Do you ever feel like your spouse has become more of a roommate than a lover? It's important to be best friends, but it's even more important for the two of you to share a deep emotional connection. Without this bond, your marriage heads to a dark and distant place.
All marriages are filled with ups and downs, but not all marriages are filled with the strength, love and respect needed to face life's challenges.
If you feel as if your marriage is on the brink of collapse, recognize these signs of a troubled marriage to help you make changes to avoid heartache later down the road.
1. You have the same arguments all the time
If you find the same trivial fight popping into your communication day after day, your marriage may be in serious trouble.
Every couple faces disputes and challenges, but if you cannot work together to agree to disagree or to find a compromise and a solution, you will struggle to keep your relationship strong.
2. You have nothing nice to say to one another
Famous marriage counselor John Gottman describes contempt in a marriage as the number one predictor of divorce. Speaking with contention hurts feelings and is deliberately mean.
Disrespect, mocking, teasing, sarcasm, hostile remarks, sly comments and negative body language poison relationships.
3. You both won't take responsibility in an argument
If neither of you are willing to take responsibility for your mistakes or to openly acknowledge your faults, your marriage is on the rocks.
Taking responsibility in an argument shows willingness to do what needs to be done to save the marriage.
4. You view intimacy differently
If the lines of communication regarding intimacy are closed, be concerned about your marriage.
Cutting off communication with your spouse about intimacy eventually leads to a sexless marriage. Let your spouse know your needs.
5. You are constantly suspicious of each other
A marriage not built and secured on a stable foundation of trust will not last.
Trust involves knowing the other person has your best interest at heart and will never hurt or deceive you. Without this security your marriage will struggle.
6. You no longer go on dates
How much one-on-one quality time have you spent with your spouse today? Five minutes, one hour, maybe half an hour, no time at all?
If you find you no longer have the time to be with each other without distraction, you need to work at making each other a priority.
7. You are happier being apart from one another
A healthy marriage is one where two people love spending time together. If you find yourself feeling happier when you're away from you spouse than when you're together, there may be serious underlying issues shaking your relationship.
Spending time together develops emotional and physical connections that are vital in marriage.
8. You or both of you lie about finances and hide money
A relationship without trust and transparency is like a car without gas. You can sit in it, but it will not go anywhere no matter how hard you try.
If your spouse lies, gambles or hides money from you, do not be afraid to confront the issue. You need to know your spouse will have your back and be honest with you.
9. You cannot create compromises
Your inability to compromise and find solutions results in unnecessary escalation. Over time the fights grow with intensity and become more hurtful.
If you notice an inability to create middle ground with your spouse, keep talking respectfully with each other until you can find a solution you both feel good about.
10. You don't allow each other to spend time with friends and family
If your spouse does not allow you to connect and enjoy the company of friends and family, this as a sign your marriage is in trouble. Being possessive has no place in a healthy marriage. Get help.
11. You or your spouse have considered being unfaithful
It's not okay for you or your spouse to let your eyes and thoughts wander. Don't even consider being unfaithful. You should seek excitement only within your marriage and never from an external person/source.
12. You or your spouse flirt with another person online
If either of you flirt with someone online, your marriage is not stable. Even if you never actually meet up with the online "friend," any time and thoughts devoted to someone other than your spouse can create an emotional affair.
13. You only talk about superficial topics
It is a bad sign if all your communication with your spouse is extremely superficial. A healthy marriage does more than only scratch at the surface of real thoughts and feelings.
Talking is an effective way to feel emotionally connected to your spouse. Discuss common goals, dreams, feelings and concerns to sustain a lasting marriage.
14. You never feel good enough for your spouse
Constant criticism is a red flag signifying a troubled marriage. It's important to know your spouse has confidence in you and will always support you.
Do not allow yourself to feel belittled or patronized by your spouse. If you feel like you are never enough for your husband or wife, talk to them and get to the bottom of the problem.
15. You shame each other
Disgust and shame have no place in a marriage. Accusations against the intentions and character of your spouse are detrimental and harmful.
If you want to sustain a strong and lasting marriage, don't shame your spouse
16. You feel lonely even with your spouse near
It doesn't matter if your spouse is in Antarctica or sitting right next to you, you feel lonely. This lack of connection is a sign your marriage is in serious trouble. Work to cultivate a marriage of connection and friendship.