Dying Love! 15 Symptoms of a Marriage on its Death Bed!
People going through a divorce experience a range of emotions very similar to mourning the death of a loved one. So, it’s definitely not a decision to be taken lightly but how do you know if it’s time to consider divorce? Knowing whether your marriage has gone from better to worse, can be difficult to recognize.
Unhappy marriages are much more common than you realize. In most cases a dying love suffers from communication issues that one partner recognizes and the other refuses to acknowledge.
There are many reasons this might happen. It could be one person’s life goals have evolved and no longer line up with their partners or they feel their concerns aren’t taken seriously. In other cases, both partners find themselves trapped in unhealthy patterns (constant arguments, for example) and detach because they’re exhausted from it all.
Luckily, finding yourself in an unhappy marriage doesn’t mean it has to end in divorce. If both people are willing to talk it out, and work on the relationship, there is always hope. It’s even possible to come out the other side a stronger, happier couple than you started out.
“Sometimes marriages go through a tough time—and that’s fine, everyone does, but are you trying to address it, and, even if you’re not successful in the beginning, are both people showing up for that conversation?”Tracy Ross, LCSW, a couples and family therapist in New York.
The mutual desire to fix the marriage is key, and sometimes, it takes an expert to uncover the cracks. Whatever the outcome, by pinpointing the issues in your marriage, you’ll have an opportunity to find happiness with your spouse, with someone new, or on your own.
The tricky part is figuring out whether you’re simply going through a marital rough patch, or if you’re actually in an unhappy marriage. Luckily, the experts have given us a few signs to be on the lookout for and I present them to you here with the 15 symptoms of a marriage on it’s death bed.
1. You’re not having sex.
This is a major red flag. Everyone’s libidos are different, but if you and your partner go from having sex multiple times a week to every month or less there’s a good chance one of you is feeling rejected and unwanted.
“What makes marriage romantic is the combination of physical and emotional intimacy that’s reserved for just the two of you,”Marni Feuerman – PsyD, a marriage therapist in Boca Raton.
Affection like this is rarely duplicated in other relationships, making it especially unique, she adds. So, when your desire for your partner or their desire for you starts to peter out, it can be terribly painful and lead to resentment that drives you apart.
2. You fantasize about divorce
Imagining you’re single or married to someone else isn’t always something to worry about. However, if you’re in the habit of fantasizing about a life without your partner or comparing your life to an imaginary one in which you’re married to someone else it’s a sign that you’re no longer feeling the qualities that once attracted you to your spouse. If you’re okay with the idea of a life without your spouse, you probably don’t actually want a life with them.
3. You Minimize each other’s problems & concerns
Oftentimes, says Feuerman, unhappy marriages are rooted in imbalances where one person thinks they’re superior to their partner and dismisses their spouse’s feelings. This one’s a big no-no because it defeats the whole equal partnership thing—a pretty big deal in marriage.
If you find yourself constantly vying for the upper hand in discussions with your spouse, you might want to sit down with a therapist one-on-one and figure out why you don’t see value in what your partner has to say (or vice versa) and how this might impact your marriage.
4. You Feel alone with them right beside you
When you’re watching tv or just chilling on the couch with your partner, if you feel like they aren’t engaging in-the-moment with you, and instead, seem more interested in their phone, it could be a sign you two aren’t on solid ground anymore.
5. The laughter is gone, along with the fun
It might sound simple, but a disconnect in a relationship can be linked to humor, says Feuerman. With all the run-of-the-mill disagreements and compromises that come with marriage, it’s important for couples to find the lightness when things get heavy because “laughter is a great healer,” she says. If you and your partner can no longer joke and laugh things off, it means the two of you are in a negative rut that you might need help getting out of.
6. You no longer confide in them
Relationships of every kind need transparency to last. Feuerman’s not saying you can never keep certain things private, but sharing deets about the career-changing project you’ve just been assigned at work or the news about your sister’s pregnancy with your spouse is kind of a given. So, if you find yourself offering more detail about your life to your neighbors than your beau, you might have some trust issues to work out.
7. You are left feeling Neglected
If you’re lonely and hurt, lean into that feeling, Feuerman advises. By digging deeper, you’ll be able to identify what’s making you feel abandoned by your partner, whether it’s their endless stories about how great their new gym buddy is. or that they routinely dedicate all their time and attention to your kids, leaving you in the dust.
