When problems start to take over a marital relationship, sometimes they are not even that obvious. Or at least not a big deal as you thought it would be. However, there are subtle signs that may let you believe that things are not the way it used to be. Therefore, before you end up signing a divorce paper that could ruin your family in the future, please stop overlooking these marriage issues. “We can begin to see our spouses as an extension of ourselves—an extension that parks in the wrong spots, picks the wrong shirts on date night, and always leaves a mess for us to clean up,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, Malibu-based licensed marriage therapist.
The “Us” To “I”
Before you and your partner even start a union, you have this mentality of handling things together. You are in the “us” mindset because you want both of you to become part of each other’s decision making. There’s cooperation, both of you value suggestions, you work on your schedules, so everything seems perfectly fine. But over time, there are moments that each or both of you want the “I” portion of the relationship. So if the collective mindset automatically switched to that perception, that’s a sure sign that your marriage is experiencing trouble.
“When you are in denial about your part in the relationship, then you are no better than a child flinging sand at another child in a sandbox. When you take responsibility for your part in the marriage, only then will you be able to connect with your partner in a mature, intimate way.” — Carin Goldstein, LMFT
The “What If”
It’s not bad to reflect on the things in your life and imagine how everything would turn out if decisions weren’t made correctly. However, contemplating too much and constantly asking yourself what life would be without a husband or wife is a sign that one of you may be regretting the marriage. Happily married couples consider their spouses as someone that needs to be in their life forever. So if you or your partner feel the need to ask tons of “what ifs,” then presumably something is not quite right.
Marriage is a commitment of two individuals who promise to work things together. However, if the scores matter, then something is eating up the relationship. If you or your spouse is keeping tabs of who does what and who doesn’t, then it’s a sign that the relationship is falling apart. No healthy marriage questions his or her partner on how much effort he or she needs to invest in creating a happy ever after. If there’s a tally of who the better spouse is, then there’s a convincing truth that both of you shouldn’t be together. Marriage requires teamwork, so if it begins to create a rivalry, then stop doing it.
There is clear trouble in the relationship when either one of you starts to compare one with others. It becomes a big deal because you or your partner will find it hard to focus on the good qualities of one another. Both of you will be more likely to always complain about the other one’s incapability. Instead of encouragement and motivation, you begin to find faults at each other. You then start to wish your partner to be more like somebody else and vice versa. One or both of you want the other to change and become someone they are not.
Not The Go-To Person Anymore
A marriage that contains underlying issues becomes apparent when your spouse stops being your go-to person and vice versa. In a healthy relationship, it’s normal to first go to your partner whenever you are experiencing something. It could be a rant you want to vent out, daily stories you want to share, or decisions you want to make. There’s an emotional feeling of wanting to secure a better judgment from your partner that makes you listen and feel comfortable. However, if one or both of you start seeking other person’s attention, then there’s a problem. It’s perhaps you lack communication, and you ignore the importance of honesty, openness, and a good conversation. “When you assume that you know what your partner is thinking or what he wants, you aren’t communicating,” according to psychotherapist Jeffrey S. Kaye on his website.
Living Lives Separately
A sign that you and your partner are not happy in marriage anymore is when you start living lives separately. Though it’s typically normal for married couples to have personal time with their friends and family, the situation raises issues. That’s especially when there’s too much spent time with other people than with each other. If the individual lives take over the marriage, then the relationship is not in a healthy place anymore. There are times that you might have to fake it in front of others, but it’s considerably a red flag for that instance.
Yes, arguing with your spouse creates a healthy relationship. It makes both of you understand boundaries, likes and dislikes, adjustments, and acceptance. It makes the relationship grow because there’s a marital development. But if both of you consider avoiding it too often or just completely cutting it to zero percent, then there’s a huge underlying problem in the relationship. If there are no small arguments, resentments begin to buildup. And sometimes, before you know it, these avoided issues can pop up and eventually end everything.
Undoubtedly, you or your spouse experienced some of these unnoticeable issues in your marriage. Reflect on the reasons and take a step back so you can start to figure out why you feel that way. Evaluate the relationship and bring front solutions to the marriage.