Remember when you were newlyweds? When you were still deeply in love and riding the high from your beautiful wedding day?
It’s only natural things have changed from there; real life sets in and things get busier and more complicated. The honeymoon stage wears off, and that’s okay.
If you’re feeling, however, like you’ve bypassed a stage of comfort in your marriage and headed straight for the land of daily arguments, constant annoyance with your spouse, or even widespread secret-keeping, your marriage may be in need of fixing.
If you feel as though you and your spouse might benefit from seeing a marriage counselor, but aren’t sure if the signs are there, read on. Here are 8 major signs it might be time to take your marriage to a professional. Your marriage is worth saving.
1. Even Small Conversations Become Arguments:
We all have days once in a while where even the tiniest thing can set us off. That’s normal. But if you begin to feel as though any time you and your spouse interact, your conversations turn into full-blown arguments, it could be a serious sign you ought to seek counseling.
You should be able to have conversations and make small decisions naturally and easily. The occasional grumpy retort is okay, but when things are blown out of proportion, or you find yourself keeping your mouth shut to avoid any interaction, it’s become a problem.
You need to be able to talk about the big, important things with your spouse – but you also need to be able to interact peacefully on a daily basis.
2. You’ve Stopped Sharing Opinions:
Another sign it may be time for a bit of professional intervention in your marriage is when you find yourself failing to express opinions to avoid arguments or conversation. You should still be able to voice your thoughts on that restaurant she loves; you should be able to tell him you’d rather not go out tonight.
Although it may seem like keeping quiet is a means of keeping the peace, staying quiet and failing to share your thoughts can quickly become toxic. Don’t let even small things build up – and if they are, consider taking it to counseling.
3. You Realize You’re Keeping Secrets:
At any given time, the average person is keeping 13 secrets under wraps – 5 of which they’ve never told anybody. Secret-keeping is natural and can be innocent, but if you find yourself holding back a significant amount of serious secrets, it’s probably time to evaluate why.
Many secrets include things like infidelity or financial woes or other major elements of life. Some people find themselves so caught up in their secret-keeping they reach a point where their spouse hardly knows them anymore. If you feel as though you’re on the brink of living a double life, it’s probably time to take it to marriage counseling to get things out on the table.
4. You’ve Both Been Ignoring Intimacy:
For many marriages, intimacy plays a critical role in feeling connected as a couple. If you’ve seen a significant shift or a halt in your sex life, it may not only be a sign that your marriage is becoming distanced, but it may also be a major contributing factor. If you’re having little or no sex when you used to do it on the regular, you might find yourself feeling the impact on an emotional level.
In many cases, intimacy can take effort on behalf of both partners. Once you’ve reestablished the connection with your spouse, it can begin to feel more natural again – but you may be in need of a little intervention before that can happen. Read more about how counseling can help you through struggles in intimacy.
5. Somebody’s Been Unfaithful:
Okay, so maybe this one should be obvious: Most of the time when one partner goes beyond the bounds of marriage vows, things don’t just settle back into place naturally. It usually takes work to restore faith and trust in the relationship. This can often be seriously helped along by an intervention of a marriage counselor.
Unfaithfulness can go beyond the bounds of sexual intimacy with a person who’s not your spouse; it could also be categorized as unfaithfulness in finances or unfaithfulness to other life commitments. If trust has been breached, it may be time for someone else to step in and help you to sort things out.
6. You’d Rather Spend Time Apart:
Remember when you were dating? How you could hardly stand to be apart from one another? As you matured and got married, you probably naturally became more comfortable spending time apart.
It’s natural to seek alone time, and it’s totally healthy to spend time away from your spouse. But if it’s to the point where you’d consistently prefer to be away from your partner…well, that’s a problem.
Look at simple situations, like lazy days around the house. Do you elect to watch TV upstairs while he watches it downstairs? Do you move about the house without speaking or acknowledging one another? It’s probably time to fix that.
7. You Feel Like You’re Performing:
Some people manage to do a good job of keeping the peace, even when the marriage really feels as though it’s collapsing in on itself. But after a while, putting on a happy performance when, really, you’re not happy at all can start to wear on a spouse. If you feel like you’re putting on a brave face in the midst of a poor marriage, your marriage likely needs intervention.
Partaking in affectionate behaviors when you’re not feeling up to it – and doing so consistently – is both a means of ignoring a glaring problem and a contributing factor to discontent. If you feel like you’re putting in lots of effort to avoid admitting there’s a problem, then there’s most definitely a problem.
8. You’re Hoping for a Miracle:
When in low parts of relationships, we sometimes find ourselves thinking, “If we can just get through this rough patch…” But the fact is, most rough patches won’t get smoothed out automatically. There likely won’t be any miracle change that comes through to restore your marriage; you’ve got to work for it.
If you find yourself focusing your hopes on the idea that your spouse might just change and fix everything, it’s not going to happen. The closest thing you’ll get to a miracle is some good, productive marriage counseling.
Want More Tips for When You Might Need a Marriage Counselor?
It can be tough to tell – and, often, tougher to admit – when your marriage could benefit from marriage counseling. Approaching the situation requires lots of bravery and consideration of your marriage.
For more tips on how to save your marriage, and more information on when it might be time to find a marriage counselor, check out our page!
Oh, and remember: Your marriage is worth saving.