A comment that I continually hear in marriage counseling is a statement like this, “I didn’t know our marriage was this bad”. This is usually said by the rejected person in the marriage after the rejector has said s/he doesn’t want to stay in the marriage anymore or, at least, not in this form. Thus, periodically I try to give a “heads up” to couples to help them see warning signs that their marriage is going in the wrong direction.
Drs. Paul and Evelyn Moschetta, are marriage therapists – good ones with a longstanding good reputation. Their blog recently appeared in the Huffington Post. I thought it was a good read and I want to share it with you, as well as add my own comments.
The “warning side” are these:
- Sex is consistently boring and mechanical. A satisfying sex life is vital to health and well being. The sexual expression may vary with many compensatory adjustments as people age and have health issues.
- There are many problems and only a few solutions. The inability to compromise and find workable solutions to common relationship issues turns partners into adversaries.
- Character assassination happens in your marriage. Name calling, insults, belittling put downs, and personal attacks aimed at embarrassing and hurting a spouse seriously hurt the relationship.
- You’re angry most of the time. Accumulated anger kills love. Anger is the other side of hurt.
- One of you cheats. Trust is intrinsic to a good marriage.
- There is selfishness within your marriage. Marriage is a give and take relationship and it’s about making your partner’s need a top priority.
- One or both of you always needs to be right. When you do not have a voice that’s heard and respected, marriage slides downhill fast. Give “wiggle room” and learn to compromise.
- It’s not in the kiss anymore. When you avoid kissing your marriage is in trouble. A kiss is very personal and indicative of the state of the marriage.
- Your conversations do not work to help you work through the various challenges that are presented over time in the relationship.
- There is too little or too much money. How much money comes in and how and where it is spent affects the marriage at a very deep level.
If any, or many, of the above factors exist in your relationship, get some help! Each of these factors is a marriage killer. Deal with these symptoms as you would with a physical health problem – seek competent advice, get a regimen, and follow it. Your marriage can get healthier!
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates