When you began your marriage you had every good intention. You believed in “death do us part.” You were in love. But since most people feel the same, it’s a wonder that half of marriages end in divorce. But they do.
It’s hard to admit, even if just to yourself, that you were wrong. It’s hard to think that your judgment was so faulty. It’s hard to accept that you made a mistake, and therefore it’s hard to come to the conclusion that your marriage is coming to an end.
The fact is, many people refuse to see that their marriage is troubled, and so prolong their suffering. But as painful as the truth is, eventually you will have to face it unless you want to spend the rest of your life in misery. So here are some signs that you should think about if you are going to face your situation realistically.
- Constant Conflict. While all couples fight sometimes, you are at loggerheads most of the time. Your disagreements are repetitive; you play the same unhappy tape over and over again without any satisfactory conclusion. Fighting the same fight without resolution leaves you feeling hopeless and helpless, because there is no change in sight. Worse, your relationship becomes toxic when one partner feels free to criticize while the other withdraws out of sheer self-defense. Unresolved conflict is exhausting and dispiriting, and a sure sign your marriage is faltering.
- Emotional Estrangement. Couples all go through cycles in their marriages, and sometimes you’re more connected than others. But if you are going through a rough patch that lasts a long time, take note. Is there a breakdown of communication? Do you stop sharing anything but the main events in your life? You know, you stop sharing the little things you know will make him laugh. Or he stops telling you what’s wrong at work, maybe because he doesn’t feel like you’ll empathize with him. You’re no longer a source of comfort for each other. You’ve both lost interest. Maybe you’re even bored with one another.
- Lack of Intimacy. You are connecting less and less with your spouse, both emotionally and physically. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have sex any less often, although it does happen that sex becomes rarer and rarer. But it does mean you no longer have those intimate connections. Like a tender kiss. Or a simple touch of affection. Maybe even a look that lets your partner know you’re on his side. These little touch points can mean so much because they signify love for your partner. When these connections fade away, chances are your love is fading away, too.
If you’ve experienced any of these signs, counseling can help, although couples often let their relationships deteriorate to a point where they’re difficult to repair. So seek help sooner rather than later. And if you both believe your relationship is worth saving, do the hard work required to rebuild it.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact