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LuckyGuy's avatar

In hindsight, can you see when your long term relationship began to go downhill?

Asked by LuckyGuy (39888points) December 17th, 2011

This question was inspired by another where people stated they were totally blindsided by their SO leaving or admitting they were unhappy. Most people stated they did not have a clue. Really? Were there truly no signs?
They say hindsight is 20–20. Can you look back 6 months, a year or more, before the “surprise” and see any signs it was coming?
For example: reduced or no desire for intimacy, SO starting an exercise program without you, new clothes, more travel, more arguments, etc. What do you see in hindsight?

Had you known your SO was that unhappy, do you think you could have changed something to influence the outcome? Would you want to? Will you do things differently with your next SO?

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13 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

With hindsight you can see the warning signs that were there the first week of your relationship, which you ignored for 5 years.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ah. I read the details. My first marriage lasted 10 years. With my first husband I spent the last three years warning him. When I finally actually filed for divorce he acted all shocked and surprised, like it was out of the blue. That was just stupidity, IMO.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I never had one like that. In my relationships, there was a lot of trying to figure things out, wanting them to work so much and sad sad frustration not having answers, not having tools, having to accept that sometimes love isn’t enough.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This is a slightly sad, but informative post. Hopefully with the knowledge gained from hindsight we get smarter and make the next one better.
Not all the signs are definite but if you had to bet….

Here’s another one for you. If the man has a normal testosterone level (above 300) he will want intimacy. If he is taking a shower every night before bed and you are not catching on he will eventually give up. Big mistake.

I’m sure there are other examples.

Blondesjon's avatar

Hell, in hindsight I’ve been able to see what led up to, and the effects of, every bad decision I have made in my life.

Where were you when I really needed you? Stupid hindsight.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@LuckyGuy: It would wonderful if people would shower before bed each night, regardless of anticipating sex!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes. It was when I first realized that my ex-wife didn’t understand ½ of what I said.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Probably around the time another man’s penis was almost entering me…I stopped at the last moment but I knew it was downhill from there.

Bellatrix's avatar

With my previous long term relationship, I think the signs were there but I don’t think I wanted to see them. I was blind but probably purposely although not consciously. Also, I think the change can be insidious. You don’t notice that you spend less time together or don’t talk as much as you used to or go out together or just have fun. You become disenchanted with each other but it happens slowly and quietly.

I am very conscious of looking at my relationship now and talking to my husband about how we are travelling. Not every five minutes or anything, but we do have those conversations. We also build in special times. To go away for weekends and go out together.

stemnyjones's avatar

As far as my first major relationship, she stopped being intimate with me not long after we moved in together, but I was so blinded by love that I believed her excuse that she just had a low sex drive, despite the fact that we abruptly stopped having sex after a period of having sex often, and despite the fact that she flirted with nearly everyone that she came across, whether she was in my presence or not. When she left me is was 100% unexpected (she came home from work one day with her father right behind her and started packing her shit, refusing to talk to me about why she was leaving, despite the fact that when she was on her way home I had called and told her what I had made for dinner, asked how much she wanted, and let her know that I had picked up the mail, and she told me how much dinner she wanted and acted as if it was going to be another routine night), but I now acknowledge the fact that if this happened to me now, I would be well aware of what was to come. At the time I was ignorant of where our relationship was headed because she was my first love and I was still deeply, intensely in love with her.

To answer the second part of your question, I don’t think there was anything I could have done to stop our relationship from falling apart. She is a serial monogamist – she gets very involved with every relationship she is in, and even asks them to marry her, but always has left them when she becomes interested in someone else.

With my most recent failed relationship, yes, I know when it started to fail – not long after my daughter was born. She thought she was prepared and excited to become a parent, but she did not heed my warnings that it was not going to be all rainbows and sunshine, and the years of sleepless nights and heavy responsibility was something she was not truly prepared for or willing to commit to. She was consistently immature and selfish, and my gentle reminders of what the true priority (the child) was eventually turned into resentment on both sides of the relationship. It was over long before we actually broke up.

Again, I don’t know that there’s much I could have changed to make it work. She simply was not ready for the responsibility of child-rearing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I hope you got the baby @stemnyjones

stemnyjones's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, she is my biological daughter. The ex was not biological.

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