Signs Your Marriage Is On The Rocks (And What To Do About It)
It’s that time of the year again when it seems like the world has gone love crazy. Valentine’s Day is upon us. Advertisers are going bonkers over the usual, cliched gifts you can get your partner. But for many marriages, behind the flowers and the perfume, things aren’t going well. For whatever reason there has been a breakdown in communication. Perhaps one partner has stopped relating entirely. It can be a slow, but devastating experience and it is difficult to know where to turn.
One sure sign that your marriage is floundering is when one partner feels that they can’t express how they feel. Perhaps they’re worried about the reaction of the other partner. Or perhaps they feel ashamed. The problem is that this inability to communicate can engender hostile feelings on both sides. Never knowing what the other person is thinking or feeling can generate frustration. We want to relate to each other in marriage, that’s why we got married in the first place. But sometimes relating seems too difficult. There’s a block in the road and we need to get past it.
Failing to express how we truly feel can lead to all sorts of problems. If your partner can’t express how they feel, it can often lead to feelings of rage and isolation. After a while, that frustration can get the better of us. Frequently we act out and things go wrong. Perhaps we feel so frustrated that we seek companionship in another person. Or perhaps we start feeling that we deserve better and want to move on.
For most couples, the outcomes aren’t as a total breakdown in the marriage. But festering frustration can have serious knock on effects. One of those can be a loss in feeling a basic sense of relaxation around your partner. This is important because recent research has shown that couples that feel relaxed around each other are most likely to survive the long haul. If you feel that you cannot communicate with your partner, or your partner is not communicating with you, it’s a problem. The relationship can feel tense. Perhaps even Balkanised.
It’s all so different to how it felt on your first Valentine’s Day all those years ago, isn’t it? The openness and honesty that was present then has, for whatever reason, vanished. Marriage counseling can do a lot to break through the barriers and to reestablish communication. Often it’s just a case of vocalising how you feel and getting over that initial resistance. From there you can work on other problems in your relationship.
And think of the prize at the end of the road. Right now you might not want to make the effort with your partner; that’s understandable. But if you put in the effort, you’ll be able to get back some of the magic you had on your first Valentine’s Day together. What’s more, a decent counselor or therapist can get you out of a rut. When you’re with somebody with whom you can truly relate, you’ll get so much more out of life.