It is so hard to watch a marriage crumble, especially when you see one or both spouses stubbornly refuse to seek help. It’s as if their body is severely wounded, but they refuse to go to the ER. Then again, it’s always easier to tell someone else they need to see a doctor than it is to pick up the phone and make an appointment for ourselves, isn’t it?
It’s hard to admit that you might need an outside perspective and counsel in marriage. But when your marriage is struggling, it’s better to swallow your pride and ask for help than to let the problems fester and destroy your family in the process. That help doesn’t necessarily mean a professional marriage counselor or therapist, although they are sometimes very necessary. The help you need may come from friends or family you both trust to be honest and have your best interests at heart. Or, it may come from your pastor or priest.
Regardless, the first step is to evaluate your marriage and ask, “Is it time that we open up ourselves to somebody and ask for help?” Here are some signs that your marriage may be in trouble and that you need to seek help.
When communication on important, meaningful issues is almost zero.
It’s a big red flag when the lines of communication have closed on issues of trust, intimacy, and resolving conflict. When that happens, a third party who can be objective might be vital to you and your spouse.
It’s a big red flag when the lines of communication have closed on issues of trust, intimacy, and resolving conflict.
When one or both of you have given up on sexual intimacy.
A decrease in sexual activity is not necessarily an emergency. Seasons of change in libido and life circumstances can affect this aspect of your marriage. But sudden and prolonged lapses in intimacy may be a sign that some bigger issues are threatening the integrity of your union.
When past issues keep intruding on the present, with no resolution in sight.
When trust is low or lost, and secrets are present in your marriage.
Trust is critical for intimacy, love and respect. And secrets in a marriage can be a quick way to destroy trust. Don’t ignore this red flag either in your heart or the heart of your spouse.
When one or both of you have been unfaithful.
An unfaithful spouse violates so many essentials of the marriage. Infidelity can easily destroy the very foundation of a marriage. Like all of these problems, it doesn’t spell automatic doom for a marriage, but it is definitely a sign that help is needed to repair the relationship and restore hope for the future.
When the only shortcomings you see are your spouse’s and never your own.
The spouse that always blames the other and never takes responsibility for problems in the marriage is the poster child for denial. A consistent blame game and deflection of responsibility is a major red flag.
When abuse creeps into the marriage.
No spouse or child should have to endure abuse, period. You may think you can explain the reasons for such actions, but reasons are not excuses. And inexcusable behavior like this demands attention. If you feel incapable of addressing the danger you see in yourself or your spouse, get help before something regretfully tragic happens.
What are some other danger signs that you need help in your marriage? Share your insights with us.