Marriages aren’t easy. They require a lot of hard work, but they also demand attention—after all, if you don’t recognize the warning signs of a failing relationship, you won’t know how to repair it.
Here are some signs that your relationship may be in trouble:
1. Just talking to talk.
There’s a big difference between talking for the sake of talking and having a conversation with someone. Lots of couples can get by for a long time with speaking to one another but not really listening or actively engaging. When you find yourself waiting for your turn to speak without caring about what the other person is saying, that’s not a good sign.
Also, if all you and your partner discuss are what chores to do or who ran to the store last, you’re not really communicating. Leaving out day-to-day feelings and expectations shuts people off from one another. Partners need to be open and willing to share their thoughts, but they also need to actively listen to what the other person is saying.
2. There has to be mutual respect.
It may sound obvious, but for a marriage to last, both parties must have a mutual respect for each other. You’re not able to grow as a couple, or even as an individual if the person closest to you doesn’t appreciate you. Little tiffs that started when a couple is dating can get blown out of proportion later on, especially if they’re never openly discussed.
Razzing each other about not doing the dishes or taking out the trash can gradually turn into full blown anger. If you don’t respect your partner because you don’t think they pull their weight in the relationship, you aren’t going to be happy.
3. You fight in circles.
An outcome of not properly communicating with your partner is that you will end up fighting about the same things over and over again. These fights can cause astronomical damage to a relationship if someone uses these arguments to fight dirty, call their partner names, or place blame on the other.
These fights go on unresolved for so long because the couple isn’t interested in fixing their problems. It’s easier to become complacent than to hash out painful differences. Fights can be helpful if both parties are open, honest, and fair.
4. You stop including your partner in your life.
Ideally, your spouse is someone you want to spend time with and have involved in your life. If that’s not the case, it’s a problem.
When you start to go out alone more or take on extra tasks at work as a diversion from your home life, your relationship will suffer. Filling your time with activities that don’t include your partner isn’t going to improve your relationship whatsoever. In fact, isolating yourself will only make things worse. You’ve got to make time for each other and recognize when you or the other person is pushing away. If that is happening, it’s probably a good time to talk about your feelings.