Growing up we have all received warnings. Our parents taught us to look both ways before we crossed the street, stay away from strangers and to wear sunscreen on a sunny day. They set out guidelines and rules to protect us from danger out of love and concern.
Our parents warned us of childhood dangers, but no one really talks about the warning signs of a failing marriage. No one wants to admit there are warning signs of a marriage heading down a toxic and gloomy road. Why? Taboo maybe. All marriages are supposed to be happy and satisfying all the time, right? At least that is what the movies and media try to sell.
Hear the warning signs today and save yourself the harm and danger of a failing marriage by recognizing these seven warning signs:
1. Inconsistent signals
Is your relationship hot and then cold? Inconsistency in affection, communication and reliability is a sign your marriage is in trouble. Strong marriages are built upon consistent acts of love and respect. A stable display of love each and every day will allow your spouse to see where your priorities lie.
2. Lack of casual affection
Casual affection is a vital ingredient in a long-lasting marriage. The lack of subtle displays of affection and consideration are a warning sign of a troubled marriage.
A subtle kiss on the forehead, holding hands in the car, a hug in the morning and at night can go a long way in healing your relationship. Do not ignore or withhold affection from the one you love most. Your lack of initiation or effort is destroying your intimate relationship.
Beware of criticism in your marriage; watch the way you talk with your spouse and avoid the urge to deliberately belittle them. Do not allow small degrading comments to poison your relationship.
"Because criticism is so often a deep and personal offense, the natural response is to defend ourselves or to attack our spouse," said Dr. Kevin Downing, licensed marriage and family therapist. "It's common to see couples go into 'attack/defend mode' over and over again, shuffling through their criticisms like a deck of cards to the point of exhaustion and complete hopelessness."
Is your spouse your best friend? Happy marriages rely heavily on constant consideration, being involved in things that matter to your spouse, talking about your day and appreciating them for all the good things they have to offer. Without a desire to hang out, talk and experience life together, the backbone of a strong marriage has been damaged.
5. You are happier away from your spouse
Couples that lack the desire to experience the ups and downs of life together are in trouble. If you find yourself more excited to be away from your partner than with them, beware of the repercussions.
Relationships are sustained and strengthened by time and effort put in to making the marriage work. Time away will only lengthen the divide and misunderstanding between you and your spouse. If you want to bridge the gap, spend intimate time with one another.
6. No resolutions
Ever feel like you are fighting the same fight, and it is going nowhere? A troubled marriage is filled with a lack of understanding and a weak desire to make things work.
Sure, everyone is going to drop the ball every once in a while, as people forget what they're told and sometimes disregard your point of view altogether- it happens in life. But if you are truly invested in your relationship you will fight the urge to become irritable, argumentative and silent. You will fight to find resolutions that take both sides of the relationship into account.
7. Lack of effort
A lack of effort is a warning sign your marriage is on the rocks. Going into a marriage you expect the amount of work will be shared 50:50, but that is not always the case. There will be days you have to do 80:20 and others where it will be close to 10:90. Marriage is built on the flexibility of give and take. If your spouse is consistently offering little to no effort to making your marriage work, this is not a good sign.