If you’ve found your way to this blog post, perhaps you’re feeling like you’re at a crossroads in your marriage. Maybe you’re feeling a bit unhappy, frustrated or even angry. Maybe you’re feeling trapped. Every single marriage goes through difficult times. Marriage is hard and it takes work, but there is hope!
How do I know if my marriage is in trouble?
Maybe you’re having difficulty seeing eye to eye, or you feel like you’re having the same argument repeatedly. You may be having difficulty communicating, resolving conflict or finding time for one another. Some “red flags” are more obvious than others, but red flags do not mean that your marriage is doomed. Your marriage can be saved if you invest time and energy.
What are Red Flags in Marriage?
A red flag is a warning sign that something isn’t quite right. In a marriage, this might look or feel like your spouse doing something that aggravates, annoys, or bothers you. Here are 10 signs that your marriage may be in trouble:
- You’re engaging in one (or more) of the 4 horsemen of marriage (The Gottman Institute)—Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, Stonewalling. These behaviors can easily kill a relationship.
- Constant Fighting.
- You no longer look forward to spending time together.
- There’s no physical or emotional intimacy.
- You don’t feel like the relationship is a safe place to be vulnerable or to have an uncomfortable discussion.
- You’re keeping secrets.
- You think about having and/or engage in a physical or emotional affair.
- Threats of divorce.
- There’s an active addiction.
- Physical, Verbal, or Emotional Abuse.
What can I do if I’m seeing red flags in my marriage?
Recognizing red flags is the first step to making positive changes! There’s nothing the enemy of the Lord wants more than to destroy marriages. God designed marriages to be in union with Him. A marriage apart from Him has little hope. God will fight for you, and he can heal the broken pieces, even if it doesn’t look like what we imagined.
- One of the first and easiest steps to take is to PRAY. Pray for and with your spouse daily. It may feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’ve never done it before, but it can bring healing, and its difficult to stay mad at someone when you’re praying with them.
- Take care of your mental health. Talk with a licensed counselor individually.
- Seek marriage counseling together as a couple. Marriage counseling offers a neutral, safe space for you to learn and develop new skills to help you communicate and resolve conflict.
For some encouragement read the following scripture verses:
HUMILITY: 1 Peter 5:6-8
There are, of course, instances where it would not be wise to continue in a marriage—continuous adultery, abuse, or abandonment. If you are in an unsafe relationship, please seek help immediately with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) or if in immediate danger call 911.
If you’d like to learn more about what marriage counseling would look like for you and your spouse, reach out to Graceful Balance for a free consultation.