Updated: Mar 31
Your partner said they fell out of love and now wants to leave, and in your confused and angry disbelief you can’t, for the life of you, figure what went wrong.
Many people feel blinded sided by the threat of divorce. Most, I’m afraid, fail to look inward to discover how they might have played a significant role in losing their partner. In my almost 45 years of working with struggling couples I have discovered that both partners collaborate in the demise of a relationship, even if they don’t know exactly what they did.
Relationships are difficult to nurture and maintain and, as we too well understand people can feel as though they have fallen out of love with their partners. I have heard it said over and over, “I love him/her but I am no longer ‘in love’ with them. It is difficult for a couple to maintain an infatuated level of excitement over many years of real life stressors, and the daily monotony of a long-term relationship. Of course what most people are referring to when they say they have lost that ‘in love’ feeling is they no longer feel that wonderful effortless infatuated feeling they felt in the beginning of their relationship.
So let’s break down a few of the contributing factors to people falling ‘out-of-love’:
Most people fall out of love because their communication becomes stressed, tense, angry and even non-existent. I cannot stress enough how important communication is to maintaining respectful, positive connection and loving bond with one another. People filing for divorce most commonly say they simply can’t communicate anymore. How you communicate will determine the strength or weakness of your relationship bond. It is also not just what you say, but how you say it that really matters when you are communicating with your partner.
All unhappiness and negative communication is born out of a person’s negative or extreme color personality tendencies. On the Primary Colors Relationship Personality Test, built off of the artist color wheel, there are six colors we all learned when we were children. The three primary colors on the wheel are Red, Blue and Yellow and the secondary colors created by mixing the primary colors together which are Purple, Green and Orange. This set of relationship personality tests have proven to help develop and enhance emotional intelligence.
What are extreme color personality tendencies? These are the tendencies that destroy and weaken all relational bonds, both professionally and personally. If you want to learn more about extreme color personality tendencies visit: Colors Personality.com But to give you the condensed version, extreme color personality tendencies are those tendencies that represent the very worst of us. They are not our strengths and talents, they are the exact opposite and all unhappiness, misery, discontent and anger are born out of these extreme tendencies. It is these extreme tendencies that weaken, break and destroy our connections whether they be professional, personal, familial, etc. So let’s look at some extreme forms of communication that are sure to kill your connection and ‘loving feelings’ for your partner.
6 Extreme Communication styles that are destructive and damaging to all relationships.
An example of a purple extreme tendency: Lack of communication - Withdrawing and Ignoring/Spending more time Working A great way to avoid difficult or stressful conversations is to withdraw and ignore them. Well, great if you don't mind losing the one you love. One of the clever ways to do this is to work more so that you are not around the person who is wearing on your last nerve. When you choose to simply avoid or refuse to talk and discuss problems because you feel that you are only hashing the same old BS over and over and getting no where, you slowly destroy the love that is the foundation of a relationship. Refusing to communicate is disrespectful and passive-aggressive and simply doesn’t work. Do you use the silent treatment as a way to deal with your frustration, or as a way to punish your partner? If so, what you are really doing is pushing her/him away which leads to both of you beginning to construct a wall that restricts intimacy. Talking and sharing for many people is the foreplay of an intimate act. It is where friendships are built and maintained. When people talk about friends they will tell you that one of the reasons they love their friends is that they can tell them anything, especially how they are feeling. When you are attempting to communicate with someone in their purple extreme, you are left feeling out of options. When you are shut down, ignored and withdrawn from, how can you help but feel abandoned? This is a horrible way to feel, especially inside of a relationship. There is nothing worse than feeling alone even when you are married or in a committed relationship.
An example of a yellow extreme tendency: Overly Emotional and Passive-Aggressive Communication If whenever you attempt to talk, one of you gets very emotional and begins throwing feelings around like confetti that is a great way to sabotage communication. Feelings are important pieces of information but they definitely should not guide conversations unless you want all conversations to end in a dramatic, emotional mess. Feelings, although real to us, are NOT facts. But when people get emotional they want to pretend there feelings are facts. They make statements like “You are so cruel and heartless.” or “You don’t even know what love is.” Instead of saying “I feel like you are behaving in a cruel and heartless manner when you say ________ to me.” or “I feel that you and I are seeing and defining love differently right now.” When we are attempting to talk to an overly emotional person that is stating their feelings as facts, it can be exhausting because it is like you are walking through relationship land mines and you never know when you are going to step on one. Also, these conversations are saturated with reasons why you should feel ashamed of yourself. When you are attempting to communicate with someone in their yellow extreme, you can be left feeling confused and bewildered. When you have been bombarded with intense, often hysterical emotions, you feel drained and sometimes confused. Feelings, especially in their extremes, don't always make sense to more logical and practical thinkers.
An example of a blue extreme tendency: Overly Critical, Demeaning or Disrespectful Communication Constantly expressing how you feel about your partner’s negative traits, or perceived failures isn’t communication, it is simply tearing them down. Nothing kills feelings of love for a partner faster than feeling like no matter what you do, you can never do it right. If your communication style causes your partner to feel worthless and depletes their self-esteem, don’t be surprised when feelings of love begin to diminish and fade. If we view statements made by our partners as accusations, we can respond defensively. Being defensive is not about communication or understanding, it’s about proving who is right and who is wrong. People can often want or need to be right so much that they will sacrifice being loved to win an argument. When communication becomes a place where you either win or lose, it is your love that is the inevitable loser. If you tell someone who loves you they are an idiot, stupid, can’t do anything right, that person will eventually fall out of love with you. Demeaning and disrespecting your partner is a form of emotional abuse! When you call someone a name, you not only begin negatively labeling them, but you begin to find evidence that proves you are right about them. So instead of seeing when they are giving and caring, you instead wait for them to miss the mark so that you can say, “See. Gotcha. I was right!” When you are attempting to communicate with someone in their blue extreme, you are left feeling unworthy and stupid. When you are coming out of an attempted conversation with someone in their blue extremes you feel belittled, small and even insignificant. Without even raising their voice, people in their blue extremes can demean you in ways that leaving you doubting yourself. They can be so adamant, and they are usually also extremely bright, so you can be left wondering if they are more right about you, than you are.
An example of a red extreme tendency: Escalation into Angry Arguments It does not feel safe to talk when you are afraid that someone is going to fly into a rage. We have all, either witnessed this happening, or have experienced it ourselves and it is one of our least favorite emotional experiences. No one likes being screamed at. We dislike it when conversations turn into name calling, yelling matches. Aggressive bursts cause most people to want to shut down completely, unless your partner decides to lose their tempter as well and then all hell breaks lose. This is a sure destroyer of relationships and feelings of connection. When you are attempting to communicate with someone in their red extreme, you are left feeling frightened and/or enraged. When you escape an argument with someone in their red extreme you can feel pushed toward either fight or flight. Do I fight back with all I've got, or do I run now and save myself? These arguments can escalate and get out of control so quickly that they may surprise and frighten you with their intensity. You may feel that you barely escaped a bullies beat down, because you most likely, barely did.
An example of a orange extreme tendency: Sarcastic and Biting Communication The definition of sarcasm is: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt. Sarcasm, along with being contemptuous, is a way to be cruel with a smile. Some people use their tongues as weapons and they can cut you like a knife. People use sarcasm as a communication weapon because if you take what they say personally, and feel hurt by it they can quickly quip, “What’s wrong? Don’t you have a sense of humor?” But there is nothing funny about being insulted and made fun of in a sarcastic demeaning way. If you want to kill the connection in a relationship, using sarcasm to cut your partner up into bite size pieces (pun intended), is an excellent way to do it. Sarcasm is a biting, sharp way to ridicule another, and one of the slyest way to completely disrespect another person. When you are attempting to communicate with someone in their orange extreme, you are left feeling humiliated and ridiculed. When have been the victim of the tongue of a person in their extreme orange, you definitely will walk away feeling wounded. They are keen people readers and know your weak spots and they use them against you, usually with a sly laugh. Again, you might wonder, were they just joking, it certainly didn't feel funny, and you would be right. While in their center people with strong orange tendencies are usually very funny people that others enjoy a great deal, but in their extremes, these same jovial, happy-go-lucky people can be evil samurais of sarcasm.
An example of a green extreme tendency: Judging, Disqualifying and Scornful Communication Have you ever attempted to have a conversation with someone who believes they have the 'high' ground so they disqualify you and feel scorn for your opinions because they are simply, in their opinion, less informed, less moral, less important, less kind, okay, just put less in front of most adjectives. When people move into their green extremes, their communication becomes in their minds, more insightful, educated and stands of the higher moral pedestal than yours. This kind of conversation can leave you feeling so flustered and frustrated because you feel as though you just got sentenced and were found severely lacking. This kind of communication can be about politics, belief systems, value systems, how animals should be trained, anything that they have developed a strong, righteous opinion about. There opinions are more often than not, extremist opinions with a righteous, moral floater. When you are attempting to communicate with someone in their green extreme, you are left feeling invalidated and judged. You can leave these conversations not only feeling that you have been judged, but also sentenced to a life of insignificance. Their righteous attitudes can make you feel as if you are on the wrong side of history, or the wrong side of human development. In their centers people with strong green personality tendencies are usually balanced and fair. They use their heads and their hearts when making decisions, but once radicalized into their extremes, there is only one way to think, one way to feel, one way to believe that is moral or righteous and it is theirs.
The things that all of these toxic and extreme communication styles have in common is that number one; no one is listening to the other person. Listening simply doesn't exist in these exchanges. And number two; no one ever walks away from one of these exchanges feeling better, feeling heard, or having a desire to have another conversation any time soon. These examples are of people communicating, but in the worst ways any two people could relate to one another.
If you feel that you use any of these destructive styles of communication with your partner, be assured that you are doing real damage to the relationship. If you want to learn more about how to nurture and strengthen your relationships, instead of weaken and destroy them you can look into the ONLINE relationship course called Relationship Help at Home.com In the comfort of your own home, on your computer, tablet or even phone, you can gain the equivalent of a master's degree in what strengthens and nurtures relationships, for less than it would cost to attend two private counseling sessions. This 26 week comprehensive course is designed to take only 5-10 minutes a day, but guaranteed to help you diminish and even eliminate the toxic and destructive communication styles that may be destroying the relationships in your life. And to start, here is an article you might really enjoy: 12 ways to create lasting love.
Relationship and personality expert Dawn Billings is the author of 15 books and hundreds of articles. Dawn is the founder of RelationshipHelp.com, and the creator of the ONLINE relationship help program Relationship Help At Home. Dawn is the executive director of the luxury RelationshipHelpResort.com in Arizona where she hosts private couples therapy retreats and intensives.