43 Signs of A Bad Marriage

Dinners are silent now. The conversation is pretty much only about who does what tomorrow. When you’re on the couch, you’re both just scrolling on your phones. It feels more like you’re living with a roommate, not someone you fell in love with and married.

This isn’t the vibrant, loving life you pictured when you said, “I do.” But don’t panic just yet! Noticing that your marriage is a bit off is the first step to making it better.

In this article, I will talk about what’s not working and ways to fix it. There’s a way to get the fun and love back, and it all starts with figuring out what’s going wrong.

Table of Contents

You Hardly Talk About Your Feelings

When you stop sharing feelings with your partner, it’s a red flag. Good chats about feelings help keep you connected; you might feel lonely without them. If you’re not opening up, it’s time to start the conversation.

Just starting with a “How’s your day?” can really help. Sharing feelings should be as easy as your morning coffee routine. Open communication can bridge the gap that silence creates. Let’s make talking about emotions a comfortable thing on a daily basis.

You Feel Lonely, Even When You’re Together

Feeling alone while you’re right next to someone is a strange thing, isn’t it? It’s a sign that the emotional gap between you and your partner is growing, like sitting on opposite ends of a long bench where no one’s making the move to scoot over.

This kind of loneliness can really weigh on your heart.

It’s time to reach out, maybe with a simple gesture or a conversation starter. Nothing fancy, just something that says, “Hey, I’m here, and I see you.”

Your Arguments Never Get Resolved

Arguing over the same things over and over is like being stuck in a bad movie that never ends. It’s exhausting and frustrating when disagreements keep popping up without any resolution.

It’s a sign that the problem-solving part of your marriage needs a tune-up.

Instead of going around in circles, try to find the root cause. Take turns speaking and really listening. It’s time to find solutions so you can both move forward and not keep spinning in place.

Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough.

Dinah Shore

There’s a Significant Lack of Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of any solid relationship, and without it, things start to crumble. If doubts and suspicions are the new norm, it’s a big warning signal. This isn’t just about catching your partner in a lie; it’s about that gut feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Rebuilding trust is tough, but it’s not impossible. It starts with honest talks and transparent actions. Every small step towards rebuilding trust is like finding a lost piece of a puzzle. It’s about piecing back the full picture of a strong, trusting relationship.

Intimacy Is Nearly Gone

We’ve touched on this before, but it’s worth repeating: intimacy is both the glue and the spice of your marriage. When the hugs, kisses, or even the deep talks vanish, you’re missing out on the bond that keeps things strong.

If you can’t remember the last time you felt that close connection, it’s time to address it. Start small—reach for their hand or share a moment from your day. It’s these little things that can lead you back to feeling close again.

You’re Not Excited to Spend Time Together

Remember when you used to count down the minutes until you could hang out together? If that eagerness has turned into “meh,” it’s not a great sign. It’s like when your favorite song comes on, and you just don’t feel like dancing anymore.

Life can get in the way, sure, but losing the joy of each other’s company can’t be ignored.

It’s time to find new activities that can bring back the fun. Even setting a regular “date night” or a walk in the park can rekindle that spark.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

Mignon McLaughlin

They Criticize You More Than They Compliment You

Constant criticism from your partner can wear you down. A relationship should lift you up, not feel like you’re always messing up. It’s time to talk if the criticism outweighs the compliments.

Aim to recognize and celebrate each other’s good sides. A healthy balance of feedback can make a world of difference. A kind word can be as uplifting as a high five for being you. Let’s tip the scales towards positivity and mutual support.

You Feel Like Your Partner Doesn’t Listen to You

When you’re talking, and it feels like your words are just bouncing off the walls, it can get lonely. Being heard is a basic need. If you’re feeling ignored, it’s like your partner is looking right through you. Who wants to be a ghost in their own home?

It’s essential to sit down and share how you feel and assert the need to be heard. Try taking turns talking and listening—it can be an eye-opener. When both partners feel heard, it’s like suddenly finding clarity in a foggy room.

Respectful Communication Is Missing

Respect is like the air you breathe in a relationship; you might not see it, but you can’t do without it. If your chats have more eye rolls than eye contact, it’s a sign respect is slipping. It might come out as harsh words, interrupting, or even mocking—none of that spells healthy communication.

A relationship should be a safe space where respect lives in every word. Setting ground rules for arguing fairly and respecting each other’s views could be a game-changer. Let’s make respect the foundation of every conversation.

