8 Warning Signs You Are Stuck In A Loveless Marriage

 / 

,
8 Warning Signs You Are Stuck In A Loveless Marriage

Don’t ignore these signs of a loveless unhappy marriage

Are you in an unhappy marriage and worried you may be headed for divorce? Being in what feels like a loveless marriage can be draining. And you may not know how you got to this point.

However, marriage troubles rarely develop overnight.

Each partner often is just trying to survive the day-to-day busyness of life that they rarely look back to see the cumulative damage.

Here are 8 tell-tale signs that your marriage is unhappy and you and your spouse need to fix it ASAP:

8 Warning Signs You Are Stuck In A Loveless Marriage

1. You struggle to speak civilly

Maybe you feel hurt and wronged by your partner, making communication just plain difficult. Every discussion dissolves into a fight because you feel your perspective isn’t heard.

You and your partner outline every past flaw and fault. You both end up shouting because each of you is full of emotion.

It takes an effort to listen actively. Often, especially after many years with your spouse, you stop actively listening and start making assumptions. While assumptions are great ways to speed up the process of getting from A to B, they can be messy and full of inaccuracies. And if all your communications are full of assumptions, you will never feel like you are heard. Nor will your spouse.

Relying on assumptions and not listening actively also keeps you on the surface. Even if you reach a “solution,” often the solution doesn’t hold.

That’s because the real problem (usually a clash of values, expectations, goals, etc.) lives below the surface details of the problem.

So, not actively listening may leave you feeling stuck replaying the same argument repeatedly. You two are fighting so hard to be heard, and no one is listening to validate feelings and work towards a real solution.

2. There’s a lot of silence between you

Alternatively, the silence is pervasive because you feel like you have nothing to say.

Maybe limiting contact keeps the peace. Perhaps you feel like you need to sort your thoughts out and are even tempted to discuss your marital issues with others. Maybe, for your own reasons, just avoiding your partner makes sense.

Your partner should be the person who you want to share the best and the worst parts of your day with. They should be the ones who can safely receive your most vulnerable feelings. This emotional intimacy is the basis of a strong marriage.

When you choose to go elsewhere for that support, you are shutting your partner out. According to Dr. Shirley Glass and Jean Staeheli, authors of Not Just Friends, choosing to share the significant parts of your day or your marital troubles with others is opening windows to them and building a wall between you and your spouse.

The more barriers between you and your partner, the harder it is to breakthrough. But more importantly, the more you may open yourself up to extra-marital affairs.

3. You’re allowing the “Four Horsemen” to enter your marriage.

According to John Gottman, psychological researcher and clinician on divorce and marital stability, your marriage is headed for trouble if these four “horsemen” are prevalent in you or your partner’s communication.

a. Criticism

Criticism is not the same as critiquing nor voicing a complaint. Critiquing is offering a careful judgment on what you consider the good and bad parts of something. Criticism tends to cut deeper because it’s judging the merits and faults of someone. It’s a subtle difference, but there is a difference. Critiquing in a relationship focuses on the action, criticism focuses on your partner’s character.

b. Defensiveness

Defensiveness is often a response to criticism because you feel attacked. You think you have to justify yourself and may even push blame back. Unfortunately, this is viewed as excuses by the critical partner and sends the signal that you aren’t serious about the issue. Criticism and defensiveness draw battle lines and rarely lead to good solutions in conflicts.

c. Contempt

Contempt is when you treat others with disrespect, mock them, ridicule, call names, mimic, scoff at them, or roll your eyes. It makes the other person feel unvalued and worthless, while you have placed yourself (knowingly or not) in a place of moral superiority. Contempt keeps you right without ever having to recognize your partner may be struggling as well.

d. Stonewalling

Stonewalling is often a response to contempt. When the listener withdraws from the conversation, refuses to engage, or shuts down, that’s stonewalling. It usually takes time for stonewalling to emerge in a relationship, but when it begins, it can quickly become a bad habit and hard to stop.

4. You’re not having sex anymore

Sex is not only healthy for your emotional health but also for the overall health of your relationship. Regular sex with your partner improves your confidence, which reflects in your marriage. It can improve your self-esteem and your sense of being an attractive, desirable individual.

