As any married person will tell you, all marriages go through rough patches. Perhaps you find yourself storming around the house or seething with resentment when you think about your husband. There are ways to tell the difference between a normal period of marital strife and profound unhappiness. Take a look at your words and actions to determine whether the joy has gone from your marriage.
1. Bad Signs
When you start to go through the motions with your husband, this can be a sign of trouble. Perhaps you are doing everything you are “supposed” to do. You are still maintaining the house and a nice picture of your family sits on your desk at work. You appear to be a fine couple. If you are the person responsible for cooking, you continue to make meals. If you plan the annual vacation, you still call the travel agent. But the loving feelings that once went into these actions are gone.
2. Loving Language
You once called your husband, “Sweetheart” and meant it. Now you say it between gritted teeth or with a sarcastic edge. When you are truly unhappy, loving remarks and mutually respectful language deteriorate dramatically. Instead, you’ll find yourself having screaming matches with your husband and making bitter accusations. You will begin to find it difficult to see his perspective on issues, according to an article in the Southern Communication Journal. For some couples, it is not the screaming matches, it is the silence. If you notice perpetual stony silence when you are in the same room as your husband, this can signal true unhappiness.
3. Avoiding Contact
Overall, the relationship may have become a place of conflict and unhappiness. If the thought of sorting through mountains of paperwork sounds more appealing than having dinner with your husband, this is a sign of trouble. Instead of feeling like a place to retreat, the relationship is something to avoid at all costs. According to an article in the Journal of Family Communication, this can make you feel lonely and result in breaking up.
4. Don’t Touch
When you feel unhappy in a marriage, the last thing you want is intimacy. You may find it difficult seeing yourself ever having sex with him again. Physical affection is important because it can make you feel desired and comforted. If you have gone days, weeks and months without so much as a peck on the lips, it may be time to worry. In fact, research has shown that one of the first signs of marital unhappiness is less frequent sex.
- Journal of Family Communication: Using Relational Stories to Predict the Trajectory Toward Marital Dissolution: The Oral History Interview and Spousal Feelings of Flooding, Loneliness, and Depression
- Southern Communication Journal: Communicated Perspective-Taking During Stories of Marital Stress: Spouses' Perceptions of One Another's Perspective-Taking Behaviors
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