Warning Signs Your Marriage Is In Trouble
Do you ever wonder if your marriage might be heading for divorce?
Are you and your spouse so busy with life that you’re losing sight of your relationship and missing warning signs that deserve your attention?
“People think marriages end with an affair or something equally explosive,” says John Gottman, author of Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. “In fact, most end gradually, sliding down a slope of complaint, criticism, defensiveness, and withdrawal until it’s difficult to scramble back up. Yet there are usually early warnings that your relationship is in trouble.”
If you’re one of the couples wondering if their marriage is slowly heading for divorce, here are warning signs that a relationship is in serious trouble.
Separate Schedules and Lives
People are busier than ever today. And unless a husband and wife are careful, their calendars will send their lives in separate directions.
A husband and a wife must always make each other their top priority.
You’re making a lethal assumption when you take each other’s love for granted and assume everything will be okay because you have a strong marriage.
Even if you’re investing your time in good things like successful careers, children, hobbies, or making the world a better place by volunteering for a worthy cause, unless you’re careful, precious time with each other will slowly fade until it’s gone altogether. And one day, you will wake up wondering who the stranger is sleeping beside you.
You need to put your relationship with your spouse first.
How? By taking out your calendars and penciling in lunch and dinner meetings with each other, date nights, weekend trips with the family, or blocking out evenings to just watch your favorite television show or cuddle together on the couch watching a movie.
Too Much Peace
One wouldn’t think too much peace in a relationship is bad. But too much peace can be a warning sign that one or both spouses are quiet quitting the marriage. A peaceful marriage is good. But an apathetic or complacent one isn’t.
Too much peace can be a warning sign that one or both spouses have given up.
Apathy and complacency can lead to a cold, indifferent, and distant relationship.
Some couples assume their marriage is okay and everything will be fine because they don’t argue or fight, so why is it a warning sign? It’s a warning sign because it shows that they don’t share their concerns, worries, or differences of opinion. That’s not peace; it’s surrender. They’re not fighting for their relationship anymore. All they’re doing is distancing themselves from each other emotionally. Soon, they’ll be distancing themselves physically too.
Relationships take effort. And part of that effort is working through disagreements. No two people get along swimmingly all the time. In a healthy and engaged relationship, there will be road bumps and differences of opinion.
It’s not disagreements but a lack thereof that’s a sign of a relationship in trouble.
Disagreements demonstrate that a couple cares enough about each other and their marriage not to stick their heads in the sand but to work through their differences for a stronger, healthier relationship.
If you or your spouse feel that you can’t do anything right, your marriage is in trouble.
A husband or wife who constantly criticizes or disapproves of the other creates a miserable relationship.
No one wants to be in a relationship where their actions are monitored and criticized.
It’s no fun walking on eggshells all the time; it borders on emotional abuse.
When a spouse is under constant criticism by their partner, it’s usually a sign of a much deeper issue or a more significant problem that’s boiling over as ongoing daily criticism.
At the beginning of a marriage, each partner usually sees the best in the other and assigns good intentions to each other’s behavior.
But, sometimes, with time, as the stresses and pressures of life mount, a husband and wife start seeing the worst in each other and question each other’s motives and intentions.
For example, in the early years of a marriage, if the husband is late coming home at night after work but doesn’t call to let his wife know, she will probably assume his phone is dead or he got caught in bad traffic.
But over time, instead of assuming his phone is dead or he’s stuck in bad traffic, she might allow her irritation to grow and assume that he’s insensitive, rude, or doesn’t care, or that he’s seeing another woman.
Pessimism, negativity, and suspicion begin poisoning their relationship.
Assuming and Thinking the Worst
If you’ve reached the point where you think the worst, like your spouse is cheating on you because they’re late coming home from work or have a sudden, unexpected business trip, it’s a warning sign that your marriage is in trouble.
In a transparent marriage, where the husband and wife communicate their needs, concerns, wants and desires and respect the other’s wishes, those thoughts and suspicions don’t creep into your mind.
But trust is eroded when a spouse keeps their stresses and concerns to themselves. And as they shift more and more of their focus and attention to themselves and what they’re not getting in the relationship, and become less concerned with meeting their partner’s needs, they’re creating a slippery slope for their marriage.
Emotional & Physical Intimacy Fade To Nothing
When that happens – when a husband and wife start ignoring each other’s needs – emotional and physical intimacy fades. Silence replaces conversations. They’re less affectionate and don’t touch as much. Sex happens less and less until it becomes a rare occurrence. With time, it should be no surprise if they sleep in separate bedrooms.
Their physical attraction and interest in each other diminish, and they start turning away from each other and look to other people to meet their needs.
If you and your spouse have disengaged from each other, your marriage is in trouble. Your relationship is in trouble if you don’t talk or touch anymore or sleep in separate bedrooms.
If these warning signs are persistent and consistent in your relationship, your marriage is in trouble and heading for divorce. You need to address them before it’s too late because if you don’t, your relationship will continue to decline until there’s no relationship left and one of you walks away.
But knowing and acknowledging that there’s a problem is half the battle. So don’t lose hope.
Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a marriage counselor or therapist.
Do whatever it takes to save your marriage and unlock your best relationship because you deserve to be happy and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.