A marriage usually does not go from ‘till death do us part’ to ‘we’re getting a divorce’ without warning signs in between. But would you recognise these signs if you saw them. Here are 10 warning signs that might indicate that your ‘happily ever after’ might be heading towards an end.
1. No more communication
Your communication doesn’t have to be meaningful day in and day out. But it’s troubling if you never talk with your spouse about anything besides, say, the weather or who needs to get more milk. It’s a bad sign when speaking to each other seems superficial, say psychotherapists. Experts add on that if you keep the day-to-day stuff inside, it creates distance and disconnection in your marriage.
2. No longer in sync about having kids
If one of you is absolutely sure you want a child and the other categorically refuses, you’re in trouble. According to Lesli Doares, a marriage consultant and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work, “It’s unfair if you’re trying to talk someone into or out of a desire to have kids. Being talked into it will only create resentment.”
3. No quality time together
You should want to spend your free time with one another and enjoy being with your partner more than anyone else (most of the time). If you’re no longer spending any time together, if one or both of you is spending all your time at work, with friends, online—and if if feels like a relief not to be with each other—it’s a sign that you’ve already disengaged from the marriage. “Creating regular time to be together as a couple and doing things that are fun is critical for a lasting, successful marriage,” says Lesli.
4. Unwilling to work on your marriage
If you lack the motivation to work on your marriage, to address issues that are cracking away at your relationship, then you have to figure out why. Often though, the lack of motivation is an indication that something has been lost. It doesn’t mean you can’t get it back, but you have to try figure out why you’re feeling disenchanted and uninterested.
5. There’s no more respect
One of the most important aspects of a healthy marriage is mutual respect, say experts. When that’s gone—when one partner consistently feels dismissed, rejected and condescended to (and the other partner doesn’t see it), you’re in a bad place. Marriages that reach this place are toxic—you’re no longer civil, and all discourse is either attacking or defending.
6. Cheating is a serious issue
Infidelity is an enormous hurdle for a marriage to overcome, but just ending the affair is not enough, say experts. For a marriage to fully get past one spouse’s adultery, the unfaithful half of the couple cannot maintain a “friendship” with the former lover. Some couples can recover and move on from a marital stray, even making their marriage more united after one partner cheated.
7. No more passion
If the sight of your spouse has begun to irritate you or you find yourself bickering over petty issues all the time, then it’s time to step back and think of ways to rekindle the romance that brought the two of you close in the first place.
8. No more compromising
A major part of marriage involves trying to fulfill your partner’s needs while also making sure your own needs are met. It’s a lifelong dance, a give and take, and it requires constant communication. But if your partner continually refuses to listen to what you need or refuses to share his own needs, you’re not in a good place, say experts.
9. Needless desire for perfection
Expecting or wanting your spouse to look perfect every time can get a bit annoying. If you’re criticising your partner all the time for not wearing the right shirt or a matching tie, or even for wearing too much make-up, you may be unhappy in your marriage and not just with the way your partner looks.
10. Keeping secrets
It’s important to trust your partner in a relationship. But if lately your spouse has become extra sensitive and secure about his or her cell phone or social media pages, this could be a sign of trouble. Clearly there’s something there that your partner doesn’t want you to see.
Tips On Saving Your Marriage
It is imperative that both spouses are willing to fix their marriage, since any workable solution will need the co-operation of both partners. So if you both feel that your marriage is worth saving, give it your best shot, take matters into your hands.
Acknowledge the problem
Acknowledge that there is a conflict and there are issues that need to be sorted out as early as possible.
Discuss the issue
Discuss what is troubling your marriage, and explore the reasons which may have led to the present situation. Take turns to speak and do not interrupt when it is your partner’s chance to express his or her thoughts.
Express your feelings
Verbalise your thoughts and express clearly what has upset you and why. If you keep your feelings bottled up inside, it will only aggravate your perception of not being understood, until it may all burst forth in an unpleasant manner.
Avoid getting caught up in the endless cycle of accusations and counter-accusations. A good way to do this, is to say, “I would feel much more valued in my marriage, if my work is appreciated” or “It would mean so much to me if we could spend more time with each other”.
Finding a solution
After you have identified the source of conflict in your marriage, try to find a solution. This is however easier said than done, but not impossible to work out. Keep in mind, that a resolution will entail some amount of responsibility for both the spouses.
Seek professional help if required
In the end if despite your best efforts, you seem to be no nearer to a solution, seek professional help. A marriage counsellor can work wonders for troubled marriages and no couple should head for divorce lawyers, without first going to a counsellor.