No marriage is perfect, and of course we can’t expect them to be. The dynamics of a relationship can change over time. The bond you share can go through ups and downs over the years, and this is perfectly normal and healthy.
If the marriage seems to be stuck in one of those “downs,” however, the problem might be more serious than the natural ebb and flow common in many long-term relationships. To help you understand the warning signals, we’ve put together a list of 5 problems that put the entire stability of your marriage at risk.
Now, please remember that if you are experiencing one of these problems, your marriage is NOT dead. There’s a big difference between “dying” and “dead” here – if you’re experiencing one of these marital problems, it’s not too late. Reach out for help to save your marriage’s life!
1. Lack of Sex
Sex is extremely important to your marriage. While the frequency (and all the other details) will surely vary from couple to couple, the connection you build with your spouse through sexual activity is undeniable. Not only are our brains and bodies designed to feel extreme closeness through sex, the level of intimacy that surrounds the whole process is important time spent together at your most exposed and vulnerable.
If sex is absent from your marriage, the connection you share (or want to share) is suffering.
There’s a big, big difference between a disagreement about a particular topic and “squabbling.” If you find that you and your spouse are bickering about next to nothing, take this as a warning flag. Squabbling is what happens when elements of frustration and difficulties in the marriage go unaddressed, and instead you both just remain slightly angry around the clock, picking away at each other every chance you get. Clearly, this is unhealthy behavior.
3. Ignoring Problems
This is directly related to the item above. Ignoring problems (whether it’s something serious like substance abuse, or something minor like whose turn it is for dishes) will only cause them to get worse. When problems go unaddressed, most people find other ways to take out their frustrations (hence the squabbling), and the longer they go ignored, the worse the problems (and the misplaced reactions) get.
Marriages need to be built on trust and honesty, and that means being able to communicate about problems in a way that leads to real solutions, and not being afraid to work toward those solutions together.
4. Living Separate Lives
So much of marriage is about togetherness, from casual time spent together to having your spouse as a confidant, support system, and ally. If you and your spouse are living separate lives, spending your time in different parts of the house, keeping your opinions, passions, or fears to yourself, your marriage really only exists on the surface. Without actually sharing your lives with one another, nearly all of the benefits of a happy marriage our out of reach!
Dishonesty hurts, especially when it’s from someone you care about. In a marriage, dishonesty will not only chip away at the trust you have for each other, but will even start to lead toward unfounded suspicion.
Lying about the small stuff only makes it all the more possible to lie about something much more important, and if you can’t trust each other to tell the truth, how can you trust each other with anything else? Dishonesty is like a spreading infection for marriages – it grows and spreads from one area of the relationship to the next, leaving damage wherever it goes. You have to be honest with one another for the marriage to thrive.
Remember, these are the signs of a dying marriage, NOT the signs of a dead marriage. You have the power to save its life! If the items on this list sound a little too close to home, then you know where to start working!
Don’t let your marriage slip through your fingers!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com