Most married couples wait way too long before they reach out for help.
In fact, research shows that couples wait 6 years before getting help! Ouch… problems that might have been solved in a few coaching sessions or a couple Naked Conversations webcasts (wink, wink!) become massive blow outs that break up perfectly good relationships.
Think about the couples you know that are married and having fun. What are they doing right? How do they handle the difficult seasons that all relationships experience? What mindset do they have towards each other?
Well, since you are asking, let me answer that for you. They realize that great marriages don’t happen by accident, they’re a learned skill that requires constant maintenance and care. Imagine if you will, that I handed you keys to a car and told you that you’ll drive this car for the next 60 years. How would you care for it? Would you allow funny noises in the engine to go unchecked by your mechanic? Would you never check or change the oil?
The same care goes for your marriage.
It needs to be regularly maintained. Truly you are either fighting for or losing your marriage… and there is no middle ground here. So, if you’re seeing some of the following warning signs in your marriage, take it to the shop before you fall into a ditch on the side of the road and lose precious time enjoying life, each other, and all the wonderful experiences that a thriving marriage has to offer!
20 Warning Signs of a Troubled Marriage
- You find yourselves having the same arguments over the same things over and over again.
- You have nothing nice to say to one another. (Lots of name calling and negativity)
- One or both of you plays the victim during arguments. (No one takes responsibility)
- You can’t agree on goals and values in the marriage.
- Your needs for sexual intimacy are vastly different and/or you rarely have sex. (A sexless marriage is defined as having intercourse less than 4 times a year.)
- You don’t respect one another when communicating.
- You feel suspicious often. (Checking phones and emails daily, lots of anxiety and trust issues)
- You no longer have fun together. (No date nights)
- No one apologizes for things. (You just keep blaming each other.)
- One or both of you put your children or work first on a regular basis.
- One or both of you are unwilling to seek help. (This typically stems from pride or minimizing that there is an issue.)
- You don’t resolve fights. (There is a lot of rupture, but no repair.)
- You discover your spouse is lying about money, is more frugal than usual, or hides money.
- Your spouse tries to isolate you from your family and friends.
- One or both of you have considered being unfaithful or have been unfaithful – in person or online.
- You don’t talk with one another about your problems.
- You are happier when your spouse is away from home.
- You feel criticized and put down by your partner frequently and this leaves you feeling less than “good enough.” (Conflict has turned to combat and it’s turned personal.
- You turn to porn or other substances to numb the pain from your relationship
- You are lonely even when your partner is in the same room. (You are living more like roommates.)
Even if only a couple of these really stuck out to you, it’s time to address it… like, now! Not in a few weeks… NOW!
Don’t be the next statistic and wait 6 years.
Sign up for a marriage coaching session with Casey. Buy marriage books and start attending marriage retreats. Attend one of our monthly marriage webcasts. Or consider attending one of our marriage intensives, which puts about 6 months of therapy into 2 days. Don’t think that time will correct the issue, because all marriages require daily maintenance.
If this list applies to your marriage: Raising your concerns needs to occur with honesty, humility, kindness, compassion, and covered in love. In our marriage, we usually say something like, “I have noticed we (the issue at hand). I would like to set up an appointment with a marriage coach and get a third set of eyes on the problem and fix this. You’re my best friend and I want to work on us.”
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be courageous, speak up in love and work on your relationship.
Written by Casey Caston
Casey Caston is the co-founder of Marriage365 and loves his wife, kids, and surfing – in that order. He’s passionate about teaching couples how to connect on a deeper level and works often with couples in crisis. He’s also officiated more than 600 weddings. His life long dream is to walk the Camino, surf in Indonesia, and publish a New York Times best seller.