Signs Your Marriage Is In Trouble

Reading Time: 8 minutes
Upset man and woman sitting on opposite sides of a wall.
Watch out for signs that your significant other is drifting away from your relationship.

No one wants to admit that they’re ready to break their marriage vows. Though unhappy couples don’t make the decision to end their relationships lightly, the decision to split can sometimes be the right one. There’s no point trudging through life in a miserable, dysfunctional relationship. Living angry and sad all of the time certainly isn’t doing your children any favors. How do you know when it’s time to pull the plug and reclaim your happiness? There are a few signals you will want to look at closely that your marriage is in trouble. That can help you decide to make the jump.

Your children should not be a reason to stay together. Often, unhappy couples behave in a way that’s damaging their children’s long-term mental health. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, divorce can often be in the best interest of your kids.

Warning Signs Of A Marriage In Trouble

Here are some red flags to look out for that can indicate your marriage is in trouble.

Constantly Criticizing One Another

If you’re always criticizing your spouse or vice versa, that can be a sign of trouble. Your spouse could also be constantly teasing you and making jokes that seem like veiled criticism. This is especially if the jokes are always about your character and not your actions.

If either of you feels like the other spouse is laughing at you at your expense, that can indicate that they are losing respect for you. This in turn can lead to resentment in the relationship.

Inability To Have An Uncomfortable Conversation

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your spouse about difficult topics such as money, children, sex, or future plans, that may signal a breakdown in communication. Every attempt at an uncomfortable conversation may also feel like nagging where one of you shuts down.

No Disagreements

Every marriage has disagreements. If both of you never disagree with one another, it can be a bad sign. It can be because one of you is indifferent, both of you avoid the problem because either of you won’t like what you’re going to hear, or you are afraid of how the conversation will end.

Not having disagreements can mean that problems can fester and explode into a massive argument that can spark a divorce. It can often be a sign that the couple has given up on each other and the relationship.

Having The Same Argument Repeatedly

Healthy couples may argue. However, if a couple is having the same argument over and over again without being able to resolve it, it can be a red flag. It can indicate that there is a significant breakdown in communication if both of you can’t resolve problems together. A sign of the lack of communication is also if couples constantly fight over small matters.

One partner might also always go on the defensive and refuse to acknowledge that they had a part to play in the problem. They can come up with excuses all the time. This makes it difficult to find a solution and move forward.

Another sign of a problem is if the argument goes nowhere because one of you starts insulting the other person’s character. One reason to think twice about whether you’re in a healthy relationship is if you find yourself saying something you wish you could take back every time you argue. You might need to turn to a family therapist for help to change the way both of you resolve conflict and save a marriage in trouble.

Not Spending Time Together

It’s normal for couples to spend some time apart even if they love each other very much. One major red flag that indicates a couple could be headed for divorce is that they live completely separate lives. If you feel as though you and your spouse as just ships passing in the night, and you’re not considering the other’s feelings when making major decisions, your marriage is already in choppy waters.

If you find yourself wishing you could spend time with anyone else other than your partner, your marriage may be in trouble. You could also immediately go towards a private spot when you get home or focus on other things before acknowledging your partner.

If you don’t enjoy spending time together, that may mean the relationship is starting to be a burden to the couple. Another sign of not spending time can also be not having sex for a long time.

Keeping Secrets

You might start keeping secrets from your spouse. These could be about buying something you told your spouse you wouldn’t buy. You could be having a meal with an attractive co-worker or ex that you know your partner would be angry about. A loss of trust can be a sign that your relationship is in trouble.

If partners engage in actions or make decisions that they know will hurt the other person, this indicates serious trouble in the marriage. Perhaps they make life-altering decisions without consulting each other and the partner feels like they don’t have a say. Some spouses may even do things that their partner specifically asked them not to do.

Having An Affair

It’s normal to find someone else attractive. However, fantasizing about having an affair or actually cheating on your partner can show that you are not getting what you need from your current relationship or that you have given up.

Emotional cheating can also be considered infidelity, even if you don’t actually have sex with someone.

You Or Your Spouse Bring Up Grudges From The Past

If your spouse brings up something they were upset about 5 years ago during an argument, it can show that they have been holding grudges and allowing them to fester. It gets worse if you’ve forgotten what the grudge was about and have no way of defending yourself.

Not Respecting Each Other’s Privacy

Your spouse might be checking all your social media activity or reading your bank statements for your personal account. They may check messages on your phone by insisting you allow them access. Other times they could secretly check your phone when you’re not looking.

The lack of trust can indicate trouble in the marriage.

Your Partner Is Not The First Person You Turn To

When you are in a healthy marriage, you see your partner as the first person you typically turn to for help in bad times or to celebrate in good times.

If your partner isn’t one of the first people to know what’s going on with you, that can be a bad sign. You need to feel like you can rely on your partner for help.

Other times, it can be inappropriate to share information with other people before sharing it with your spouse. Making decisions by yourself without them can also sometimes not be respectful to them.

You Or Your Partner Forget Special Days

You or your partner might not be making the effort to remember special days such as birthdays or anniversaries. That might show that either of you is not putting effort into the relationship. Even if someone remembers the occasion, they may not put effort into celebrating it. The opposite of love is indifference, and your partner can be indifferent to things that are important to you.

