Relationships are what make our lives worth living, and those that involve trust, loyalty and our deepest sense of commitment can often be the most rewarding — especially the relationship between spouses. But far too many marriages that begin with a madly in love couple walking down the aisle end up with two angry, bitter people staring grim-faced at a divorce lawyer. So how does a couple go from affection, shared goals, and mutual support to ugly dissolution?
The answer is deceptively simple: rather than deal with issues head on, as they crop up in a relationship, too many couples sweep differences under the rug, to be dealt with another day, or, more likely, not at all. And take it from me: the damage to a relationship can be difficult to reverse.
After 13 years of marriage, my husband and I found ourselves at a crossroads: do we push through our difficulties, or call it quits? For us, it took a lot of introspection, plenty of counseling, but more than anything, the time and patience to take an honest look at our relationship. Sometimes that involved late night, uncomfortable conversations that we had been avoiding, and other times it meant taking some time apart to reflect on why we chose to commit to one another in the first place.
In hindsight, there were plenty of signs that our marriage was in trouble, but it took a long time for us to actually see them. Here are a few of those signs, and some advice on how to deal with these issues proactively, while your marriage can still be saved and even strengthened.