Is there something in the back of your mind that keeps telling you that something is wrong in your relationship? A troubled marriage doesn’t spell the end of your relationship. Acknowledging these signs before it’s too late can actually be a saving grace to you and your partner. If your marriage is important to you, you should never wait too long before doing something about fixing it.
You may think of relationship warning signs as something more obvious like habitually staying late at work or showing signs of having an affair. The truth is, signs your relationship is in trouble could be hiding right under your nose. The changes can be so gradual they are hard to detect. Don’t be caught off-guard in your relationship. Take advantage of these 10 warning signs that you are in a troubled marriage.
1. You can’t let the past go
The marriage vows recite the phrase “for better or worse” for a reason. A marriage has its ups and downs, and some of those downs can be devastating. However, a couple devoted to one another find a way to rise above betrayal, annoyances, and hard times and learn to forgive one another for their faults. However, those facing the rocky road of a troubled marriage may find that forgiven follies from days gone by are being brought up repeatedly.
Dredging up old arguments that have already been forgiven is a definite sign that you’re not feeling connected to your partner any longer.
2. You fight about everything
Couples who are parting ways emotionally begin to lack the patience they once had for putting up with one another’s imperfections. If you’re not bringing up old arguments, you seem to have no trouble finding new topics to fight about. In fact, your arguments are incessant and you seem to be fighting about the same topics over and over again. From serious issues like money, family planning, and fidelity to who forgot to throw the empty milk jug in the trash, you now have a treasure trove of nitpicks you can’t seem to let go of.
3. Hiding money
Hiding money from your significant other, or having money hidden from you is a bad sign that you are in a troubled marriage. Hiding money often signifies either that the partner no longer feels comfortable or trusting enough to share their financial situation with their marriage mate. It could also indicate an attempt to privately save up enough funds to move out and pursue a separation. Hiding finances may also be a way of shielding one partner from seeing out-of-character spending on such things as a hotel room, gifts, or other expenses related to having an affair.
4. You don’t make decisions together
A marriage is a partnership. This is two lives coming together and deciding equally how to move forward with important decisions. The moment you shut your partner out of decisions regarding finances, your home, your children, or your relationship should be a monumental red flag.
5. You start thinking about what-might-have-been
When people are in unhappy relationships they tend to dwell on the last romantic encounter that made them happy. This could be a summer fling, an ex, or a first love. Some may even start to wonder what kind of life they could have with a close friend or work colleague.
While it is normal to notice the opposite sex, there is a big difference between noticing someone is attractive and actually being attracted to them. When you start dwelling on a potential sexual relationship with someone other than your marriage mate you are asking for trouble. Both men and women cheat for the same reasons: a lack of physical needs are being met or a lack of emotional connection and reassurance. It goes without saying that cheating is beyond a warning sign that your relationship is in trouble.
7. Separate bedrooms
Separate bedrooms may lead to separate lives. Scientifically, physical touch is an important aspect of feeling connected to your partner and can release a burst of oxytocin. It doesn’t matter if this manifests itself through holding hands or spooning in the night. Of course, all of this depends on your personal habits as a couple. For example, if you have always slept in separate bedrooms due to conflicting work schedules or sleep issues then this would not be a cause for alarm.
8. The sex has dwindled
A change in sexual intimacy is never good for a relationship. Commonly women lose interest in sex with their partners due to a lack of emotional connection, while men lose interest because they are bored. Either way, a lack of sex in a relationship spells trouble. Sex is what bonds you as a couple and is one of the things you share exclusively with one another. It triggers the brain to produce oxytocin, relieves stress, and lowers trust barriers put up by the brain.
9. You’re not taking care of yourself anymore
When partners are going through a hard time they usually stop taking care of themselves. This could mean you stop dying your hair, working out, dressing up. If you haven’t changed out of your pajamas in three days you are definitely experiencing a slump.
10. You start introducing distractions to hide from your problems
When going through a troubled marriage, many people start to look for “Band-Aid” solutions to cover up the real issues happening in the relationship. Couples may introduce the idea of a wild vacation, or even open up the discussion of having children.
Other obvious warning signs
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are two dangerous signs that your relationship is in trouble. If you are experiencing abuse at the hand of your married mate, seek out a safe residence to stay at while you plan your separation or begin counselling.
If you see one or more of these signs of a troubled married, don’t fret. They are called “warning signs” for a reason. Only when you acknowledge problems in your marriage can you take the steps to fix the situation.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.