Life happens. You get so busy you barely have time to brush your teeth let alone schedule some one-on-one time with your spouse. But the truth is, you make time for what’s important to you. And if your marriage is important, you need to pay attention and make sure you’re not taking your partner for granted.
Here are some warning signs to be aware of:
You skirt the truth. You don’t feel you’re being dishonest, necessarily, but you don’t always tell your spouse things because you’re trying to spare her. But are you? Maybe it’s just easier for you not to have to bring up something unpleasant or maybe you’re avoiding confrontation while you tell yourself you’re protecting her. Withholding information from your spouse may make your life easier until she discovers that you haven’t been fully upfront with her. In fact, it may seem to her that you’ve been lying to her because keeping important information from her is dishonest.
You argue in a continuous loop. You’re embroiled in the same old conflicts, caught in a cycle of conflict. When you argue about the same things over and over, your marriage is stagnant or, more likely, eroding. You are not solving problems. Or maybe you’re not arguing at all, but instead you’re avoiding conflict. You’re texting someone else. You’re watching TV. You’re streaming a video. Anything but talking to your spouse and dealing with what’s wrong.
You live separate lives. You live under the same roof, and that’s about all you have in common anymore. You talk, but only about logistics and routine errands. Meaningful conversation is no longer a part of your day. Communicating your thoughts and dreams would help bond your relationship, but you have drifted apart. You feel like you are the last person to know what’s on your spouse’s mind and you sometimes learn important things about him from a third person. That’s when you know you have a communication issue that needs repair.
You withstand a barrage of criticism. If you say black, your spouse says white. If you say up, your spouse says down. If you peel potatoes one way, your spouse says you should peel them another way. You can do nothing right. Your spouse micromanages you, which makes you feel inhibited and intimidated. Constant criticism is a sure way to cripple your marriage. You need to discover the larger issues at play. Perhaps your spouse needs to control you and have you do everything his way. Perhaps your spouse needs to feel superior, so he constantly puts you down. Whatever the problem is, you need to get to the bottom of it.
Your physical connection has fizzled. Sure, the white-hot physical attraction has faded in your relationship. You no longer run yellow lights to hurry home to your partner’s embrace. That’s pretty normal. It’s when you lose interest in being intimate that you should take note. If sex is no longer enjoyable or if it rarely takes place anymore, there may be problems. And sex isn’t the only act of intimacy that’s important. Just touching or sharing private thoughts can bond you as a couple. If that’s no longer part of your relationship, find out why.
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