9 Red Flags That A Relationship Is In Trouble

If you think something is wrong, there probably is.

James E. McGinley, PhD
2 min readJul 26, 2022


Couple quietly ignoring each other.
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels

We have all either been in or seen unhealthy relationships. They usually violate the basic rules of trust and reciprocity. When a relationship is healthy, we have an expectation of understanding, support, and fair treatment. When it is not healthy, we feel unappreciated, manipulated, and exploited.

Of course, not all relationships are perfectly balanced. That is ok. Not one is perfect and no union is perfect. But, within the limits of our personal flaws and the flaws of others, we still expect to be treated with respect.

So, how do we know things are unbalanced, unfair, or lack compassion? Basically, we know something is wrong when we sense that things are one-sided, territorial, manipulative, or always in conflict.

Here are a few red flags we can look for.

· They disregard your successes.

· They lack sympathy for your pain or struggles.

· They make you barter for their attention.

· They ask for favors but never return them.

· You always have to say yes, but resent it later.

· They never apologize when they are wrong.

· If you are having a hard time, they always tell you theirs is harder.

· They are there for you only when it serves their interests.

· You’re thinking about someone while you are reading this…

If you are beginning to think that something is wrong in a relationship, something probably is.

If a friendship or relationship is starting to make you feel drained, tired, and makes you feel increasingly surrounded in negativity, then it may be time to think carefully about it. A healthy relationship should leave us feel energized and supported. It should lift our burdens, not add to them.

You may also be interested in, Be Proud Of Your Progress, Even If No One Else Sees It (link).

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.Books/Blog FacebookInstagramYouTube, The Coping Expert, Twitter

(Remember, you can clap up to 50 times for an article.)



James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.