“Physical intimacy is only a facet in marriages, yet it plays an important role in keeping the passion between couples alive.”
A marriage can end long before signing papers, and normally there were signs that it was all falling apart. That’s not to say marriages are rosy and without difficulty; quite the contrary! But do you know how to tell between a rough patch from a more serious underlying issue?
10 most common marriage failing warning signs
Some couples take the cracks in their relationship as the status quo. The difficulties are often overshadowed by love, but wanting it to work out isn’t always enough to guarantee a successful and lasting marriage.
Here are 10 signs that your marriage is heading to a messy end.
1. There’s a clear lack of boundaries
Be it emotionally or physically, boundaries must be clearly established and communicated not only in marriages but all relationships. Without it, either party risks inappropriately behaving toward one another, or worse, other people.
2. Becoming overly selfish actions
A marriage is a partnership between two people, and every aspect of it must be in the interest of both parties—be it martial decisions or the simple distribution of household work. Once a wife or a husband starts taking into consideration only his or her own personal satisfaction, it’s a sign that the marriage is no longer in its ideal state.
3. You are overly critical of each other
Disrespectful judgemental comments corrode even the strongest of marriages and instead foster a negative environment for both husband and wife. It can also fill a marriage with toxic threats, lectures, manipulative comments and brainwashing.
4. Loss of respect
Respect is one of the strongest foundations of a marriage. Without it, a marriage can easily fall apart. Disrespect can take the form of many things, including angry outbursts and an utter disregard for someone’s feelings.
5. Lack of emotional investment
A husband must be able to share his passion, joy, sadness, anger, desire, frustration, and love to his wife and vice versa. They should be invested in each other’s lives and share an emotional connection with each other. A lack of emotional investment basically means they no longer care about each other.
6. Loss of physical interest
Physical intimacy is only one facet in a marriage, and yet it plays an important role in keeping the passion between couples alive and kicking. Physical interest extends to affectionate gestures such as asking your spouse how his or her day went, what they would want for their birthday, etc, not just intimate caressing.
7. You both live separate lives
There is no such thing as being too independent within a marriage. Married couples are a team working toward a similar goal and building a shared life together. A failing marriage struggles to mesh either party’s social circles, recreational hobbies and leisure activities, which then results in disconnect.
8. Your partner is abusive
You might not have realised, but certain behaviours shouldn’t be tolerated. Anything that belittles you or actions that are intended to manipulate another person can be abuse. It might not be obvious, but speak to trusted friends or family and get some feedback if something didn’t seem right to you from the last conversation or argument you and your spouse had. It might be physical or emotional abuse that you weren’t aware of.
9. You’re always stressed
It might have been some time since you remembered the first time you laid eyes on each other. If you feel stressed instead of joy at the thought of being around your partner, chances are that your marriage won’t last very long. Setting expectations will go a long way towards correcting the relationship back to a healthy level again.
10. Your partner is over-controlling
Remember, a marriage is a partnership in which you both entered voluntarily. If one spouse wants to have everything his/her way, the other party will lose confidence and self-respect. The long-term effects could be devastating and might persist even after the marriage dissolves. As the person who didn’t get a say in anything, it can be an uphill battle to regain that confidence in yourself.
5 tips to try before giving up on your marriage
It’s not all doom and gloom. Spotting these signs is the first step. The next step is to try and restore the relationship through positive actions and words. The key to this is good communication and ensuring both parties are listening to each other.
1. Resolve conflicts when they pop up
No one said marriage will be free of conflict. But don’t let arguments build up into resentment. You’ll be less likely to open up about certain topics in the future and become more defensive, maybe even overreacting to seemingly innocent comments.
2. Talk about things that upset you constructively
It’s easy to criticise your spouse since you spend a lot of time around them and will likely realise they do certain things that drive you up the wall. Instead of nagging at things that make you unhappy, talk about specific issues in a constructive manner. Use “I statements” as a structured way to discuss something. For example, “I’m not happy because you didn’t ask for my opinion before buying that car. We agreed to talk about financial matters before making a big purchase.”
3. Maintain physical intimacy
Even if things are rocky, physical intimacy is a key part of a relationship. It’s likely a very big reason why you got together with your partner in the first place! Plus, sex has been shown to calm frayed nerves and lower stress.
4. Look for the best in your partner
Although you see all of his/her quirks, you also have the opportunity to see your partner at his/her best. Continue to remind yourself of his/her best qualities to help you fall deeper in love with your partner. If you keep telling your other half you love them, then it’ll reinforce the reason why you entered into marriage with them in the beginning.
5. See a couples counsellor or therapist
If you cannot seem to listen to each other and nothing you do works, it can help to see a specialist who works with couples. An impartial set of eyes and ears can really help you understand each other better and get to the root cause of why you can’t or don’t want to communicate with each other like you used to.
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