You Have Financial Disagreements Frequently

Money matters can cause a real rift in a marriage, especially if you’re not on the same page. It’s like every time you sit down to talk about finances, you end up playing tug-of-war.

If you’re arguing about money more often than agreeing, it points to deeper issues.

It’s critical to work together on a plan that makes you both feel heard and secure. Transparency and compromise are the names of the game here. It’s all about teamwork to keep your financial peace.

You Feel Like You’re the Only One Trying to Make the Marriage Work

That sense of imbalance can be disheartening when it feels like you’re rowing the relationship boat alone. It’s like you’re giving it your all while your partner is just along for the ride. If you’re constantly the one making efforts, it’s crucial to address this one-sided dynamic.

A chat about this imbalance might spark a change. It’s about getting back on the same page and rowing in unison.

The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little ‘extra’ every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.

Fawn Weaver

Your Friends or Family Express Are Worried

When the people who know you best start to worry about your marriage, it’s worth paying attention to. It’s like getting a nudge from the sidelines seeing something you might not.

They’re not in it to meddle—they care and want the best for you.

Their concern often signals that things might not be as fine as you thought. Take a step back, look at your relationship through their eyes, and see if they notice something you’ve missed.

You Fantasize About Life Without Your Partner

Daydreaming about a life on your own isn’t just a passing thought if it happens a lot. It’s like there’s a whole other life script that you’re writing in your head, one without your partner in it. And if these thoughts come more often, it’s like a signal that you’re looking for an exit.

It means there’s a disconnect, and you’re longing for something different. It’s essential to figure out why you’re drifting into these daydreams and what they really mean.

You Avoid Going Home to Avoid Your Partner

When your home doesn’t feel like a haven anymore, and you find yourself dragging your feet to get there, that’s a flashing sign. It’s like every errand, coffee break, or extra hour at work becomes an escape route.

Dodging your partner might give temporary relief, but the real problem is back home waiting.

It’s a situation that needs facing; avoiding home means avoiding issues that won’t fix themselves. It’s crucial to deal with the reasons behind this feeling to make home a place you want to return to.

You’re Not Supportive of Each Other’s Goals

If cheering each other on has turned silent, it’s like the team spirit in your marriage is fading. Everyone has ambitions, and in a marriage, your partner’s should matter as much as your own.

When support is lacking, it’s like running a race without anyone at the finish line waiting for you.

If you find neither of you is in the other’s corner anymore, it’s time to ask why. Finding ways to support each other’s dreams is like adding fuel to the fire of your shared life. It’s a must to thrive together.

You Have Different Visions for the Future

When you and your partner have different ideas about where you’re heading, it’s a bit like trying to walk in two directions at once. Planning for the future should be a team effort, but if you’re not sharing the same goals or dreams, you’re reading from different maps.

It’s normal for each person to have their own interests, but there should also be common ground in a marriage. If those shared destinations are missing, it’s important to sit down and chart a course that feels right for both of you.

You Keep Secrets From Each Other

A marriage with secrets can feel like a house with hidden rooms. Everyone has their private thoughts, sure, but when secrets pile up, they create walls between you.

Trust is built on openness, so when you’re keeping things to yourselves, it’s like a silent alarm going off. Secrets can erode the foundation of trust that your relationship is built on.

If there’s a growing collection of untold stories, it might be time to open those doors and let the secrets out. Honesty can pave the way to trust and closer connection.

Your Partner Dismisses Your Interests and Dreams

When your partner doesn’t care about your hobbies or goals, it can feel like they don’t really see you. Your personal interests and dreams add color to who you are; if your partner brushes them off, it’s like they’re happy with a black-and-white version of you.

A partnership thrives on mutual respect and interest in each other’s passions. It’s not about sharing every hobby, but at least understanding and appreciating them.

If you sense a lack of interest in what lights you up, it’s worth bringing that into the spotlight. A little enthusiasm can go a long way.

A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.

Dave Meurer

You’re More Like Roommates Than Lovers

When the passion fades, and you’re just co-existing, your relationship lacks the spark it once had. It means the little things that make a relationship romantic—like surprise kisses or holding hands—have faded away.

It’s one thing to be comfortable, but it’s another to be complacent. Like housemates on different schedules, you might share a space but not a life.

If you’re missing the connection that goes beyond sharing chores and bills, it’s a signal to reignite the romance. Look for ways to bring back the warmth and closeness that turns a house into a home for both of your hearts.

You No Longer Share Small, Daily Details of Your Life

Sharing the little things in life is a sign of closeness in a relationship. When you stop telling each other about the small, everyday moments, you lose touch with each other’s lives.

