It is seldom that a marriage is shipwrecked overnight. It is more likely that the little cracks and red flags in the relationship have been ignored and allowed to deteriorate until the marriage got beyond repair. If only the trouble signs are recognized and addressed at an early stage, a marriage can be rescued and restored to good health. Have a look at these 11 early signs that may indicate your marriage is dying and if you recognize any of them in your relationship please get help as soon as possible.
You don’t spend time together.
Hectic schedules can make it a challenge to spend enough time together, but if you find yourselves preferring to pursue separate interests there may be a problem. If one or both of you would rather go out alone or do something with others rather than with each other, then you may well be drifting apart. Remember when you couldn’t spend enough time together and every minute you had to be apart seemed like an hour? If you want to make your marriage work you have to stay connected and spend time together.
You fight and argue a lot.
It is normal for every married couple to argue at some point, but if the arguments are excessive and petty, then there is reason for concern. Sometimes an argumentative and contentious attitude can become a bad habit which is hard to break. When you have nothing good to say about each other anymore and you nitpick about every little thing then your relationship is on stormy waters. If you find yourselves arguing about the same things over and over it is probably time to start finding some ways to resolve your differences.
Communication is the essential key for any good relationship. When you don’t make or take the time to have meaningful conversations with each other then you can easily start to drift apart. There may be various reasons for a decrease in communication – perhaps you both have hectically busy schedules, or perhaps there are thorny unresolved issues that have caused a widening wedge to come between you. Whatever the reasons may be, when you stop communicating with each other it is one of the first signs of trouble.
There is stonewalling.
Stonewalling is when one or both of you simply refuses to speak to the other. This can be one of the most hurtful and destructive behaviors in a marriage. This is an extremely ineffective way of dealing with conflicts as it creates a huge sense of disconnection and does not resolve anything. If there is stonewalling in your marriage then this can be a bright red flag indicating that your marriage is dying.
You are cheating emotionally.
If you or your spouse is confiding in someone else in an intimate and personal manner, this can be very dangerous for your marriage. Emotional cheating can be even worse than physical or sexual cheating, and you may need the help of a professional counselor or therapist to understand the reasons why this may have happened in your relationship. When one or both of you is seeking elsewhere for intimacy it is a sign that your marriage relationship is in danger.
You blame each other constantly.
It’s easy to resort to playing the ‘blame game’ when you both feel that the other is the one in the wrong. If neither of you takes responsibility for your actions then it is difficult or impossible to go forward in a good way. When one or both of you is more interested in finding fault than in finding a solution to your differences, then this is probably a sign that your marriage is dying.
One or both of you feel resentful.
Constant arguing and unresolved conflicts can result in nasty feelings of resentment building up between you. If one or both of you feel resentful this can eat away and corrode your marriage relationship. Identify the source of your pain and discover what needs to be done to bring a lasting solution. Get the objective help of a friend or counselor who can pinpoint the areas which you need to address.
You can’t trust each other.
Trust is the foundation of every good marriage. In fact, trust is the essential ingredient if you want your relationship to succeed. If you have feelings of distrust towards your spouse, try to determine whether they are legitimate concerns, or not. If not, are you willing to try and regain each other’s trust with determined effort and transparency? If you can’t trust your spouse then your marriage is in serious trouble indeed.
You feel like strangers.
Do you sometimes catch yourself thinking ‘I don’t really know my spouse anymore... this is not the same person that I married’? If you start to feel more like strangers than lovers it is a sign that your marriage is dying. You may find that you are not on the same page in many areas of your relationship and essentially you have drifted into living separate lives. Perhaps you are each pursuing your own hobbies, interests or friendships and seldom connect with each other to any real extent.
There is more bad than good in your relationship.
Every relationship has its share of ups and downs, but when the scales begin to tip and the bad times seem to completely outweigh the good times, then your marriage is probably in trouble. The negatives can quickly swallow up the positives if you do not manage to nip them in the bud as early as possible.
You have lost hope for solution.
When you feel as if everything you do is not helping your marriage it can be very discouraging. When one of you is no longer willing to try and restore your marriage relationship then it is difficult to find a way forward. If you are both willing to go for counselling, over time you may be able to figure things out and bring your marriage relationship back from the brink.
Your marriage doesn’t have to end in failure. Learning these warning signs now will help you combat the problems you might face. Fight to keep your marriage alive and well by communicating well, seeking counseling, and working hard.