One of the most difficult events a couple can face is a failing marriage. However, it is not always easy to see this unfortunate circumstance coming. Since it is normal for couples to have disagreements, and all relationships have ups and downs, people often miss clues that their marriage may be more damaged than they thought.
It is not always a significant, singular event like a cheating spouse that spells the end for a couple, but frequently a combination of many less extreme factors. If you have been experiencing a rough patch that you fear isn’t getting any better, there are certain signs you can look for that may indicate major trouble. Consider the following signs that your marriage may be nearing the end.
- You Don’t Wish to Work on Your Problems
There are many ways to work through problems in a marriage, including professional therapy and open communication. Together, these solutions can often help you and your spouse work through issues ranging from jealousy to lack of intimacy. If you find, however, that you struggle to maintain interest in healing your relationship, it is often a sign that you have lost hope in reconciliation and may be headed for divorce.
- You Have Been Relying Heavily on Unhealthy Vices
When you are experiencing difficulty facing your spouse and spending time together, you may begin to rely on vices like smoking or having an alcoholic beverage to ease your anxiety. Unfortunately, this is a sign of serious trouble. Many individuals start to fall into habits they had never relied on before without even realizing that they are using these vices as a way to escape emotionally. Since most couples enjoyed spending time together in a sober state of mind at the beginning of the marriage, becoming dependent on these habits in order to be able to tolerate your spouse could mean your relationship is seriously troubled.
- You Are Spending More Time With Your Smartphone Than With Your Spouse
This is a sign that is often difficult to see because we have become so dependent on our electronic devices in our everyday lives. However, it is worth taking a serious look. If you find that you have been more interested in social media than hearing about your spouse’s day, your relationship could be in worse shape than you thought. When you or your spouse become so engrossed in the online world that it has become a means of avoiding the issues you face as a couple, a smartphone can turn into a vice that continues to drive a wedge between you. The two of you should be more focused on each other and your marriage than social media, gaming, and the like. When you are not, you can likely consider this new vice a red flag.
- You Would Rather Be Alone Than With Your Partner
Finding the perfect balance of time together and “me time” is never easy in a relationship. In fact, plenty of healthy couples find this to be a struggle from the earliest days of dating to years into a marriage. Alone time is a great way to think things through on your own, and can be a great benefit to a relationship. The trouble with couples headed for divorce is that the time they spend alone becomes more frequent and more important to them than the time they spend together. Keep an eye out for signs from your spouse, such as avoiding you after work when you could be talking about your day. If they (or you) come home from work and head straight into another room for a distraction, it may indicate a reduction in the importance of spending quality time together and a sign you are no longer a priority.
- You and Your Spouse Spend Too Much Time Together
On the opposite end of the spectrum from a lack of quality time together is the couple who spends every waking moment together. This may seem like a good thing from the outside, but it is essential to have some time apart in a relationship. Regardless of how much you love spending time with your spouse, it is still important to be able to spend time with friends and family on your own. When a couple spends so much time together that they appear to be codependent, it may be a sign that the marriage is failing and they are trying to convince themselves otherwise.
- Your Partner Isn’t the First Person Your Reach Out to in Times of Need
In a marriage, your spouse should be one of the first people you turn to when times get tough. Whether you are experiencing a problem with the children, a medical issue, or even a stalled out car on the way to work, your spouse should be near the top of your list of people to call when you need help or emotional support. If instead, you are turning to other individuals outside of your marriage when you face these problems, it may mean that you don’t feel like you can rely on your spouse. Keep in mind, this concept not only applies to times of trouble, but good times as well. When you have happy news to share, your partner should be the first person you want to call. Your spouse should be the one who is there “for better or for worse,” and when they are no longer that person, it is a bad sign for the marriage.
- Your Dreams of the Future No Longer Include Your Spouse
At the start of a happy marriage, two of the key components are the dreams you share and the vision you have of your future together. However, in a failing marriage, spouses often have trouble visualizing a future together. It may seem like a subtle indicator, but an inability to imagine your spouse by your side in your five or ten year plan is a sign of trouble.
- Subtle “Barbs” Have Become Hurtful Weapons
Every couple has their way of teasing each other, and many even playfully pick on certain idiosyncrasies among friends. In a troubled marriage, however, these little jokes can turn into hurtful insults that are used passive aggressively. If the teasing about a spouse’s actions turns into criticism of their actual character, it may indicate a serious loss of respect that is hard to recover. In turn, this leads to resentment, which is a dangerous element in a marriage.
It is never easy to admit that your marriage may be failing, and it is always best to try to make things work, whether that means seeing a marriage counselor, talking things out, or working with a spiritual advisor. When those things are no longer helping, however, you may need to seriously consider whether your marriage can be saved.
Contact An Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you find that your marriage has reached its end, and you need the help of an attorney that understands the struggle you are facing, Stange Law Firm is here for you. Visit our webpage to learn more about how we can help you through this difficult time.