You and your spouse are so busy with day-to-day activities, the children and other obligations you barely have time to say two words to each other. When you do find some time, the tension is so high that all you manage to do is argue. You may begin to worry that you have a marriage in crisis.
Just because you’re presently disconnected from each other doesn’t necessarily mean you have a marriage in crisis. Your stated concern, however, is a good indication that it is time to discuss your worries with your spouse. Now is also the time to look for other signs that may point to a marriage in crisis.
If you’re just unsure whether or not the two of you are fine, are heading for trouble or are already there, there are some clear signals that do point out a marriage in crisis. They include:
* A lack of desire to spend time together – If you or your spouse would rather spend time doing anything but being together, you may be on a collision course for trouble. When your day-to-day activities, work obligations and time with your friends or children are used to fill your schedule (or your spouse’s) so you cannot spend time alone, there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
* A sense of resentment – If you feel resentment towards your spouse or vice-versa, there is cause for alarm. Resentment is not a healthy feeling in a marriage. When resentment is overwhelming to the point you feel like you don’t like your spouse any longer, you have a marriage in crisis.
* A lack of intimacy – When you and your spouse go long stretches of time without expressing intimacy, this is a serious cause for concern. While not having sex doesn’t necessarily signal a marriage in crisis, a complete lack of intimacy might. Even couples who have passed their sexual prime benefit from hugging, kissing, cuddling and other tender moments.
* An inability to communicate – When arguments are constant or discussions just don’t ever happen you may have a marriage in crisis. Open, “safe” communication is an essential aspect of a strong, healthy and fulfilling relationship.
If you explore your situation and decide you and your spouse are heading for serious trouble, there are ways to head off destruction of your marriage. Together you two can take a number of steps to set the wrongs right.
The first thing you may want to do to repair damage in your relationship is to actually make the time to talk. Open up to your spouse about your concerns and create a two-way dialogue to address problems and share thoughts and ideas. Your spouse deserves to know how you feel and what you think can help you two solve the issues. You deserve to hear the same from your spouse.
When trying to broach your concerns, remember to use respectful communication skills. Avoid accusing or threatening. Instead, state your worries clearly, listen to your spouse’s response and try to work together for a resolution.
If your attempt at communication works, keep taking measures to spend more time together working things through. Even in busy lives, couples do need time alone. Try to reduce your obligations and help your spouse do the same.
Even just a date night once every two weeks is better than nothing. The alone time can help you both get back on track, learn to identify with each other again and regain a sense of appreciation for your relationship.
The warning signs of a marriage in crisis do not always herald an end to it. If you take action and your spouse agrees to work on your problems, you can work together to build a better, stronger and healthier relationship.