When it is time to say, “I do,” no couple wants to think about the possibility that they might be headed toward divorce. Unfortunately, with one-third to one-half of all marriages ending in divorce and many others going through difficult times that couples are able to work through, many of these happy brides and grooms will see the signs of troubled waters at some point. If you see the signs that you might be headed toward divorce, this will give you time to decide what you want to do and to work on carrying out those plans. Read on for nine signs that your marriage is in trouble.
#1 You Bicker Frequently Over Small Issues
Couples vary in their propensity toward arguing and bickering. Some couples seem to thrive on minor scuffles, while others tend not to bicker at all. If you find yourself arguing over small issues when you never really used to, it could be a sign that something is amiss with your relationship. It could also mean that you are focusing on small issues (such as whose turn it is to load the dishwasher) rather than on the large ones (such as major financial problems due to overspending or suspicion of infidelity), which is an ominous sign.
#2 You Feel Indifferent Toward One Another
On the other side of the coin is when you stop arguing altogether because neither of you much cares what the other one is doing or because one is resentful of the other. For example, if your spouse says he or she is planning to spend the night at a concert with friends when you have a medical procedure early the next morning, shrugging it off could indicate that you don’t care whether your partner is with you or it could mean that you are resentful and you don’t want to talk about it, so you’d rather just ignore the situation and find another ride.
#3 You Don’t Enjoy Time Together Anymore
When you first got married, you might have spent long evenings working on hobbies together, watching movies, going for long walks, or otherwise spending a lot of time together and enjoying every minute. While this tends to become less intense as a marriage goes on and as children come along, if you don’t enjoy the time you spend together at all, that’s a warning sign. So is not spending time together anymore at all. If you both have your own activities every night and every weekend, you’re not making any type of time investment in your marriage.
#4 You Don’t Respect One Another
Name-calling, hanging up the phone on one another, ignoring each other, or embarrassing each other in front of friends or family are all signs that respect for one another has gone down the drain. When this happens, marriage counseling might be needed in order to salvage the marriage. Otherwise, you could find yourself filing for divorce or being served with divorce papers.
#5 You Do Not Share Major Goals or Values
Even if the two of you disagreed on politics, religion, or other large topics, chances are good that you both agreed on certain values and goals during the early days of your marriage. You might have different spiritual backgrounds but you both felt that kindness toward others and honesty were key values, for example. Or maybe the two of you shared the goal of wanting children and traveling with those children. While it is normal for goals to change, if you do not share goals and values at all, that could be a sign that the marriage is failing.
#6 You Do Not Trust Each Other
One important feature of any healthy marriage is trust. You can feel free to spend an evening with friends and your spouse can feel free to go have a drink with coworkers after work because you trust one another. If that trust is eroded, either because of infidelity or a lie or because one partner is feeling insecure, this is a sign that the marriage might be on the rocks. Open communication and honesty can help solve this problem.
#7 You Are No Longer Physically Intimate
During the honeymoon days of your marriage, it is likely that you were often intimate. This does not only mean sexual relations; intimacy also includes snuggling on the couch, backrubs, holding hands, and other forms of physical touch. It is normal and common for spouses to be less intimate as the years pass (especially once children come along), but if you are not touching your spouse at all in sexual and non-sexual ways, that could indicate a problem with the marriage.
#8 You No Longer Share Your Thoughts and Dreams
Do you remember the days before and after your wedding, where you and your spouse would talk about your thoughts and dreams for the future? Maybe you would spend hours in engrossed in topics from how to achieve world peace to what you’d do if you won the lottery to your most precious childhood memories. If you no longer share anything with your spouse that is deeper than the weather or which child needs to be at which activity at what time, this is a sign that your marriage is faltering.
#9 You Are Finding Emotional Connection Elsewhere
While a physical affair is an obvious sign that your marriage is spiraling downward, you might not have considered that an emotional affair can be just as, if not more, damaging. When you are getting your main emotional connection with someone who is not your spouse, you are no longer able to be as open and transparent as you were before. This is a red flag when it comes to your marriage.
Marital counseling and a desire from both of you to save your marriage can overcome any of these issues. If you are not able or willing to work on the marriage, however, a divorce can be the new start you both need. Contact National Family Solutions if you are headed toward separation or divorce. We can walk you through the next step of your journey. You don’t have to do this alone.