DIVORCE
05/15/2014 11:44 am ET Updated May 16, 2014

12 Red Flags That Could Spell Doom For Your Relationship

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It's only natural that you're overcome with lovey-dovey feelings when in a new relationship. But as time goes on, little red flags may start to rear their ugly heads as you start questioning whether or not this person is really right for you.

Trust us, everyone has doubts at some point -- but some doubts are more serious than others. So we turned to the experts to find out which warning signs may actually spell doom for your relationship.

1. One person has all the power.

Relationships are about balance, so if you find yourself in an unbalanced partnership where you feel belittled, worthless or not heard, it's time to leave. "If one person dictates everything, and the other has to choose between being a doormat or taking the highway, the highway is the better choice," says marriage and family therapist Virginia Gilbert, who specializes in high-conflict divorce.

2. The relationship is seriously lacking fireworks.

"Lack of a sexual life can be a big source of frustration for one or both of the partners," says sex therapist Sari Cooper, who tells The Huffington Post that she sees this problem all the time with her clients seeking help.

The truth is that sex matters, and as time goes on, a lack of sex can lead to much bigger problems. As Dr. Phyllis Goldberg, a marriage and family therapist, explains, "The longer a couple goes without being intimate, the more ambivalence they will feel. It's like a vicious cycle, and this only increases the lack of trust, the awkwardness and the subsequent distancing."

3. You're not cheating, but your partner thinks you are.

If your partner is constantly checking your text messages, "accidentally" logging into your email and accusing you of cheating when you're not, it's a sign that they have trust issues.

"If you don’t trust your partner, that’s a problem," says author and relationship expert Rachel Kramer Bussel. "It’s natural to be curious -- who isn’t? -- but taking that curiosity beyond the bounds of what your partner would be comfortable with crosses a line that could be dangerous for your relationship, not to mention your mental health."

4. You like your partner, but hate their friends.

If you're going to spend the rest of your life with someone, it's important to also like their friends. If you can't manage to do that, you're only setting yourself up for battles later on. “We know that couples who have parents, in-laws, and friends who support them as a couple are much more likely to go the distance,” W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project, told the Huffington Post.

Other experts agree. "If socializing continues to be a point of contention, think long and hard about whether you can accept your differences, because neither of you is likely to change," explains Gilbert.

5. Even worse, you don't get along with each other's families.

If your family is not on board with your partner, there may be a good reason for it. “Friends and family often have a more objective view of your partner than you do," said Wilcox. In other words, your family may be seeing red flags that you're too blinded by love to pick up on.

On the flip side, if you don’t get along with your partner’s family, it’s a long and painful road ahead. “The truth is that the pressures a person's family or your family might put on a relationship can be huge,” says life and relationship coach Bonnie Olson. “These people are going to interact with you forever and if you get a major ‘ick’ feeling about them, then do a reality check to determine if you can live with these individuals in your life.”

6. You feel like you're in a dictatorship, not a relationship.

If you find yourself living someone else's life -- hanging out with their friends, listening to their music, and only doing what they want want to do -- it's time to take a stand. "Start taking ground" says Deverich. "You decide where you will go to dinner, what color to paint the dining room or what car you will buy ... if they resist, push back. Most controllers don't want to lose you and are willing to change."

That said, if your partner doesn't change, Deverich says it may be a sign they're an abuser and you need to "get out!"

7. You don't spend much time together, and you're OK with that.

You should want to spend time with your S.O., even if it means just going to the grocery store together. "If that’s not happening, something is very wrong," says author and life coach Honoree Corder. “Unless you look forward to spending time together no matter what you're doing (or even if you're doing nothing), you're not partnered up right."

In fact, studies have shown that making date-night a priority is key to successful relationships.

8. You can never just be together without an activity or distraction.

A relationship needs to stand on its own two feet. If you and your partner can't just "be together" without help -- such as alcohol, couples therapy, TV, fancy dinners or even other people -- there’s a bigger problem afoot.

“If your second home is in your therapist’s office, and even when you leave, you can’t stop talking about your issues, it may be a sign that you’re more in love with the idea of a relationship than with your partner,” says Gilbert.

9. You seriously disagree on major life choices.

The truth is most people don’t change, so if you entered into the relationship knowing your S.O. doesn’t want kids and you want several, don’t resent him or her five years later when the answer is the same. If you don’t see eye-to-eye on major life decisions now, you’ll end up with major life problems later, says Cooper, explaining that disagreements on monogamy, religion and family are major red flags that pop up over and over again with her clients.

10. Your partner is physically violent.

We shouldn't have to say it, but we will: violence is a major red flag and should not be tolerated. "Get out right now, do not look back," says marriage and family therapist Amanda Deverich. "Safety first and hitting must stop."

11. Communication is seriously lacking in the relationship.

We hear it time and again: communication is the key to a successful relationship. So it’s only logical that poor communication -- or lack of communication -- is the executioner.

“One of the most common roadblocks couples face occurs when they avoid confrontation and sweep their differences under the proverbial rug again and again,” says Cooper. “I find either couples fight unfairly in a bullying or threatening manner or they avoid conflict at all costs.”

12. You bicker about the small things, while the bigger problems go undiscussed.

Whether it’s picking a restaurant, a movie, or deciding where to spend the holidays, if everything ends in a fight, your relationship is in trouble.

“Bickering and fighting can be a sign of a deeper, more significant issue,” says Corder. “Sometimes what you really want to say is, 'I'm done'. If that's the case, take a hard look at saying that, instead of continuing down the path you're on.”

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