We’ve all heard the saying “actions speak louder than words”, but have you ever heard the term “silence speaks louder than words?” It’s a phrase worth noting, as silence, and a general sense of indifference, can be a sign that one or both spouses are growing apart in a relationship.
According to Carole Nyman, a couples-counselor who is based out of London, there are certain signs to be aware of that could be an indicator that there may be trouble in marital paradise:
It probably seems like common sense that an increase in arguments should be a tell-tale sign that a relationship is struggling, but many people don’t consider the fact that a lack of arguing amidst internal conflict can be just as much of a sign of two partners growing apart. We know, it seems counter-intuitive, but if your spouse suddenly stops bringing forth their concerns, objections or complaints, and resign to living alongside you in indifference, this could be a major sign that they’re drawing away. While it may seem that a problem is suddenly “fixed” due to the topic not being brought up anymore, what often happens is one spouse just gives up trying to be heard, which can lead to deep feelings of resentment. “Watch for complaints that seem unimportant to you but are obviously important to the partner,” says Nyman. “They haven’t ‘come to their senses’ when they stop talking about it—they are deciding if it’s a deal-breaker.”
Interest in the Other’s Thoughts Ceases:
Consider it a red flag if you or your spouse get to a point in your relationship when the other’s thoughts simply don’t seem to matter anymore. Repeatedly choosing to avoid de-briefing your spouse on your day, or feeling like it’s easier to just not ask for your spouse’s opinion, could be a sign that your line of communication is disintegrating. A product of this disconnection is the desire to confide in a third-party friend, due to the feeling that their input is more exciting and productive than what your spouse can add. Let it be noted: there is a difference between feeling disconnected from your spouse for a few days versus a few months. Feeling apathetic towards your spouse and that their responses are uninteresting or conflicting in a long-term scenario is a cause for concern.
Time Without the Kids Ceases:
Anyone who is in the thick of raising children while one or both spouses holds a job understands that there are certainly days when all waking-hours seem to revolve around the children. This is normal, and it’s okay to have days when work and the children need to be your primary focus. That being said, every couple should be mindful of prioritizing time with their spouse amidst their schedules. Making a habit of going on a date once a week, or even blocking out an hour in the day to catch up and connect with your spouse without the children, can hugely contribute to a feeling of closeness as the years move forward. By letting these moments fall to the wayside, it’s not uncommon for couples to feel that there is simply nothing left between them by the time the children are grown and out of the house.
Sexual Intimacy Ceases:
According to Nyman, sex can be a huge indicator of the emotional health of your relationship. While a lack of interest in sex is one of the primary signs that spouses are feeling disconnected, Nyman says to also keep an eye out for a change in routine and attitude during sex. Nyman advises to look for “changes in love-making style, such as less concern for the partner, a change in who initiates, or less connecting during sex.”
Most married individuals can likely attest to the fact that marriage is a journey of ups and downs—there are seasons that feel easier than others, and seasons that both partners may feel like connecting is harder than ever before. If you find yourself in a marital valley, take heart that you are not alone, and this is not uncommon. That being said, it’s important that you be aware of certain signs that could indicate a deeper challenge, and potentially the budding of resentment or indifference within one partner towards the other.
Pacific Cascade Law is a law firm comprised of professional attorneys who understand the complexities of marriage on both a professional and a personal level. If you find yourself in a place where you feel divorce is the next step for you, we are here to help you start building the path towards a better tomorrow. Call us today at (503) 227-0200 to set up a consultation.