Is your marriage in trouble? Is your relationship feeling unsettled by a growing sense of distance between you and your partner….or other problems? Do you feel increasingly insecure or uncomfortable in your relationship? Are you worried about the future of your marriage? Here are the 8 Signs your Relationship is in Trouble, and what to do about it.
Ups and downs in a marriage (or other intimate relationship) are common. But what are the signs your marriage is in serious trouble? Are you on the brink of a relationship breakup or divorce…?Or is your relationship simply ‘going through a phase’?
How trouble in relationships starts…distance, coldness and a loss of respectful communication.
Everyone who’s ever been romantically connected to another person for many years has experienced moments (or weeks, months or years) of closeness and happiness, followed by days, weeks, months or even years of a bit more distance or upsets.
- This is part of a human relationship and doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage is in trouble
- It doesn’t always indicate your relationship is on the verge of ending…fluctuations may simply be that – a fluctuation
But when there’s growing distance between partners, or a nagging concern something’s come between you and your loved one, it’s a difficult and uncomfortable time of life. And if you’re like most people, you’re not exactly sure what is causing the distance (or you might know the reasons, but aren’t quite sure what to do about resolving them). So today I’ll talk about the 8 signs of a marriage in trouble, and what to do about it before you give up or disrupt your family life by heading to the divorce court instead of repairing an otherwise-good-bond.
Unhappy in your relationship? Feeling distant, shut down or increasingly agitated with one another?
In this blog we discuss 8 signs your relationship (or marriage) is in trouble.
Do you feel distant from your partner? Are they shutting down…or shutting you out?
Is it glaringly obvious…or has the distance between you and your husband, wife or partner been a subtle development over time? Has a bit of marital turmoil or distance in your relationship grown into so many hours or days apart, that you hardly spend time with each other anymore? If you’re marriage or other intimate relationship is in trouble, it’s hard to know what to do.
It’s especially challenging if you’re partner isn’t opening up or willing to discuss the real reasons why they’ve been so distant lately, or open up about difficulties between the two of you in your relationship (or the three or four of you, if either one or both partners are cheating). Not all relationships involve cheating or infidelity, but it is one potential outcome from distance in a relationship (either leading to an affair or the distance in a relationship may have resulted in an affair…or it may simply be an emotional or physical distance factor). So how can you tell if your relationship’s in trouble?
8 Signs Your Relationship is in Trouble…and what to do about a marriage that’s grown distant or cold.
Before we discuss the 8 signs, it’s important to think about the context of relationship conflict. When it comes to distance in a marriage, it’s helpful to determine if it’s a healthy interdependence balance) or a serious sign your marriage is in trouble. That’s the first step in assessing what’s wrong in your marriage, and how to go about repairing and restoring the love you used to share.
If a breakup is looming large, you or your partner might be hesitant to bring up the growing distance between you…but the longer you wait, the less chance you’ll have of a reconciliation.
In matters of the heart, it can be really painful to face the reality of the distance between you and your partner, especially if the outcome is a potential break-up. Your spouse may be threatening to leave you or wants a divorce. In your heart, you’re dreading it. You’re scared. You’re still in love, but maybe your partner isn’t (or not with you). Or you just don’t want to disrupt the family, social structures and financial arrangements…or you really don’t want to go through the painful agony of divorce and separation from the family home and social networks.
So despite sensing distance, you might go into denial or procrastination mode. You put off what you should address as early as possible for the best potential outcome (restoration of harmony and relationship repair).
Neither denial nor procrastination will help save your marriage if you’re relationship’s in trouble.
Going into denial and blocking the situation is often our protective measure which can make things worse. Most times, facing up to the reality of where you are in your marriage or relationship – and doing something about it with a relationship couples master coach or marriage counsellor – can bring about enough awareness and change to avoid a break up and bring you closer together.
Feelings to pay attention to in your relationship or marriage
Here is a list of THE KEY things to notice if your feel you are on the brink of breaking up. There are differences between the signs of a male partner switching off or out and those of a female partner switching off or out so I have TWO parts here. Part one is speaking to females and looks at traditionally male partner signs and Part 2 is speaking to males and looks at traditionally female partner signs. This isn’t being sexist, nor stereotyping. It’s simply an acknowledgement that the majority (although certainly not all) male and female brain wiring, their communication styles, love languages and social structures and social behaviours are typically somewhat different. Not always, but often enough for me – as an relationship Master Coach – to have seen it enough to comment on it separately.
Part 1 – Signs for Women worried about their marriages
Sign 1: HE DOESN’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING TOGETHER ANY MORE
- The enjoyment of being together has disappeared.
- You want to go out and socialize together but he won’t come with you.
- If he does, he either wants to leave soon after arriving, or avoids being anywhere near you.
- He avoids any discussion about going to a movie or out to dinner.
Sign 2: HE IS HARDLY EVER AT HOME
- He has a life of his own—his sport, his mates, his work.
- You are not included in any of it. He is fully focused outside of your relationship.
- When you suggest you’ll accompany him to a work function or overseas trip, he says no one else’s partner is going.
- He seems to travel more than before or is so distracted by his job responsibilities you feel you’re coming second, if at all.
Sign 3: HE SLEEPS IN ANOTHER ROOM
- There is no passion left between you. No warmth or cuddles.
- He hardly ever even says “good night.”
- This has been going on for some time now. He is even using the kids’ bathroom.
Sign 4: HE DOESN’T EAT WITH YOU
- He either doesn’t want to eat what has been prepared or he waits to eat until after you have eaten or he takes his meal into another room.
- He doesn’t seem to be keen to be near you for very long.
Sign 5: YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE HE GOES
- He’s not open about his whereabouts.
- He just comes and goes from the house and never says where he is going or what he is doing.
- If you ask, he snaps and says: “Just out!”
Sign 6: HE ALWAYS SEEMS ANGRY WITH YOU OR SOMETHING IN THE HOME
- He talks down to you and blows up almost daily about trivial things.
- This can be to do with household organization, kids coming and going, money, or television programs.
- He yells at me then storms out. (Note these are signs of abusive behaviours).
Sign 7: HE DOESN’T TALK TO YOU ABOUT ANYTHING ANY MORE
- You have no conversation. The only things we talk about are everyday household things that need organizing or sorting.
- If you raise a topic, even about a news item, he shuts down and walks out of the room.
- He is detached from family activities and finds excuses not to come along.
Sign 8: YOU SUSPECT HE IS SEEING SOMEONE ELSE
- You might be imagining it, but you hear him on late night phone calls.
- You catch him checking his phone all the time for messages and he never has his phone out of his sight. Or suddenly he’s taking his phone into the toilet or everywhere he goes.
- He has bought himself some new clothes lately, changed the way he dresses or wears his hair; which is out of character for him.
- You think you can smell perfume in his car on the odd occasion you’re in it.
- However there is no unusual spending going on from our bank accounts.
- Maybe you’re being told you’re just being paranoid or he just wants you to pay attention and notice him more.
If you recognize any TWO of these 8 signs in your marriage, then it’s time to do something, to take action, to start repairing.
I hope you found this article useful and I look forward to guiding the repair of your relationship.
Dee Tozer, Couples Master Coach
International assistance through online sessions using Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom or in-person marriage counselling sessions in Australia (Melbourne based).
Page last updated on June 16, 2019.