Why Do We Ignore the Red Flags in Our Relationships?

 Why Do We Ignore the Red Flags in Our Relationships?

Why Do We Ignore the Red Flags in Our Relationships?_ichhori.webP

So many men and women tell me that their marriages and relationships are in trouble. "How did I get here?" they speculate. We've all heard that it takes two to tango. What we might overlook is our proclivity to dismiss warning flags. We may ask what messages we missed and what we may learn from them after further analyzing the connection in counseling.

Consider the lady who is considering divorce because she realized her husband is having an affair, one of many she has just uncovered. While her husband's actions and decisions demonstrate his lack of regard for her, we may also identify little indications along the way that she may have overlooked—red flags, if you will, signifying danger.

Her spouse was on the phone late one night a few years ago. When she questioned who he was speaking with, he gave a generic response about work. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and her stomach flip-flop. She had a gut feeling he wasn't telling the truth. However, in order to keep the peace, she said nothing further.

He did not phone her for his evening check-in while he was on a business trip the following time she felt that terrible sensation. She was already concerned that he was going to dinner with both female and male coworkers and drinking afterward. When he did not call her as usual, she called him but received no response. She texted him but received no response. She stayed up late waiting for his reaction, but it never came. A nagging feeling told her something wasn't right, but when he returned home and dismissed her missed calls and texts as "overreacting," she felt foolish for thinking anything was wrong with their relationship.

Another time, she discovered a feminine lingerie gift in her husband's exercise bag. She chose to remain silent, believing that the lingerie would be a surprise for her. She sat and waited. And then I waited. She ultimately brought it up and was met with an odd response that didn't sit right with her or make any sense. Nonetheless, she ignored her instincts that danger was approaching.

When she discovered he was having affairs, she shouted, "I knew it!”

So, why do we ignore warning signs in our relationships? I believe there are multiple answers, all of which are complicated by love, devotion, and sacrifice.

We frequently do not want to know the truth. If we discovered the truth, we would have to change something—our life, where we live, our finances, and even ourselves.

First, we disregard red signals out of fear that they would reveal the actual, sad narrative. We may ask our spouse questions regarding their conduct and obtain replies, but we disregard the answers even if they don't fully fit. We frequently do not want to know the truth. If we discovered the truth, we would have to change something—our life, where we live, our finances, and even ourselves. That can simply be too exhausting to consider. Even if we are certain it is occurring, we do not want our partner to admit to having an affair because of the implications for us, our families, and our lives.

Second, we disregard red indicators because we believe our intuition is incorrect. It just can't be right. So we participate in denial and go on as if nothing is wrong because it is easier to deny than to endure the agony of conflict. Surely, your cherished lover would never do something like that to you, right? They pledged not to do so. We disregard our gut instincts, symptoms of alienation, improper interactions, and hazy details. After hearing our partner's argument, we conclude that we must be "crazy" and that their explanation is correct. Challenging our intuition is a risky game because it prevents us from recognizing fundamental facts.

Third, we disregard red flags because we have been taught that marriage and committed partnerships are difficult. You're meant to strive and compromise as a pair, right? Marriage and relationships are difficult, but they should not be so difficult that you feel disrespectful and at odds with your own intuition.

"What red flags did you choose to ignore?" I ask individuals for counseling. Most of the time, I get a bewildered expression followed by a knowing gaze and then acknowledgment. Most of us are aware of what we ignored and permitted.

Ask yourself what you are ignoring and denying to get a better picture of your relationship problems. Are you bold enough to notice the red flags? Finally, do you have the fortitude to do the difficult task of restoration or healing?

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