As a self-help mentor, this article will help you on your path to discovering that your shopaholic habits do not ease stress but adds to it.
1 Sudden Break in Routine
You and your partner may have established a routine and you feel that you are both exclusive to each other, meaning, you do not have an open relationship where they can date other people while living with you. You may or may not have taken that step to live together, but you have an agreement to be mutually exclusive. Then you begin to notice a break in your regular routine. Your partner may suddenly stop coming home for lunch when this was the normal routine. They may be consistently late after work and keep dinner waiting that's getting as cold as you are waiting on them to arrive home. Perhaps they are suddenly going to the gym before or after work when they never did this before and do not include you in this new routine. They make excuses that they are in a hurry and just want to stop by the gym on the way to or from work. A sudden break in your routine could be warning signs that you are being pushed out of the relationship and a third party is involved.
2 Unexpected Credit Card Purchases
Have you noticed a sudden change in credit card usage of your partner? Maybe you suddenly notice frequent charges for flowers, candy or jewelry and you never receive these items? You question your partner and he may say they are for his secretary's birthday or for his mother for a special occasion. But these are not one-time only charges. They are frequent and are beginning to become noticeable in the monthly credit card statements and putting a burden on your budget. Then your partner is gifting another person with these treasures to impress them.
Is your partner suddenly buying a lot of new and expensive clothing when she may normally just wear tee shirts and jeans or basic sweaters and skirts? She may say she needs work clothes but the credit card purchases are excessive and she didn't discuss it with you first so as to not go over your mutually agreed upon household budget. Then you must realize she may be impressing a boss or co-worker and she is planning to exit out of your relationship.
3 Picks a Fight
Is your partner suddenly touchy and sensitive, criticizing you and picking fights? It is normal to have open and honest discussions with your partner and to air grievances. However, it is not normal if your partner is always nitpicking over small details for minor issues. For example, if you constantly leave out the milk instead of putting it in the refrigerator, you can easily remind your partner about this oversight without getting overly irate or abusive. If your partner starts to always pick a fight with you and purposefully points out minor flaws, then this type of aberrant behavior means they are frustrated with the relationship. They are looking for excuses to make you mad so you will leave them first when it's your partner who has a dish on the side while you remain as pure as gold.
4 Locks Electronic Devices
Does your partner suddenly hide his cell phone from you? Is he keeping it locked as well as locking his computer with his own password when he leaves the house? Does he receive multiple text messages when you are both out to dinner and he makes excuses? When he gets up to pay the check, does he take his phone with him or lock access to it? If this is not a normal routine between the two of you, then you must be alert to the fact your partner is hiding communications from a third party. It could mean they are hiding purchases from you that would alert you to the fact they are wining and dining another person and they will soon leave you holding the doggy bag.
5 Sudden Substance Abuse
You and your partner may normally enjoy alcohol with dinner and friends, however, is your partner suddenly drinking in the middle of the day? Are they acting fidgety or anxious, tapping their fingers waiting by the phone? If they suddenly need a drink to calm down under normal conditions, and may drink to the point of excess and being drunk and disorderly or abusing other addictive substances, then this is a red flag. It means they could be under a great deal of stress because they are involved with another lover who could either be dangerous, shady, or may be threatening to confront you about their affair.
6 Stands You Up on Dates
Whether or not you are living together as an exclusive couple, does your partner suddenly stand you up on dates or appointments to go shopping? Do they constantly say they will meet you at a specific time and then not show up and then blame you for misunderstanding? Do they gaslight you saying that you always get things wrong when you know you didn't and made the notation in your appointment book or on your phone? If this begins to happen frequently, then it means they are juggling another relationship, two-timing you and living a double life.
7 Abusive Behavior
If your partner becomes irrational and physically, emotionally, or mentally abusive, then this is behavior you must not tolerate. It could mean they are undergoing a severe emotional trauma, perhaps they do not know how to cope with their feelings and cannot be honest with you about their affairs outside of your relationship. Do not try and fix this person. It is important to protect yourself. Phone a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or seek help from a counselor on how to exit an abusive relationship. Be grateful you found out about this person before it was too late and you could not get free from them. Honor yourself and your feelings and intuition. Nothing is more important than your own personal safety and freedom.
For an exclusive relationship to work, both of you must be committed to honesty and to treat each other with love and compassion. If you feel you are in a rut, be specific about the things you would like to change in the relationship. Perhaps you are always going to dinner and the movies each Saturday night and are tired of it, then express that in and open and loving manner. Do not be upset or angry. Each of you must feel safe in the relationship and make suggestions for spicing things up. Be sure that you settle disagreements as they happen, do not sit and stew and get angry. Do not resort to childish behavior like crying or throwing things at the wall. Be a mature adult and talk to a relationship counselor if you need help. If you should stray from each other, be honest about it as soon as possible and bid each other a fond farewell as you proceed on your own life path in peace and love.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Nancy M