems are a lot harder to solve. Below, marriage therapists share eight weighty relationship problems that just can’t be fixed.

1. You have contempt for each other.

Make no mistake: If left unchecked, finger-pointing, sarcasm and contempt will chip away at the foundation of your marriage, said Bonnie Ray Kennan, a psychotherapist based in Torrance, California. (Contempt is so bad, renowned marriage researcher John Gottman has identified it as the single best predicator of divorce.)

“This kind of behavior creates a culture of disconnect,” Ray Kennan explained. “If one or both partners are unwilling to soften the marital conversation and stop fighting, the problem will get worse until there is no coming back.”

2. Your partner is needlessly argumentative.

There will be times when your opinion on an issue is so starkly different from your spouse’s, you’re downright shocked. Let it be and agree to disagree. As a couple, you need to recognize that no one wins when one of you always has to be right, said relationship coach Lisa Schmidt.

“It’s a problem if one or both partners provoke arguments and then look for reasons to not forgive the other,” she said. “What makes it worse is when the inability to forgive is followed by a refusal to discuss the issue further.”

3. There’s chronic infidelity.

Being in a relationship with a serial cheater is nothing short of exhausting. The relationship can be repaired, but only if the unfaithful partner is honest about what happened and fully prepared to leave the affair behind. If not, heartbreak is inevitable, said Marcia Naomi Berger, a psychotherapist and the author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love.

“People vary in how willing they are to put up with this,” she said. “Many eventually give up on trying to fix the relationship; they simply decide they have had enough broken promises. They realize that enough is enough.”

4. Your partner is distant or secretive about where they go when you’re not around.

While time apart is essential in any relationship, what your partner does with their free time shouldn’t be some great mystery. There’s a difference between privacy and secrecy, said psychologist Susan Heitler.

“Too much secrecy can leave you feeling abandoned emotionally as well as physically, even when your partner is home,” she said. “A marriage needs sharing and openness.”

5. You have incompatible sex drives.

Don’t shortchange yourself: For most people, a mutually fulfilling sex life is incredibly important in a long-term relationship. That’s exactly why you should establish your sexual compatibility early on, Heitler said.

“If your spouse has zero interest in sharing sexual pleasures but you treasure your sexuality, your partner might end up feeling less interesting to you. And you may begin to feel that a marriage without sex is unacceptable. “

6. Your partner pushes you away.

We all have attachment styles that affect our behavior in relationships. If you feel comfortable being close and intimate, but your partner has an avoidant and dismissive attachment style, it’s going to be difficult for you to bridge that gap, said Marni Feuerman, a couples therapist based in Boca Raton, Florida.

“It can be maddening to be with someone who is highly avoidant,” she said. “In fact, it can turn a normally calm and self-assured person into a bundle of neediness.”

She added: “It chips away at your self-esteem to be with someone who shows you no affection or compliments, engages in mechanical sex and has no desire for closeness with you.”

7. Your partner is truly a narcissist.

If your partner truly has narcissistic personality disorder (as opposed to someone with narcissistic traits), maintaining your relationship is going to be an uphill battle, said Carin Goldstein, a marriage and family therapist based in Sherman Oaks, California.

“It is not uncommon for the narcissistic partner to sometimes throw a bone here and there, giving the other partner hope that they’re finally beginning to evolve in a way that will save the relationship,” she said. “Unfortunately, it’s usually just crumbs. Most of the time, they criticize you for making their life miserable.”

8. You can’t open up to each other.

You need to feel comfortable laying bare your problems and frustrations with your partner. It’s problematic if one of you prefers to keep your emotions bottled up, said Marie Land, a psychologist based in Washington, D.C.

“If you’re not expressing your feelings, you may start to feel anxious or disappointed in the relationship,” she said. “You don’t want to end up distancing yourself from your partner, giving up on them prematurely, or feeling straight up depressed about the state of the relationship. That’s exactly how you’ll feel if one or both of you don’t express what you’re feeling.”