No one ever said marriage was easy. When times get tough, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should call it quits. Although, sometimes it does. One of the worst things you can do is ignore the early warning signs of divorce in your relationship. Coming to terms with your marital problems can help you determine if your relationship is worth fighting for, or if it is the end. So, how do you know if your marriage is on the rocks? Check out five early warning signs of divorce.
1. There’s Minimal Communication
Whether it’s communication over more substantial issues like finances, or smaller day-to-day issues like frustrations about cleaning the house, poor communication can be a sign of an unhappy and unhealthy relationship. You and your spouse need to be communicating your feelings, frustrations, and doubts with each other, or else your marriage might run straight into the ground.
Without proper communication, you don’t know what the other one is thinking, which can lead to assumptions that aren’t always accurate. If you don’t feel like speaking to your wife about what’s going on in your life, or you’d rather let yourself get angry than settle issues with her, the lack of communication can be detrimental to your relationship.
The issue doesn’t just stem from a lack of communication when there are problems. If you find you don’t have the urge to share your successes or joys with your spouse, or don’t feel the need to congratulate her on her achievements, that’s a red flag too.
2. Lack of Intimacy
If you and your wife haven’t been intimate for a while, ask yourself why. Is one (or both) of you always too busy, or too exhausted? Has the flame burnt out? If you feel like you don’t want to be intimate or affectionate with your wife because you’ve fallen out of love with her, or aren’t attracted to her anymore, that’s a cause for concern. Science shows that intimacy strengthens relationships. You don’t have to be intimate all the time, but if you rarely feel the need to be intimate with your spouse, this can be one of the strongest warning signs of divorce.
This doesn’t just mean inside the bedroom. Look at your affection outside the bedroom too. Are you and your spouse touchy? When you touch her, does she shy away, or do you shy away when she gets close to you? If your first reaction is to flinch when your wife touches you, or if you have no urge to reciprocate the touch, this could be a sign of serious trouble.
3. Your Interactions Have Become Increasingly Negative
During the honeymoon phase of your marriage, spousal interactions are almost always positive. But as life goes on and reality starts setting in, things don’t always go as planned. Ask yourself, how do you and your wife treat each other when life gets tough? Are you there for each other, or do you use each other as verbal punching bags for your frustrations? Do you solve problems together, or do you blame one another for the bad things happening in your life?
Disagreements are typical in any relationship, but if you’re noticing more negative interactions than positive ones, it could be a signal your relationship is going downhill. If you spend most of your time arguing, criticizing one another or putting each other down, it’s not a healthy marriage. You and your wife should be supportive and caring towards one another. If your interactions have become insensible or even abusive, it’s time to reassess your marriage and ask if divorce is right for you.
4. You Find Ways to Avoid Your Wife
Would you rather spend more time away from your wife than in her presence? If you know she’s going to your daughter’s soccer match, do you work late, so you don’t have to see her at the game? If she tries to plan a date night for you two, do you make excuses to get out of it every time? Are you feeling the urge to spend more time with your friends and family, away from her?
If you’re trying to avoid your wife, this is a telltale warning sign of divorce. Everyone needs a break from their spouse from time to time, but if you notice yourself consciously making plans to stay away from her, especially if you don’t spend much time with her in the first place, then it’s time to figure out why. Did she do something to upset you, or have your feelings changed so much that you feel annoyed or anxious when you’re around her? Getting to the root of why you’re avoiding her is the first step to figuring out whether or not to call it quits.
5. You Notice Problems, But There’s No Motivation to Make Them Better
It’s one thing to realize there are problems in your marriage and do your best to fix them. It’s another to notice the problems are there and not care. If there’s no motivation to fix them or make them better, this is a major red flag. It could mean you don’t care about your relationship or partner anymore because if you did, there would be some urgency to mend whatever’s broken.
A lack of motivation often means a lack of interest. If you’re not interested in what your spouse is up to, her needs, or what makes her happy, what does this say about your relationship? If you don’t feel the need to make things better in your marriage when things go awry, it could mean you’re over it.
How to Deal with the Early Warning Signs of Divorce
You don’t go from happily married to divorced with no warning signs in sight.
If you feel like there’s something seriously off in your marriage, don’t ignore it. One of the worst things you can do is let it fester inside you to the point where you become angry and frustrated. Get your marital disagreements and problems out into the open if you feel like something’s off. It’s not healthy to want to avoid your wife, or not communicate or want to be intimate with her. If you’re encountering one or all of these feelings, it could be an early warning sign of divorce, and you need to get to the root of the problem.
Every marriage is different, and in some cases, if you deal with it appropriately, you’ll be able to improve your relationship and get back on track. In others, it’s time to figure out whether you’d be happier without your spouse. It’s not an easy awareness to come to, but before anything else, you need to accept and deal with the fact you’re feeling certain ways.
Some feelings, thoughts, and actions are easier to accept and overcome than others. If there’s a lack of communication or constant arguments between you and your wife, you need to get to figure out if it’s something you can overcome. If you’re feeling a lack of interest, love or motivation to get things back on track, it could mean the fire has burnt out for good.
Have you noticed any of these early warning signs of divorce in your relationship? What are your suggestions for responding to these warning signs?
- While no couple walks down the aisle intending to one day sign divorce papers, it is common for marriages to end in divorce. Maybe you went into it with unrealistic expectations, rushed into marriage without really getting to know your spouse, or experienced a catastrophic life event that changed you…