1. The problem keeps happening repeatedly
- Overspending may be a passive aggressive maneuver designed to communicate one partner’s anger towards the other in a way that is less threatening.
- Overspending may be a substitute for underlying needs for comfort, safety, and security that are otherwise being unmet.
- Overspending may be distraction from a more serious problem threatening the relationship, such as a lack of intimacy between partners.
2. Time makes the problem worse
3. The problem is pervasive
At other times, a home may not be level. When a pervasive problem, such as the foundation, is an issue, the ceiling will sag, the roof will appear off-kilter, and the walls may cave in or out at various points. Any repairs to the roof or walls will be undermined by the underlying problem that remains. Foundational problems tend to be pervasive and may show up as various unrelated problems throughout the relationship. When one partner harbors resentment from previous infidelity in the relationship, for instance, its impact will be pervasive. Innocent comments and unrelated failures made by the offending partner may repeatedly be questioned and inevitably tied to questions about that partner's fidelity by the other partner. Such a problem indicates problems with the foundation of trust on which the health of the relationship depends. This often indicates the presence of a more serious “structural” problem that must first be addressed if any hope for ultimate repair will succeed. Any cosmetic fixes when there is this type of structural damage will be doomed to failure since the underlying problem has only been disguised by superficial changes. Cosmetic fixes can sometimes even make the problem worse by disguising the true source of the problem and covering over important hurts.
Relationships are not easy. Knowing how to identify the severity of the damage in your relationship is key to achieving restoration in your relationship. There is often more to a problem than meets the eye, and it is crucial to find help from someone with the patience, training, and experience to understand the root of the problem.