Experts Say These 7 Subtle Signs May Mean A Marriage Won't Last
Ideally, you will find the love of your life, get married, and then live the rest of your lives together. Realistically, that doesn't always happen. Some people can pinpoint the exact moment they knew they were going to get divorced. While major compatibility issues or cheating are obvious signs that a marriage won't last forever, experts say it's important to pay attention to the small stuff.
"Small things can be much more dangerous to a marriage because it's easy to let little things slide," Celia Schweyer, dating expert at Dating Scout, tells Bustle. "It might bother your relationship too much in the moment, but one too many 'small things' may cause pent-up anger and ill-feelings." Naturally, the more resentment that builds up inside, the more explosive it can be for the two of you at some point.
Staying married to someone isn't easy. There's a lot of effort that goes into making a marriage last. According to divorce attorney, Steven J. Mandel, happy couples go into marriage with the best intentions, but some of them may inevitably get divorced down the line.
So how do you know if your marriage isn't going to last? Here are some some subtle signs to look out for, according to experts.
1. Generous Acts Are Met With Suspicion
If surprise romantic gestures or thoughtful acts of service are met with, "What did you do now?" your relationship may not make it. According to Schweyer, this type of knee-jerk reaction means there are underlying trust issues in the relationship.
"If the constant reception to every affectionate thing you do is suspicion that you did something wrong or that you cheated on them, this is a sign that your marriage may not have a strong foundation to begin with," she says. "No one in the relationship should project their issues and insecurities to the other party." After all, relationships require complete trust.
2. Flaws And Faults Are Used As "Jokes"
If one of you makes light of a mistake once to ease tension, that's fine. But if one partner is constantly "joking" about the other's faults and flaws, this can cause resentment and generate passive-aggressive behavior in the relationship. These are two obvious things you don't want in your partnership. It's even more problematic when you take these jokes outside of the relationship. According to Schweyer, "Your marriage isn't there to be the comedic skit one of you uses to make other people laugh."
3. You Stop Being Curious About Each Other
When you've been together for a long time, it's easy to assume you know your partner inside and out. But people constantly change. According to Schweyer, learning more about your partner should never stop. "Being interested in getting to know your other half is vital in making the marriage work," she says. "Once you know more about each other, the easier it is to navigate the relationship."
4. No One Is Willing To Compromise
You and your partner are two different people with different interests and dislikes. "The only way couples get through conflict is when they learn when to stand up for what they want or when to give their partners a chance to do things according to how they want," Schweyer says. "When that stops, then problems and misunderstandings will only grow." It's hard to have a long-lasting relationship when you are on two separate teams. If you've stopped compromising or one of you always has to win, your marriage may not last.
5. You Stop Fighting
How you handle conflict can really determine whether your relationship is going to last or not. According to Jeanette Schneider, relationship expert and author of LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future, if you're giving each other the silent treatment or failing to bring up issues at all, this can be a problem long-term. "Conflict creates intimacy if you allow it to be a place to grow as a team," she says. If not, at some point you're going to fight and you likely won't know how to handle it in a healthy way.
6. You Enjoy Spending More Time Apart Than Together
"It’s always nice to have the house/apartment to yourself for an evening," Jeannie Assimos, eharmony’s chief of advice, tells Bustle. "But if you enjoy numerous nights without your partner and actually get upset when they're back, you may need to have a conversation with yourself and with them about why." Maybe you've just been spending too much time together and you just need more alone time, or maybe things are really off in your relationship. Take some time to evaluate and see where you want to go from there.
7. You Stop Trying
The number one warning sign that your marriage might not work is you stop trying. You stop communicating, or you stop showing affection or planning date nights — you basically stop nurturing the relationship because you or your partner has checked out. "The moment one person checks out, begins to meet their emotional needs elsewhere, or refuses therapy you are playing a losing game," Schneider says. "If you see this happening, drop everything and try to reconnect. You can't salvage a relationship when you become free agents."
Sadly, not all marriages last forever. If you notice any of these subtle signs happening in your relationship, it's important to find ways to turn things around. Having open communication is the best place to start. But if you've done all the work and nothing is changing, it may be time to move on.