Here are 6 warning signs that the experts share and that I have seen in my work:
1. Communication is either tense and full of criticism and argument OR there is no communication
Of course, disagreements are part of any relationship, but constant arguing and criticizing everything is not a good sign. Often times, when a person is thinking of leaving the marriage, that person becomes critical of all the little things their partner does. There are times when communication can be lost because of a busy life, kids, careers, etc., but when there is long-term silence like not a single word … that’s a problem.
2. Spend less and less time together
While it is healthy for people to have separate interests in any relationship, it is problematic when they do nothing together. If you make a conscious choice not to involve your partner in activities that you previously did together, it is a sign of trouble.
3. Lack of physical intimacy and visible affection
There can certainly be times in your relationship when sex slows down for various reasons. But when there has been no intimacy left for months, and even years, and a person feels sexually rejected, more serious problems can arise beneath the surface. There is such an expectation of sexual activity, but at least physical touches, kisses, and hugs are crucial.
4. One or both of them have low self-esteem, chronic anxiety, or depression
When you’re in an unhappy marriage, one or both of them are more prone to these negative emotional states and these people have a higher sickness rate. While marriage doesn’t necessarily lead to unhappiness, low self-esteem, chronic anxiety, or depression can be warning signs that divorce is possible.
5. Remember to see other people
Imagining a happy life with someone else is a form of emotional distancing. Emotional affairs can include engaging with someone through conversation, texting, social media, or dating apps. Sexual infidelity takes more effort, but is usually the offshoot of an emotional matter. Clearly, this is a big red flag that there are unmet and un-communicated needs in the relationship.
6. There is abuse in the relationship
A victim of abuse often feels demoralized and emotionally drained. That person may only be in survival mode and not be able to see the harm caused by the abuse. When it comes to domestic violence, the help of professionals is vital. Contact the national domestic violence hotline for help.
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