6 Warning Signs Of A Failing Marriage (Plus Mistakes To Avoid)

signs of a failing marriage

If you feel like your marriage has been in a rough spot lately, then you may been wondering about the signs you should get a divorce. Which is exactly why we compiled the 6 most obvious signs that your marriage is falling apart in this post.  By understanding these signs, you can be proactive and stop divorce dead in its track.

Please remember: Just because your marriage displays some of these signs does not mean it is destined for divorce. These are only meant to be the most universal warning signs of a failing marriage that may ultimately be headed for divorce.

To be honest, several years ago my wife and I were very familiar with the signs of a failing marriage.  Our marriage was extremely toxic and displayed a handful of these signs that you will discover in this post. These signs left us feeling helpless in our relationship and even leaning towards getting a divorce.

We hope that you can learn, understand, and be able to pin point these signs more quickly so you can stop divorce before it is too late. The earlier that you identify these signs, the sooner you can get to work on repairing your failing marriage.

Related: How To Fix A Failing Marriage

6 Signs Of A Failing Marriage

Constantly critiquing

The kind of critiquing I’m talking about here is when your spouse starts to attack your character and personality. These attacks are critical and intended to hurt you and attack who you are as an individual. It is important to gauge how often this is occurring in your relationship along with the intensity of it.

Criticism creates distrust in your marriage and speaking negatively all the time could be a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship in addition to a looming divorce.

signs of a unhappy marriage

Holding your spouse in contempt

This kind of communication is where your spouse tries to make fun or belittle you with the sole intent of making you feel worthless, inadequate, and inferior.  This type of superiority complex can be shown through name calling, mockery, and body language such as eye rolling.

Contempt is disrespectful and breeds distrust which will indefinitely weaken the relationship. If you’re constantly reminded that they don’t respect you, this could be a huge indication that your marriage may eventually be headed towards a divorce.

Shutting down and throwing in the towel

A major red flag, this happens when your spouse refuses to talk or engage. When conflict arises, or a disagreement occurs, they’re essentially silent and show no interest in resolving it. This type of behavior is basically a sign of not caring about the marriage.

If your communication in a marriage starts to lose strength or momentum, then your marriage is in trouble.

Keep in mind, if you don’t communicate you will never resolve anything.

signs your marriage is falling apart

Always being defensive

In this scenario, you may be in a relationship with someone who always wants to deflect blame and refuse to take ownership for an issue. Instead, your made to feel like everything is your fault.

For instance, when you have an argument, your partner will likely create an excuse or reject any credit for the problems that they’ve caused and pass this blame somewhere else. Marriage is a two-way street, neither partner is perfect and exempt from blame in every instance.

You feel better when your spouse is not around.

Maybe after your spouse leaves you feel like you finally have “me” time. Perhaps you feel smothered when they’re around and now you finally get to have some privacy. Maybe you feel as if in this solitude you can truly be yourself and let your guard down. Perhaps If it was up to you, you wouldn’t share a bed with them – Or maybe you already don’t.

Needing alone time is totally normal, however, if you would prefer to be alone more times than being with your spouse, that’s where it begins to become a problem.

signs of a broken marriage

It has become clear to you that you no longer love them.

The spark is gone. Perhaps you have difficulty telling your spouse that you love them. The intimacy is gone, having sex feels like a chore. The desire to even spend time alone with them isn’t there for you.  You view your spouse as someone who you have to “deal with”. Perhaps if your spouse expresses a romantic or sexual interest in you, you feel uncomfortable?

If being intimate both emotionally and physically with your spouse has started to feel like work and make you uncomfortable then chances are you may not be in love with them anymore. Marriages that have been in a rut will often time  describe their relationship as “lacking the spark”. In this instance, there are several things you can do to reignite the spark back into your relationship.

 

So there you have it! These are the 6 tell-tale signs of a failing marriage. It is important to remember that even if your marriage is categorized by these signs, it does necessarily mean you and your spouse are headed towards a divorce. If you and spouse decide that your marriage is worth saving, then together you can work to repair it before it is too late.

Just because your marriage is displaying one or multiple signs doesn’t mean you can’t undo the damage. If you and your spouse are truly prepared to put forth the time and effort to save your marriage, then you can accomplish it. Read on to learn what you should not do during such a fragile time in your relationship.

Mistakes To Avoid When Your Marriage Is Failing Or In A Crisis

The idea of your marriage failing may cause you to become emotional and lead to quick or irrational decision making. It is so easy for our emotions to get the best of us during a time like this but it is important to remain level-headed to avoid being rash while also thinking through the consequences. Below is a list of things that you should not do when it feels like your marriage is failing.

Panic

It so common to be clenched with terror after realizing that your significant other is no longer interested in being in the relationship. This kind of feeling and reaction is completely reasonable, albeit very destructive. Here’s why: when our bodies feel an intense emotion such as panic, they naturally react in one of two innate ways, fight or flight, neither of which are ideal in this scenario. The urge to fight will simply amplify the negative feelings we feel about the situation and will only lead to more arguments, fussing, and further aggravation.

On the contrary, the flight response could lead to hasty and rash decision making as well as avoidant behaviors like excessive drinking and moving out. Although these types of automatic reactions to threat will help us in some circumstances, it is not recommended to immediately enter these modes, unless you are at risk by being around your partner. Instead, try to let reason be your guide. If you find yourself already imagining the end of your marriage, please understand that this is an opportunity for you to move from a relationship that seems to be headed over a cliff to one that is more secure and treasured.

Air Out Your Dirty Laundry

Once our feelings have been hurt, a natural response may be to “rally the troops” which can unfortunately be quite destructive for the following two reasons:

  1. Negative comments made by your family and friends will only change the perception towards your significant other. The individuals closest to you will naturally feel a need to protect you from this “terrible” individual and may use their bias to influence your feelings significantly on the situation.
  2. If you do decide to reconcile and the word is out, all the baggage you aired prior will act like a tidal wave that carries you away from mending your relationship. Further, if reconciliation does occur, there may be a great amount of collateral damage to be repaired. This damage occurs as a direct result of our friends and family being slower to forgive those who hurt us.

The best solution: the more private you keep your crisis, the better. Find one minister, therapist, or friend who you trust to keep what you share confidential.

Become Someone You’re Not

Nearly a decade ago, I was crying to my spouse saying that I would do anything to keep her. Since time has passed, I learned there are two major problems with this approach.

  1. It makes you appear weak, lacking resolution, and pitiful. This approach will only cause you to lose respect from your partner since you cannot suddenly transform yourself. It also sends the message that you don’t think very highly of yourself to be willing to change so hastily.
  2. Tying back in with the first point, trying to change who you are means being someone you are not. This will only cause you to be dishonest and lose your unique identity as an individual. Despite how your relationship ends up, it is important that when you look at yourself in the mirror that YOU like the person you see.

Play The Blame Game

When facing an emotional situation, our natural response is to attack someone verbally and point out everything that is wrong about them, in the hopes of persuading them to change. However, this often has negative repercussions and will can completely backfire! People generally make decisions based on what makes sense to them via their perceptions. It is extremely difficult to shift them from that mindset. To tell the truth, the more you disagree and argue, the more concrete their conflicting perceptions and beliefs are likely to become.

These moments are not a good time to single out your partners short-comings, faults, failures, etc. Instead, use this situation to express that ending the relationship is NOT what you want. Communicate that you want to work together to build up a relationship that you both will treasure.

Important: Not every discussion has to solve something. Instead, view this as building a foundation that bridges a gap towards future resolution. Furthermore, do not believe others who claim to use manipulation as a tactic to change your significant other’s mind. This hardly ends up working well since your partner will catch on to what you’re trying to do. No manipulating, begging, shaming, intimidation, etc.

Jump The Gun

Running to an attorney for the sole purpose of beginning divorce or separation proceedings can disjoint your marriage since these type of legal proceedings, by their nature, place parties against each other. This is not to be confused with seeking out advice from an attorney regarding what you need to do to protect yourself – this is encouraged.

Attorneys are great at protecting their client’s interest. As a result, they are very likely to create a large amount of hostility since this type of proceeding only pushes you two apart. Initiating this process may cause you to feel better since you “have the upper hand”, however, this only jumps the gun. Instead, it is important to remain calm as noted in tip #1.

 

So, there you have it! These are our top 5 mistakes to avoid during a marriage crisis. We hope that you found these helpful and wish you the very best in your relationship.

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