There seems to be a perception in some people that for many marriages, it is one catastrophic event that ends things. People assume that it is things like adultery, a job loss, or money struggles that doom your marriage. While these things do sometimes happen, it is just as common for a marriage to break down a little over time until it finally just crumbles. In fact, many of the people who reach out to me admit that they knew that their marriage was deteriorating over time, but they hoped that it would blow over. In my experience and observation, this breaking down and deteriorating is actually more common than the abrupt divorce that left no warning. Knowing this, the following article will list some of the common signs of a marriage that is breaking down. The hope is that if you recognize your own marriage in any of these scenarios, you will try to change course before things deteriorate even further. I know from experience that it can be easy to just hope or assume that things will normalize on their own. However, sometimes they get worse. I ended up separated because I didn’t take action. This process was very painful, so it’s always better to avoid that if you can.

The Investment Does Not Feel As Deep. You Have Little Idea About What Is Going On With Your Spouse’s Life And Feelings: Let me get this out of the way. When you have married for a while, it’s normal to not be in your spouse’s business 24/7. After all, most of us have jobs and responsibilities. Some of us have kids or parents that we care for. It’s normal to not be connected at the hip in the way that you were when you were first dating. But if you look around and realize that you’re sharing your concerns and deepest issues with your friends and not your spouse or vice verse, then this can be a problem. Another example is when sometimes something comes out of your spouse’s mouth and you are shocked – having no idea that he had this issue or this reaction. I remember that at the start of my husband and I going through a very rocky period (and eventual separation) we were watching a movie together. We had completely different but strong reactions to the movie and the characters in it. At that point, I remembered thinking that it felt as if I didn’t know my spouse very much anymore. I definitely should have been more concerned about this than I was. Anytime you feel that disconnect and prefer other people’s company to your spouse, that’s a reason for concern.

The Same Issues Come Up Over And Over With More Frustration Behind Them: When you are deeply connected with your spouse and the two of you are emotionally invested in one another, issues are easier to solve. It’s easier to see the best of your spouse and of the situation. So conflict is typically easily solved. On the flip side, when you are not deeply connected with your spouse, things which would not typically bother you are now major issues. They come up over and over again because they never really get solved. And as they come up, the resentment and anger toward them festers because again, you’re not connected enough to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.

The Physical Side Of Your Relationship Is Luke Warm At Best: It’s normal for the passionate side of your relationship to wane somewhat in time. However, you should be able to pick it back up when you can swing it and have it feel like the passion and the attraction are still there. If you feel distaste or a general and reoccurring lack of interest, that’s a problem. If you have no interest in making time for that type of connection, you really should pay attention. Honestly, sex does not make a marriage. The emotional connection and the sharing of your lives make the marriage. But sex can be a symptom of a marriage that isn’t working correctly. And it is also a very effective way to regularly feel close to and connect with your spouse. It’s really no wonder that people who are having an affair are sometimes fooled into thinking that they are in love with the other person even when the relationship is very new and has never been tested. The sexual component can be an important part of the relationship at times and can make the people in it feel very connected or “in love.”

When You Try To Address The Issues, You Feel Misunderstood: Often, people wait a bit too long to address these issues. I know that I did. So when you finally get around to trying to fix things, you might find that your spouse isn’t receptive, is defensive, or generally seems uninterested. This too will tell you that the connection isn’t there.

However, in my experience, it is rarely too late to get back on track if you are willing to notice what is wrong, have the patience to address it, and the ability to work hard. You may find that initially, your spouse doesn’t do much to help you. That’s okay. There are some initial changes that you can make for yourself that can have a very positive effect on your marriage eventually. Sometimes, when your spouse sees that change is possible, he becomes more willing to participate. Sometimes, you have to take small steps without trying to tackle everything all at once.