While no two marriages are the same, there are some common signs that could spell disaster for a couple. It might be easy to spot signs such as open hostility, adultery or abuse, but there are numerous signs that only the couple might recognize. Often, the signs begin innocuously and slowly grow to compromise the entire marriage.
Here are three signs that might mean your marriage is heading toward an unsavory conclusion:
- Meaningful communication is a challenge: For most, if not all, marriages quality communication is crucial. That isn’t to say there won’t be arguments, but the couple should be able to exchange suggestions without it turning into a heated, emotional debate. When all conversations contain a shade of contempt, criticism or mistrust, it might be a sign of things to come. Additionally, if one spouse repeatedly refuses to engage in conversation for a lengthy amount of time, they might have given up on trying to make it work.
- Online relationships are more important than real relationships: Even though the online conversation might never lead to an in-person or sexual encounter, when your spouse is focusing more attention on the online relationship, disaster is likely coming. While many consider the act of cheating a physical encounter, many others equate it to emotional withdrawal.
- An addiction becomes constant background noise: Historically, individuals linked substance abuse to illegal drugs. Now, people can become addicted to nearly anything. From video games and online gambling to alcohol and prescription medication, anything that becomes all-encompassing is an addiction. When the addiction matters more to the spouse than the marriage – often refusing treatment or therapy – the addiction will likely destroy the couple.
Divorce typically results from a complex combination of factors. Small arguments can grow into heated debates after years of criticism. Personalities, goals and motivations change over the course of a lifetime. It is not uncommon for the couple to simply grow apart. When these things happen, it is wise to recognize the signs and take steps to build a strong, stable, independent future.