Marriages rarely die overnight. Almost always, the destruction of a marriage happens little by little, over time. Ideally, if trouble arises in your marriage, you and your spouse should be able to respond to problems before they cause serious damage to your relationship. You can then either work things out and remain married, or make a mutual decision to separate or get divorced.
When you are having marriage problems, whether they are big or small, the sooner you face facts and decide what to do about them the better. Burying your head in the sand when it comes to marital woes won't make your problems go away. In fact, they'll probably just get worse.
You may find yourself replaying old arguments, resurrecting old hurts, crying a lot, or becoming consumed with anger when your marriage is in trouble. Those responses can quickly turn small problems into big ones and cause you to lose all perspective when it comes to your spouse and your marriage.
Furthermore, when you let your emotions get out of control, it becomes difficult if not impossible for you to identify and realistically assess all the options you have for dealing with your troubles.
To help bring some objectivity and common sense to your situation so that you can gain a true appreciation of just how bad (or not so bad) things really are, consider some of the more common signs of a marriage in crisis, such as infidelity and contempt.
When your marriage is going through tough times, you may find yourself wondering if it's an instance of the "for better or for worse" your marriage vows alluded to, or if your relationship is truly on the rocks.
Although no test exists that can tell you if your problems are typical reactions to the stress and strain most marriages experience at one time or another, or if they point to more-serious issues, troubled marriages do tend to exhibit many of the same characteristics.
How many of the following statements apply to your marriage?
In your mind, your spouse just can't do anything right anymore.
You fight constantly.
You've lost the ability or the willingness to resolve your
Resentment and contempt have replaced patience and love.
You've turned from lovers into roommates.
One or both of you is having an affair.
You go out of your way to avoid being together and, when you are together, you have nothing to talk about.
Your children are reacting to the stress in your marriage by fighting more, having difficulty in school, getting into trouble with the police, abusing drugs or alcohol, or becoming sexually promiscuous.
You have begun having thoughts about divorce.
When you’re not around your partner, you act more
confident and in control
Don't panic if you find that your marriage exhibits some of these characteristics — you are not necessarily headed for divorce court. However, you do have cause for concern and it's time for you and your spouse, first separately and then together, to assess your options and decide what to do next.
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