We see it in the clinic all the time: couples come in for marriage counseling shocked that something happened in their marriage. Of course they didn’t see it coming. If they would have saw it coming they would have done something to prevent it. They would have intervened somehow. But they didn’t see it. And that’s why they’re sitting on my couch.
Usually, after we talk for some time, they’re able to see some of the signs that they missed that got their marriage into the predicament that it’s in. But it’s not easy. Like I said, if they knew what the signs were before they ended up in marriage counseling then they would have done something to prevent it. They didn’t even think about them as signs that their marriage was in a bad spot. And if they were recognized then they were usually brushed off as “just a phase” or something that will get better soon.
It’s awful to think that a problem in your marriage could have been prevented if you would have just seen the signs soon enough. So as a good marriage counselor, here are some signs that you shouldn’t ignore in your marriage
Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore in Your Marriage
1). A lot of screen time. Everyone knows that relationships take work. So if you’re spending a lot of time watching a screen that usually means you’re neglecting your marriage. It’s fun to surf and find the latest sports scores or fashion trends, but your marriage needs upkeep. That means you need to be paying attention to your spouse – not a screen. That way you’ll be aware of how their day was and can talk about anything important that may arise. If you find that you or our spouse are starting to spend a lot of time in front of a screen, dedicate some time at night with each other. You can play card games, invite friends over, etc. And no, watching a movie together doesn’t count.
2. You/Your spouse is really busy. This one kind of goes hand in hand with the one above. Your marriage takes work. If you find that you’re really busy, that often means you’re not putting the time or energy into your marriage that you need to make it really successful. Yes, things come up and sometimes it’s necessary to focus on that for a little while but if you find that you’re chronically busy or just don’t have time for a date (except for business events), then it’s time to slow down and re-prioritize.
On a side note here, if you’re finding that you’d rather spend time at work (or in front of a screen) instead of with your spouse. That’s a big sign that you shouldn’t ignore in your marriage. Ask yourself what’s going on that you’d rather work than spend time with the person you love.
3. Sex becomes stale or routine. Sex is the one thing that sets you apart as a couple and not just friends. Because of that, it is a critically important part of a romantic relationship. If you find that sex is becoming bland or stale, it means that sex isn’t fulfilling its purpose. This can be a cause or a result of a lot of things in your marriage. And they are all red flags that something is wrong. Life’s too short for bad sex. If you see this sign in your marriage, read some books/articles, browse this blog or even checkout our Youtube video from our marriage counselor Amanda Cummins about 3 tips for more satisfying sex.
4. You don’t argue much. I know, I know. You think couples shouldn’t argue so why is it a bad sign if they don’t. Well, I’ll tell you why. If you don’t argue as a couple then you’re both keeping a lot of secrets. You and your partner are different. Sure you have a lot in common but you have a lot of differences, too. You have different likes, interests, friends, opinions, etc. Couples should be able to express these to each other and disagree about them. If you or your partner are holding back then it means you’re not being yourself with each other. And over time this will become toxic. So give yourself permission to disagree and argue. And don’t forget to make up afterwards, either.
About the Author:
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. He specializes in working with couples learn to communicate and overcome sexual difficulties.