When you have sex, you place trust in one another, and that creates increased intimacy. Yes, we all have physical urges to have sex, but there is a need for emotional fulfillment as well. Intimacy creates that desire to be close and bond with your partner, leading to improved marital satisfaction, emotional well-being, and happiness.

According to sex and relationship therapist Megan Fleming, Ph.D., if you’re having sex less than ten times a year, you’re headed for trouble! Sexual and emotional intimacy separates the romantic relationship with your partner from all other relationships you have.

5. Quality time doesn’t exist — and maybe you don’t care

Do you distance yourself from your spouse when you get the chance, because you would rather be apart? Are you spending time in different rooms when home? Are you drifting apart at social gatherings?

If you’re avoiding spending quality time with your spouse, you are disconnected and growing further apart by the day. This distance sends a strong message to you and your partner: You no longer value the relationship to the extent of caring about time with your partner.

All living things need care. Without care and nurture, those living things wither and die. Just like the child, pet, or houseplant in your home — without care, your relationship can’t survive. Quality time is part of that care in human relationships.

6. You’re ignoring your intuition

Take a moment right now and close your eyes. Focus only on your breath and continue to do so until you feel a calmness sweep over you. In this calm state, ask yourself, “Am I in an unhappy marriage?”

The little voice in your gut that answers back is your intuition. It’s easy to ignore the booming voice in your head, but the little voice knows your truth. You cannot ignore facts forever. And the longer you do, the more (sometimes) irreparable damage can be done in your marriage.

Your intuition can be very informative when you give it the chance to speak. Find that calm again and continue asking yourself more specific questions.

  • Is my marriage working?
  • Do I love my spouse?
  • How safe do I feel? Respected? Loved?
  • What can I do to fix my marriage?
  • Do I even want to fix my marriage?

Whatever questions you feel you need to ask, allow them to emerge. Quiet, calmness is the key to hearing your intuition because it comes from your heart. And typically the first answer is from your gut. Trust your gut because your mind may try to rationalize you away from it.

7. You aren’t taking any steps toward repairing your marriage

One way to distinguish between a marital rut and a deeper issue are the answers to the questions, “How long has my marriage been this way? And is the situation progressively worsening over time?”

All couples experience periods of rough patches in their marriage, which can be predictable at times. However, if your marital dis-ease has lasted longer than two years with no signs of improvement, it may be time to seek marital counseling.

Unfortunately, the average couple waits six years from the time they begin recognizing relationship problems when they try therapy.

Six years is a long time to be asking, “Are you in an unhappy marriage?” And in six years, lots of damage can be done. What could have begun as minor missteps in the marriage can erode into significant transgressions difficult to overcome.

8. You fantasize about a life without your spouse

Or about making decisions like a single person again.

Imagining a life without your spouse is a sign that your marriage is headed in the wrong direction. Regularly fantasizing about the single life emotionally detaches you from your relationship.

You’re working on distancing yourself for an eventual separation, hoping to save yourself some pain. And you’re setting your marriage up for failure.

According to Jamie Turndorf, Ph.D., author of Kiss Your Fights Goodbye, “…Detaching psychologically by fantasizing about having an affair or making plans for the future that don’t include your partner can all be signs that you’ve fallen out of love. It’s as if the mind has pulled its own plug so our hearts won’t suffer as much when the relationship ends.”

The same thing occurs if you routinely begin to make decisions that exclude your partner. Are you making financial decisions like you are single? Do you consider your mutual goals, or only your needs and wants?

Acting as if you are solo sends the message to your partner that they don’t count. You don’t need to take their opinion or dreams into consideration. Whether you have decided to stay in the relationship or not you send the signal you don’t care.

Finding yourself in an unhappy marriage did not happen overnight. Many couples rest on their laurels and just forget to focus on their relationship. However, losing sight of your relationship doesn’t have to be the end – but continuing with the status quo may be.


Written By Life Care Wellness
Originally Appeared On Your Tango

You May Also Like:

Is An Unhappy Marriage Better Than Divorce?
What Does An Unhappy Marriage Look Like? 21 Signs & Symptoms
Lack of Communication in a Relationship Sometimes Lead to Divorce according to Studies
Can Divorce Make You Happier?

