Not recognizing that a marriage is sick and needs outside help from a skilled marriage counselor, pastor, etc. is an “illness” that can easily destroy the oneness of a couple. Usually before a divorce is even final, one or both partners have been “emotionally divorced” for period of time.
Hence, it is absolutely essential that couples understand the “sickness signs” that may create the slippery slope toward marital brokenness. Although not an exhaustive list, shown below are 15 Danger Signs.
1. Positive times together outside the home rarely occur. In addition, when a couple spends time together, sadly much of that time is more negative than positive.
2. One partner controls most aspects of the marriage. The relationship is not a partnership because decisions are one-sided a majority of the time.
3. Spouses seldom eat meals together which creates a “single mindset” more than a couple relationship.
4. Politeness seems to have left the relationship, meaning kind words and compliments are rarely given by one or both spouses.
5. When a hurt or disappointment occurs, an apology almost never happens and/or forgiveness is not given, building a “grudge wall” between the spouses.
6. One spouse keeps secrets-financial, technology, relationships, passwords, etc.
7. One spouse does most of the “giving,” while the other partner is more of a “taker.”
8. One spouse regularly overreacts to minor hurts or quickly becomes defensive when a suggestion is made. Such unhealthy sensitivity often leads to disrespectful arguments that escalate out of control.
9. Physical touch like lengthy hugs and kisses are infrequent. Sexual intimacy also rarely happens or is almost nonexistent.
10. Sarcasm becomes common with hurtful teasing where one spouse is the butt of jokes.
11. Complaints have become attacks made on a spouse’s character rather than the goal of correcting bothersome words or behaviors.
12. One spouse is growing and improving, while the other partner lacks the desire to grow and maybe has even slid backwards in some ways.
13. Opposite sex friendships develop and become stronger than the marital connection.
14. One spouse has personal issues like anger, selfishness, addictions, OCD, compulsive spending, eating disorders, that have gotten worse over the years creating an emotional divide.
15. Communication skills have deteriorated into serious problems like interruptions, mind-reading, memory-matching, extreme silence, negative labeling, yelling, etc.
This Week: Discuss with your spouse how to prevent the spread of these infectious danger signs in order to have a healthy, happy marriage.