Hiding Financial Issues

Financial issues are one of the most common marital problems. One partner might be hiding their lavish spending or gambling addiction from the other spouse.

It can be a source of betrayal, anger, and loss of trust in a marriage.

You Don’t Want To Go Home

Some spouses just do not want to go home. Perhaps they will stay late at work or sleep over at a friend’s house to avoid their partner. In these cases, the spouse may wish to discuss the matter of divorce with a family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to provide legal advice regarding property division, child custody, and other matters that relate to the divorce process.

If you consistently don’t want to go home even when you’re not in an argument, you might be consciously avoiding your home because of your partner.

Your Partner Consistently Threatens Divorce

Your partner might threaten a divorce each time both of you get into an argument. It’s certainly a sign your partner has been considering it. Perhaps they do not think the relationship will last, especially if they have been unhappy.

Disagreements About Parenting Issues

It’s normal for couples to have different parenting styles. However, if both of you cannot agree on consistent ways of enforcing discipline or making decisions for your children, it can be very difficult to hold your family together. You can easily get into conflict with your partner.

Disagreements About Friends

Your partner might not like some of your good friends and vice versa. You may be loyal to your friends. Nevertheless, hanging out with them without telling your partner when you know your partner would be unhappy can be a problem.

Feeling Lonely In A Marriage

If you feel lonely in a marriage, that is an issue. It means your partner is not fulfilling your need for companionship. Your partner may also not be willing to participate in things you enjoy doing. This means you can’t spend time together doing the things you like.

Happily married couples usually try to look past their different interests so that they can spend more time together. One partner may decide to try out an activity the other person really likes even if they don’t enjoy it much, and vice versa. Both people have to put in the effort to spend time together.

It’s also an issue if you’re not spending time talking to your partner as much as you used to for emotional support. Both of you may be spending more time on your phones as a way to avoid each other because you feel like you’re out of things to say to each other.

Stressing About Your Marriage

If you always feel stressed about your marriage and feel like you have to be on guard when you are around your partner, that is not an indication of a healthy marriage.

You might also find yourself dreading your spouse coming home from work which is not a good sign.

You Feel Controlled By Your Spouse

If your spouse consistently dismisses your opinions and thoughts, resentment might grow in your relationship with them which can lead to problems. It can seem like your spouse controls you and you cannot get what you need, or that they are trying to change the way you do things.

Finances are one of the ways spouses try to take control. They may not allow you to have your own bank account or credit card. You may also have no say in the house or car both of you purchase together.

Hesitation To Take Big Steps

You might find yourself hesitating to make big decisions to move to another state, change jobs, or buy a home with your spouse. If it happens consistently, it can be an indication that you’re holding yourself back from investing more into the relationship because your marriage is in trouble.

You could also not be able to see yourself with your spouse for the next 5 or 10 years in the future. Your spouse might be holding you back from your own life goals. You could start to dream of embarking on a new journey without them. Sometimes you’ll start fantasizing about how you would spend your free time, how you would take care of your child or where you would travel to while alone.

A couple can also count down the days to milestones such as financial independence or kids leaving the house to be free of their marriage.

Your Spouse Publicly Embarrasses You

If your spouse embarrasses you even though you’re in front of your family, friends, or co-workers, that can indicate that you’re in a toxic relationship. Light teasing in front of other people is fine. Even so, when it escalates to public humiliation, you might want to reconsider whether you will allow yourself to be treated that way and if you should be a couple.

There are ways to save your marriage and rediscover the love between a married couple. However, sometimes you might think that it’s not worth the effort to change things. You may not see a future with your partner. Deciding to end a marriage is a big decision.

Divorce can be a challenging legal process that takes a heavy emotional toll on your family. You will need to adjust to new changes in your lifestyle and financial situation. Let the award-winning Family Law experts at Sean Lynch help you prepare your legal case. We have decades of experience in family law to help you make the process as painless as we can.

Contact us today for a no-cost case review.

Our Reviews

Sean Lynch Family Law

City Center II, 301 Commerce Street Suite 2900, Fort Worth

3.9 72 reviews

  • lauradoesstuff andmore ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Hired Mr. Lynch to represent me in a divorce case. He handled it professionally and answered every question I had during the whole process quickly. He got the court to agree with what I wanted and I am now divorced. Would recommend him … read more to friends and family.
  • Catherine Jones ★★★★★ 3 months ago
    Sean was extraordinary, patient and helpful throughout my lengthy and tedious divorce process. He provided a balance of supportive advocacy and pragmatism in his advice, and helped ensure the outcome was to everyone's benefit. I hope … read more to never need a family law attorney again, but if I do, he'll be the one I call.
  • Hawkeye Roofing & Restoration ★★★★★ 9 months ago
    Sean did a really great job in getting my divorce done. He does care about dads! It would have went a lot smoother if it wasn’t for the other party being difficult but overall I’m extremely happy and would highly recommend.

Office Location:

Suite 2900, City Center II 301 Commerce Street Fort Worth, TX 76102



Fort Worth Law Office Map

Follow Us On: