We’d love to think that marriage always means happily ever after; sadly, that’s often not the case. We can try our best not to end up another (divorce) statistic and overcome our marriage problems. How exactly? The answer is really quite simple.
By watching out for major warning signs and mending them before they go beyond repair, there’s a fighting chance at not only surviving your marriage, but actually being happy with your partner. In order to discover the biggest signs of marital doom, we asked six experts and got some pretty frightening responses.
1. You fight over finances
No matter what attraction there may be between people, if the money issues are not in balance, there will be marriage problems. All relationship issues, somehow, some way, will come down to money.
“I learned this in my 20 years as a relationship counselor. We are chained to each other, mad at each other, fearful, and troubled by money matters,” says relationship expert Audrey Hope. One must truly look at how ideas about money impact the relationship. Get real about money matters.
2. You don’t communicate properly.
You aren’t fighting, but you aren’t communicating. If you’ve been fighting or dread fighting, moving into a phase where meaningful dialogue becomes rare can feel like a relief.
The problem is, “it could be a sign that you’ve both given up on being understood,” says psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina. When this happens, divorce is often the next step if you don’t seek counseling and figure out how to talk to each other without fighting.
3. You show contempt toward one another.
There are couples that simply devolve into nastiness without realizing it. “Whether it is through a negative tone, nagging or verbal put downs, subjugating your partner is never healthy,” says Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a marriage therapist.
It can become a problem if you can’t put yourself in your partner’s shoes, emotionally. Learn to be a good friend to your partner — listen to them and be present, open and honest emotionally.
4. You’ve grown apart.
Yes, couples can grow apart, given that people are always evolving. Unfortunately, spouses may not always change together or in the same way.
“Sometimes, spouses want different things out of life, or change perspectives, which can influence changes in behavior. This too can end a marriage, when spouses are no longer like-minded,” says life coach Dawn C. Reid.
5. One or both partners lie or are living a double life.
“Especially with the technology we have at our fingertips, it can be easy to hide a conversation or online profile from your significant other,” says Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, clinical therapist. In your marriage, it’s crucial that you keep lines of communication open and honest. Once they find your hidden profile or realize you’re being untrue (in any regard), nothing you say or do will be entirely trustworthy — not from your significant other’s point of view, at least.
The internet presents us with an opportunity to create fraudulent personas, making it easier to interact and communicate on dating sites such as, Ashley Madison. And because of the anonymity that the internet provides (to an extent), it can be difficult to know what your spouse is really doing if you don’t keep the lines of communication open.
This is applies outside of technology as well, whether you lost your job and haven’t told your spouse or took money from the joint accounts to hit the slot machines — these are each catalysts for infidelity and mistrust.
6. Your relationship lacks intimacy.
The key to a healthy marriage is touching: holding hands, hugging, resting your hand on your partner’s thigh. “Doing those things and wanting to do those things, is what creates and maintains intimacy. Nothing will end a marriage quicker than a lack of physical connection,” says Jenny Block, author of O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.
The physical is a metaphor for the emotional and the romantic. Once the touch is gone, the “magic” will follow soon.