Once you pinpoint the source of these feelings, you’ll be able to tell your partner what you need from them and explain why their actions make you feel especially vulnerable. You’ll know you need to reach out for third-party help if your partner doesn’t see a problem with your loneliness, or if they outright tell you they’re distancing themselves from the marriage on purpose.
8. Everything they do gets on your nerves
Does the sound of your partner’s chewing make the hairs on your body stand on end? Are you wondering about whether they’ve always spoken into the phone so loudly? Or if they’ve always taken those ridiculously long showers?
When the little things start feeling like big things, there’s a chance the way you see your spouse is starting to change, says Feuerman. In these cases, she explains, “there’s always something deeper and more individualized going on.” Meaning: This is a you problem.
Once you’ve reached this point it may be wise to seek professional help if you want to save the marriage. A therapist can get to the bottom of why every move they make suddenly gets under your skin.
9. One of you Cheated
Even if you and your partner thought you’d moved on after one of you had an affair, you might still be harboring feelings of resentment that you’ve shoved deep down. Pain from unhealed wounds can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including guilting your partner for something you said you’d forgiven them for and struggling to trust them.
You don’t need to forget the infidelity ever happened, says Feuerman, but if you and your spouse can’t seem to move past it after giving it your best shot, you might have to just admit you’re unhappy and discuss getting outside help, taking time apart, or separating altogether.
10. They’re keeping secrets
Maybe you aren’t working through issues of infidelity, but you suspect your partner has a relationship on the side because they’ve stopped offering details about their day or their stories about where they’ve been aren’t adding up.
11. You’ve Realized Monogamy isn’t for you
Though you might have thought it was at first, monogamy isn’t for everyone, and it might not be for you. It’s common in unhappy marriages for one person to feel like they’re missing out on life because they’re “tied down” to someone or feel like they were rushed and pressured into marriage before they were ready.
Feuerman often works with clients who get married because they didn’t want to be alone and others who do it because they felt like they had to by a certain age and later realize marriage doesn’t actually align with their values.
12. You’re Becoming Attracted to Other People
When you get married, you don’t suddenly have to stop finding other people attractive. But if you’ve had recurring thoughts about emotionally cheating on your spouse, are flirting with other people regularly, or spending time with someone in a way that would bring on a heap of guilt if your partner found out, you’re pulling away from your marriage, says Feuerman. Chances are there’s something missing from your marriage that you’re searching for in other relationships.
13. You or your spouse are always on the defensive
Talking to someone who’s in denial feels like banging your head against a wall. A spouse who refuses to understand your worries or apologize for how they’ve made you feel is especially frustrating. Their denial is a major roadblock to repairing your relationship.
A successful marriage calls for compromise, shutting up to listen, and making a sincere effort to see things from your partner’s point of view. All in all, marriages require empathy. If your spouse doesn’t feel for you when you’re hurting and refuses to get help to improve your relationship when you express how that affects you, it might be time to move on.
14. Refuses to recognize there is a problem
There’s no fixing a marriage if both people aren’t willing to face their issues head-on,” Feuerman says. So, if your spouse doesn’t see anything that needs repair in your marriage, there’s a slim chance you’ll be able to get back on track considering only one of you thinks you’ve derailed.
15. Feel like you’re being watched like a hawk with a microscope
There’s no avoiding a little feedback from your spouse every now and again, but if nonstop criticism about how you organize the pantry leaves you feeling like you can’t do anything right, there’s a good chance your marriage is lacking some very crucial TLC. “Marriage, partnerships, relationships are about being accepted for who you are” so, when that stops happening you’ve got trouble, says Feuerman.
Wrapping up Dying Love! 15 Symptoms of a Marriage on its Death Bed!
There you have it, 15 signs your marriage could be dying. Of course, these aren’t the only things to cause a marriage to become unhappy but if your marriage shows more than a few of the problems listed here it’s time to get some help if you want to save it.
Can your marriage be saved?
The short answer is yes. Your marriage can be saved but both partners must recognize the problems and be willing to do the hard work that’s involved in repairing a marriage on the brink of divorce.
As I stated in the beginning it is possible to come out the other side of this low point in your marriage happier than you’ve ever been. But only if both of you are fully committed to repairing the damage that’s been done.
As hard as it may be to admit to ourselves, it’s never one partner who causes the problems and it won’t be one partner who repairs them. We all know a marriage takes teamwork and repairing an unhappy marriage is no different.