Marriage rarely comes with a good manual. Most couples spent more time picking out the rubber chicken and wedding party gifts than they did establishing a good foundation for their relationship. So, it should not come as a surprise that half of all marriages fail. Since we spent so little time figuring out how to make it work, we figured we would tell you the 3 signs that your marriage is headed for trouble.
1. The silence: Marriages do not always go out with a bang. More than likely, your marriage will die with a whimper. Arguing takes passion and when that is lost what takes its place is ‘the silence’. Happy couples can be quiet with each other for long periods of time. The quiet is not tense or imposed because there is no communication. Unhappy couples live in silence. They prefer not to start a conversation but wish that the other one would say something. It is a tense stalemate. If you feel this in your relationship, seek help immediately.
2. Where’s the love?: As a marriage and family therapist, I was trained to work with couples during the worst times. One of the first questions I ask of any couple is , ‘How often do you have sex?’ If you are wrestling in the sheets less than a couple times a month, barring physical reasons such as illness or travel, then you have a problem. Seek help immediately.
3. Can you see yourself alone?: Many couples stay together because they fear the prospect of being single. However, if you can see yourself alone and happy, your relationship is in deep cardiac failure. Once you can visualize a life without your partner and the fear is gone, the only thing left to do is separate amicably and go on with your life.
Happiness is not a given in life. Most people walk around miserable because they have not been taught that happiness is a possibility. If you aren’t happy in your relationship, seek help from a marriage professional. Happiness is real and attainable. You just have to make the decision to work at it.
By Lee and Paul Reyes-Fournier
Lee and Paul Reyes-Fournier are the writers of CoupleDumb.com (http://www.coupledumb.com) the relationship blog that covers everything from marriage to dating to parenting. They have a book called Dysaffirmation: Because this kind of stupid takes work (Amazon). Lee is a professional psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience in marriage, family and addiction therapies. Paul is a professional writer with degrees in AstroPhysics and an MBA. They have been happily married for 23 happy years and have three kids. Lee and Paul also do a web series and pod cast called Relationship Rehab (http://www.relationshiprehab.us) where they take viewer/listener questions.