8 Warning Signs You Are Stuck In A Loveless Marriage

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

Why People Cheat: Investigating The Root Causes of Infidelity In Romantic Relationships

Deep Causes Of Infidelity Why People Cheat

What lies behind betrayal and heartbreak? Explore the most common causes of infidelity in relationships and the painful reality of many couples these days.

Why people cheat cannot be explained by a single universal reason. So, we will explore reasons and offer insights on how to move on, heal, and rebuild trust.

According to the American Psychological Association, infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce and separation

Shockingly, studies also suggest that 50-60% of both men and women will engage in extramarital affairs at least once during their marriage, underscoring the magnitude of this issue.

What is Infidelity?

Cheating or infidelity is t


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Unlocking The Secrets To A Happy Relationship: 13 Science-Backed Tips

Science Backed Secrets To A Happy Relationship

Defining a happy relationship can be tricky, right? But what if you could get a blueprint of secrets to a happy relationship?

Today there are so many different opinions on what makes a relationship happy. Some people say it’s all about unconditional love, while others think it’s more about finding the right balance between independence and togetherness.

Let’s unlock the key to the secrets to a happy relationship so that we can build successful relationships for ourselves.

But before we uncover the secrets, let’s get a clear idea about happiness and relationships.

How do relationships affect happiness?

Does this question come to


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

60+ Funny Marriage Advice: Humorous Marriage Secrets Revealed

Funny Marriage Advice Best Secrets Of Happy Marriage

The best way to spice up your marriage? Add some humor! It’s like the salt and pepper of relationships - a little goes a long way.

If you're looking for a good laugh and some helpful marriage advice, then you are in the right place, my friend. From never going to bed angry to always having a sense of humor, these pieces of funny marriage advice will keep your relationship strong and thriving.

Check out these hilarious pieces of funny marriage advice. 

60+ Pieces of funny marriage advice curated just for you!

These funny marriage tips will make you laugh and help y


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

The Widowhood Effect: Can Grief Increase Mortality In A Surviving Partner?

What is the widowhood effect

The death of a spouse can be one of the most tragic experiences anyone can ever go through. It can cause severe distress and emotional pain and depression. But can it lead to the death of the widow or widower? Let’s understand the sad reality of the widowhood effect.

What is the widowhood effect?

The widowhood effect refers to the probable increase in the likelihood of a widow or a widower to die out of emotional pain after the death of their beloved partner. This phenomenon is mostly observed in older people who have lost their long-term husband or wife. 


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Waiting For Your Happily Ever After? Here’s What You Need To Do

Things You Need To Do To Get Your Happily Ever After

"Your happily ever after" is not just in the fairy tales but it happens in real life too. But you need to work for it, here's how to live happily ever after with the person of your dreams!

You are starting to despair that you will ever get your happily ever after with the man of your dreams? Have you been looking everywhere for your prince but has every person let you down, over and over?

Are you ready to give up? Let me tell you that it is possible to get your happily ever after by doing just one thing!

And what is that thing?

That thing is recognizing, and accepting, that your happily ever after is nev


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

9 Warning Signs Of Resentment In Marriage And How To Deal With Them

Warning Signs Of Resentment In Marriage and How To Deal With Them

Resentment in marriage can be a sneaky and toxic force that can undermine the love and trust between partners. It can grow over time, fueled by unspoken frustrations and hurt feelings, and before you know it, you're left with a relationship that feels cold and distant.

But the good news is that resentment can be dealt with and overcome with a little bit of effort, understanding and mutual respect.

Related: Relationship Killers: Anger and Resentment

6 Triggers Of Toxic Resentment In Relationships

1. Unresolved conflicts.


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

The #1 Thing That Makes Your Wife Feel Safe And Secure

communication in marriage

Open communication in marriage is crucial to build trust, resolve conflicts, create a strong bond with your spouse. Learn how to make your relationship a safe space!

Wondering how to make your wife feel secure? Read below!

Good for you for wondering what makes your wife feel safe and secure. Many men don’t do that and, as a result, their marriages fail.

Learn how to communic


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