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All relationships need care and maintenance if they are to run well and support the people in them. I mean close, personal and probably intimate relationships. They come in many forms, so it’s for you to decide whether your relationship works for you. There is no single ‘right’ way to do it.

But, whatever the style of a relationship, there are many wrong ways to go about it. This is not opinion, by the way. The factors that signal relationship breakdown are well researched and understood (‘breakdown’ doesn’t mean separation necessarily, it means ‘broken’).

This is not a diagnostic list, nor a prescription. I have put the list together because it seemed like a good idea, and because I am feeling mischievous. But if you know about the Trickster, you’ll also know that mischieve often has a deeper purpose.

The following list won’t reveal anything you don’t know already, and because we can all tick some of the boxes some of the time, don’t panic if you find yourself answering “Yes” to some of them.

Here’s my list:

  1. You are frequently irritable in the other person’s company
  2. You often roll your eyes contemptuously
  3. You don’t pay each other compliments
  4. You are resentful about their spending habits
  5. You are no longer intimate with each other (assuming that was part of your ‘normal’ relationship)
  6. You think more often about what’s wrong, than you do about what’s right
  7. For over a week, you haven’t thanked the other person for enriching your life
  8. You don’t feel proud/lucky/grateful/blessed that the other person chooses you to be with
  9. You are sleeping (or considering), sleeping with someone else
  10. There is a ‘big topic’ that you feel permanently unable to discuss
  11. You never argue.

It might be fun to do do this list with the other person in your life (assuming you have one. If you are alone that’s OK too, but why have you read this far?). If you do decide to answer the questions together, some people find it advisable to do a Risk Assessment first.

If you answer “Yes” too often for comfort, all is not lost. It’s just a sign that the relationship could use some TLC. It’s a call to action, so to speak.

I know that you’d love to know your score at the end of this. Well, you already do, so you don’t need me to tell you (even if I could).


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