“New year, new you” is a catch phrase many say this time of year. It is common for people to take stock of their lives while the year is still young and see if there are places where they need to make changes.
Your marriage is one of those areas you may be examining. If you are spending time thinking about whether your marriage is over or if you should remain with your spouse, you may be feeling confusion about the implications of those questions, and that is often the first sign that something is not right. The truth is that the good feelings in a marriage ebb and flow, but some factors you just cannot ignore.
It’s not just you
When a marriage is young, the partners often try their best to make each other happy or go out of their way to do special things. Ideally, this effort becomes a positive habit, but if it does not, you may discover that one or both of you simply stop trying. This may manifest in any of the following or other behaviors:
- Outside distractions like work, cellphones or social engagements take up any time you would spend face-to-face with your spouse.
- Your spouse doesn’t really listen to you when you are talking.
- You no longer have any shared interests or common goals for the future, and your spouse is not interested in finding those commonalities.
- You do not work as a team to support each other’s passions and ambitions or simply to pay the bills and share the housework.
- You are no longer physically or emotionally intimate with your spouse and may even think about being with someone else or about just being single again.
- You or your spouse is having an affair.
- You no longer demonstrate respect for each other in public, or your spouse constantly puts you down or blames you for the problems in the marriage.
- Every disagreement becomes a fight, from where to eat dinner or whether to have children.
Feelings and emotions are not always the most reliable factors upon which to make such life-changing decisions. However, a combination of any of these signs may give you a reason to take a closer look at your marriage and perhaps begin to obtain more information about your options, whether they involve personal counseling, marriage therapy or taking steps to end the marriage.