I often talk to couples who are in crisis and on the brink of divorce. Very often, I find that these couples ignored or minimized some “warning signs” along the way that should have been a wakeup call to make some changes in the marriage. If one of more of these warning signs is happening in your marriage, it may signal that you’re on the wrong track and need to make some immediate course corrections.
1. You argue more than you laugh.
Laughter is a great indicator of a strong marriage. Even in difficult seasons, healthy couples will find ways to laugh together and keep joy alive. If there is consistently more disagreements than moments of laughter, that’s a serious warning sign. If you’re looking for some ways to get started, here are 5 simple ways to bring more laughter to your marriage.
I’m not just talking about sex here, although a stagnant sex life is a huge red flag in a marriage as well. I’m talking about the posture we have around each other. Have you stopped putting your arm around his/her shoulders? Do you no longer hold hands? Do you sit on opposite ends of the couch? A lack of affection is a big warning sign.
3. You criticize each other more than you encourage each other.
When we’re always drawn to our spouse’s flaws, it creates a toxic cycle where neither spouse can ever seem to do anything right. Healthy couples focus on celebrating the good in each other much more than pointing out the flaws.
4. You complain about your spouse online or to friends.
When you’re constantly tempted to vent about your spouse to co-workers, friends and anyone else who will listen, you are at the doorstep of divorce unless something changes very quickly. Publicly airing dirty laundry about your spouse has tremendous, negative effects on your spouse and the levels of trust within your marriage.
5. You fantasize about life without your spouse.
When our dreams and fantasies no longer include our spouse, we’ve mentally detached from the marriage, and unless action is taken, it won’t be long before we physically detach from the marriage as well. Divorce starts in the mind long before it gets to a courtroom.
Don't give up on your marriage. It is worth the effort and investment. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, or even failing, there is hope. There is healing.