Warning Signs Your Marriage Is In Trouble
How can you know if your marriage is in trouble? Problems don’t just come out of nowhere; usually, there are early warning signs that a couple must recognize to decide if further help is needed to save their relationship.
Most marriages don’t end dramatically with an affair. Most end gradually over time. The relationship becomes filled with increasingly more complaints, defensiveness, criticism, and withdrawal.
Here are some of the most common signs a marriage is in trouble that you should watch for.
It’s easy for schedules to pull a husband and wife in opposite directions in today’s busy world. While the husband is attending corporate events or taking children to sporting activities, the wife is involved in her work activities or charitable events. Each schedule is full, and neither includes the other.
More often than not, couples take their relationship for granted and put careers, children, hobbies, or volunteer activities ahead of their spouse. While calendars fill up with activities and events, the time available to spend with your spouse slowly disappears. It’s essential to have a calendar that puts your relationship first. Pencil in dinner meetings with your spouse, day trips with the family, or just spending time watching your favorite television show.
Besides being too busy and being pulled in different directions, another warning sign is being too agreeable, which can result in a cold, distant relationship that leads to an explosion or a complete walkout.
You may think that everything at home is okay because you and your spouse don’t argue much, but if you also don’t share your concerns and work out your differences, you aren’t peaceful at all! You’re distancing yourselves from the relationship and not fighting for the marriage.
Relationships require work, and work involves disagreements. Disagreements don’t mean that the relationship is in trouble. They actually mean that the couple is working to resolve their differences and care enough about each other to acknowledge that they do have differences.
Another sign your marriage is in trouble is that you can do no right, or your spouse can do nothing right. Every action is watched and criticized. You or your spouse feels intimidated and afraid of the constant criticism. This usually means that there are larger relationship issues that turn into negative day-to-day criticisms.
When a marriage starts, the spouse usually assumes the best motives for the other’s actions. However, as life and stress progress, those assumptions often turn negative. For instance, the husband is late coming home and doesn’t call. In the beginning, the wife may think that the cell phone battery is dead or he got stuck in traffic. Later she may become annoyed because he misses dinner. Instead of believing that he had a hard day at work, the cell phone battery was dead, or traffic was a mess, she might start thinking that he’s insensitive and should have called or that there’s another woman in his life.
Thinking the worst of a situation is a sign that the marriage is in trouble. When couples communicate their needs and desires and respect the others’ wishes, suspicious thoughts are kept at bay. However, as we become more introspective and focus only on our needs and stresses, we tend to ignore the other person in the marital relationship, which increases the risk that the marriage is heading down a slippery slope.
Couples traveling that slope will often find that intimacy in their relationship is a thing of the past. Sex is no longer exciting or satisfying and, in fact, no longer happens! Your physical interest in your spouse diminishes, and you turn away from them repeatedly.
These signs that a marriage is in trouble are like a map that helps you understand the direction you and your spouse are heading. When you find that these signs persist, address them. If left unaddressed, the relationship will continue to decline until there’s an explosion or one of you walks out.