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Warning signs of a troubled marriage

Even though some people may claim that happily ever after remains a wish, one cannot deny that some men and women are truly happy in their marriages. These men and women love their partners and are making efforts to build happy lives together.

But there are some women who believe through years of societal conditioning and indoctrination that a woman must suffer in her marriage. They believe that once you are not having problems and running from pillar to post in your marriage, then you are living a lie.

There are women who believe that all men cheat and can’t stay faithful because of the kind of men they are married to. These women tell other women who celebrate their good husbands to shut up, because they are not enjoying their marriages. They are the ones who believe that if a man is not beating you, he doesn’t love you. These women don’t know what it means to be a happily married woman.

No matter how many gory stories we hear these days about marriages, there are men and women living “happily ever after”. There are men and women who can’t do without each other. There are men and women who are having the time of their lives. They are inseparable. They love and cherish each other. They respect their marriage vows and set boundaries for intruding family members too.

On the flip side, there are men and women who have no business staying married. These people can’t stand each other. They lie to each other. They cheat on each other. They disrespect their spouses and inflict injuries on each other’s bodies, yet they remain married. They set bad marital examples for their children and hurt them emotionally with their actions.

It is sad that women in such dysfunctional marriages claim they are staying for their children. That’s crap. You don’t endure beatings, verbal, psychological and emotional abuses from any man while claiming you are enduring them for your children. You are hurting your children. They shouldn’t be seeing you beaten, battered and broken.

Marriage shouldn’t cost anybody their life, sanity and self esteem. If it’s making you unhappy, leave to live long. For many people, making the decision to leave an unhappy marriage is scary. There’s often a deep fear of being alone, not to mention the possibility of an unknown future. So many men and women stick with abusive spouses, settling for low-level pain and dissatisfaction instead of leaving.

But staying in an unhappy marriage can have long-term effects on your mental and emotional health. Research shows that people in bad marriages usually have low self-esteem, struggle with anxiety and depression, and have a higher rate of illness than those who don’t.

One warning sign of an unhappy marriage would be that your relationship is totally sexless. After all, it’s intimacy that separates a romantic relationship from all other sorts of relationships you might have. When that’s going out of the window, it’s a really big red flag. A lack of visible physical affection is also indicative of a real problem.

When you say your “I dos,” you are making each other your top priority above anything and anyone else. When you lose that essential part of your marriage, you can lose the person that once meant the world to you. If you are not making your spouse a priority in your life anymore, it’s going to be really hard to stay a solid unit. Unhappiness and resentment sets in.

If you and your spouse don’t emotionally connect but you live together, doing your own thing, that’s an indication there’s disconnection. It shows that you are together, but not really with each other. When you live in the same house but relate like strangers and hardly connect with each other emotionally, then you are in a loveless marriage.

If you and your spouse are not having meaningful conversations anymore even though you sleep on the same bed, one or both of you are unhappy. When one of you gets promoted at work or accomplishes anything and your partner isn’t the first person you are sharing it with, it may be that you are in a loveless, unhappy marriage.

When spouses are not having any meaningful conversations aside from conversations about chores, foodstuffs, children’s school fees and things that need to get done at home, this is a warning sign that their relationship is not in a good place. They should do something about it and fast too.

One way to distinguish between a run-of-the-mill marital rut and an unhappy marriage is to ask yourself how long the situation has been this way, and whether it’s been steadily worsening. Most couples go through rough times, but if the difficulties last more than two years, with no sign of relief, the marriage has lost spark. If the distance between you and your spouse keeps growing, seek help before it is too late.

If you fantasize about a life without your spouse, you are unhappy in your marriage. If you often imagine a happy future without your partner, that’s a major sign that things aren’t right. This is a part of the emotional detachment process during which you may try to convince yourself that you don’t care anymore so that the eventual separation feels less painful.

If you have given up fighting for your marriage, it’s a sign that you have reached a crossroads. If there’s a fight and you both don’t talk about what happened or refuse to listen to each other’s perspective, that’s not good. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to turn toward your spouse and give your marriage   one last go, or whether you have exhausted your ability to keep fighting for your relationship.

Many women will tell you that it hurts when their husbands don’t listen to them. When you sit down to talk with your spouse about what’s working and what isn’t and they are not listening, you will be unhappy. When nothing changes, no matter how vocal you are about your feelings, there’s a problem. The most powerful tool couples have for resolving conflicts is listening and understanding one another. Poor communication, dashed expectations and unhealed resentments hurt marriages.

After getting home from a long day of work, do you and your spouse immediately go your separate ways? And when you are at parties, do you tend to drift apart and do your own thing? If you would rather be alone than with your spouse, it probably doesn’t seem like there’s much of a point in being in that marriage in the first place. Getting a little time apart is one thing, but when you rather choose to be apart, you are unhappy.

If your unhappiness comes from constant verbal, physical and emotional abuse, you need to leave that toxic union before it kills you. Nothing lasts forever, not even a marriage, so be wise.

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