It’s these small stuff that weave the fabric of your shared experiences. Once the sharing stops, you might find yourselves becoming strangers.

It’s not too late to open up again. Start by talking about the day’s simple things, and you can rebuild from there.

You’re Not Each Other’s Priority

In a strong marriage, you’re a top priority to each other. But if you start feeling like you come second—or even third—behind work, hobbies, or friends, it’s a sign you’re drifting apart.

This shift often happens slowly, but recognizing it means you can start working on rebalancing your priorities. Make time for each other and show that your relationship is still at the top of the list.

Remember, a successful marriage involves two people who choose to make each other a focal point of their lives.

You Have a Persistent Feeling of Sadness

Carrying a feeling of sadness that just won’t lift could be your heart telling you something’s off. When this sadness sticks around, even on good days, it might be linked to the state of your marriage.

It’s not just about being sad now and then; it’s a heaviness that seems to have moved in and taken up residence.

It’s important to explore where these feelings are coming from and if they’re rooted in your relationship. Addressing this persistent sadness can be the first step in finding a way back to happiness.

Your Health Is Affected by the Stress of Your Marriage

The stress from a rocky marriage can show up in more than just your mood—it can take a toll on your body too. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping, or you’re feeling run-down all the time.

It’s like your body is sounding the alarm that the emotional strain is too much.

Physical symptoms are your body’s way of saying it’s time to take action. Don’t ignore these warning signs; listen to them, and take steps to reduce the stress for the sake of your health.

You’re Afraid to Express Your True Feelings

Feeling scared to say what’s really on your mind is like walking on eggshells in your own home. It’s no way to live.

When you can’t talk openly, resentment builds up like steam in a sealed kettle. This fear of speaking out is a signal there are deeper issues affecting how safe you feel with your partner.

Creating a space where both of you can be honest without fear is crucial for a healthy relationship. It’s time to work towards communication that’s open and free from fear.

You Feel Stuck or Trapped in the Relationship

Feeling trapped is like being in a room with doors that won’t open. It’s one of the clearer signs that your marriage isn’t in a good place. You might start to believe there’s no way out or that nothing can change.

But feeling stuck isn’t the end of the story. It’s a sign to take a closer look at what’s going on and consider what might help you move forward.

Talking to someone, whether it’s a trusted friend or a counselor, can be a good first step in finding some room to breathe and options to consider.

You’re Isolated From Your Loved Ones

A happy marriage usually includes relationships with friends and family, but if you’re feeling cut off, that’s a red flag. It’s like your world gets smaller as those connections fade away. This isolation could happen gradually, but it often starts to feel pretty noticeable.

Being pulled away from your support network can leave you feeling alone and vulnerable. It’s important to recognize this pattern and think about ways to rebuild those bridges. Your support network is vital, and staying connected with your loved ones is key to your well-being.

Divorce Threats Are Common in Arguments

When every argument ends with threats like separation or divorce, it’s like a constant state of emergency in your relationship. These words can be incredibly hurtful and create uncertainty and fear.

It’s a tactic that can feel like an emotional weapon, and it’s not fair to anyone.

If this is happening, it’s more than just an argument—it’s a pattern that’s damaging the foundation of trust in your relationship. Addressing this behavior directly and setting clear boundaries about what’s acceptable to say during conflicts is important.

Acts of Kindness Between You Have Disappeared

A marriage usually involves small gestures of affection and kindness that show care for one another.

When these actions vanish, it can feel like the warmth in your relationship has gone cold. The absence of these little acts can make a big difference, making your interaction feel more like a contract than a loving bond.

It’s crucial to notice when the thoughtfulness that once came naturally starts to dwindle. Bringing back even the simplest act of kindness can breathe life back into your marriage.

Your Conversations Are Purely Logistical

If the only things you talk about with your partner are day-to-day logistics, child care, or chores, it’s like your relationship has become purely transactional. A lack of deeper, more meaningful conversations can leave you feeling disconnected.

When discussions of dreams, feelings, and ideas are missing, it can feel like you’re in an alliance, not a romance. Reigniting those conversations that go beyond the routine is key to maintaining a vibrant connection.

You Often Reminisce About How Things “Used to Be”

When you’re constantly looking back at the past, waxing poetic about the early days of your relationship, it implies the present isn’t measuring up.

If the happy memories of “back then” overshadow your current state, it can point to dissatisfaction with what your marriage has become.

It’s natural to remember good times fondly, but when those thoughts persist, it may be time to address what’s missing now. Acknowledging what’s changed can help you understand how to recapture some of the positive elements from the past.

Your Needs Are Sidelined

If it feels like your desires and requirements are consistently ignored or dismissed, it can result in feeling undervalued. When you’re not getting the attention or support you need, it’s like being a passenger in your own relationship journey.

Being secondary all the time isn’t just unfair—it can be damaging to your self-worth.

Speaking up about your needs is essential, as is working together to ensure both partners’ needs are met. It’s about finding a balance where both of you can thrive.

Your Social Life Has Diminished

Having a vibrant social life is part of a well-rounded individual’s experience, but if you notice yours has waned since being with your partner, consider it a warning sign.

Whether it’s because you’re spending all your time together or your partner doesn’t enjoy socializing, losing touch with friends can feel isolating.

Finding yourself homebound or out of the loop with your social circle can affect your sense of identity and happiness. Making an effort to maintain friendships and social connections is important for both your individual and joint health.

Effort in Personal Appearance Is Gone

When either you or your partner stop caring about personal appearance, it’s often a reflection of how you feel about the relationship. It’s not just about dressing to impress; it’s about showing through your efforts that you value each other and the relationship.

If getting ready for the day feels pointless or you notice a significant drop in effort from your partner, it signals a lack of motivation that often corresponds with deeper relationship issues.

Something Feels Fundamentally Off

Trusting your gut is important, and if you’re constantly feeling that something is not quite right in your marriage, it’s worth paying attention to. It’s vague, it’s troubling, and it’s persistent.

This feeling can be a culmination of smaller signs you’re picking up on, indicating there are issues lurking beneath the surface of your relationship.

Attention to these feelings is necessary, as they can be the subconscious’s way of alerting you to problems that need to be addressed.

You No Longer Feel Like Yourself

Being in a marriage where you feel like you’ve lost a sense of who you are is unsettling. If you’re finding that the things that once made you feel alive are now absent or you’re changing in ways you don’t recognize, it’s concerning.

It might be changes in your behavior, interests, or how you express yourself—they’re all indicators that the relationship might not be supporting your personal growth.

Regaining your sense of identity often starts with communicating these feelings and examining the dynamics of your marriage.

You’re Scared of Your Partner’s Reactions

Feeling intimidated about how your partner will react to the smallest things isn’t a good sign. It’s like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, trying to avoid a negative response.

This fear can create a tense atmosphere where you feel you can’t be yourself. It’s crucial to acknowledge this fear and consider why it exists. In a healthy relationship, you should feel comfortable and secure, not anxious or on edge about your partner’s reactions.

You Tend to Seek Company Elsewhere

If you’re choosing the company of friends or colleagues over your partner more often, take notice—it could be a sign of avoidance.

While it’s healthy to have other relationships, consistently preferring others’ company can signal dissatisfaction at home. It’s like you’re subconsciously filling a void that exists due to a lack of connection with your partner.

Reflecting on what you’re seeking from these outside interactions can provide insight into what might be missing in your marriage.

You’re Frequently Lying or Being Lied To

Honesty is the bedrock of trust, and if lies start to become part of your interactions, it can seriously undermine that trust. Whether it’s you who’s lying or you’re being lied to, the effect is the same—it creates distance and suspicion.

If untruths are happening often, it’s a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored. Addressing the issue of lying and understanding its impact are essential for restoring trust and the health of your marriage.

They Make You Feel Guilty for Small Mistakes

It’s not healthy when slip-ups are magnified to make you feel guilty all the time. This pattern of your partner highlighting minor errors can lead to a constant state of self-doubt and unease.

Understandably, no one wants to feel like they’re always in the wrong.

Addressing this issue is crucial, as everyone deserves compassion and understanding, especially for the small stuff. It’s about promoting forgiveness and growth, not guilt and stagnation.

You’re Not Excited to Share Good News With Them

When you hesitate to share your successes and happiness with your partner, it can be a sign that the emotional connection is waning.

Usually, good news is something you rush to tell your significant other.

If that impulse to share has faded, it indicates that the supportive and celebratory dynamic in your marriage may be weakened. Reflecting on why this excitement has diminished can help you both work towards restoring the enthusiasm in celebrating each other’s achievements.

You’re Considering or Engaging in an Affair

Thinking about being with someone else or actually stepping out on your marriage is a glaring sign that you’re seeking fulfillment elsewhere. This often stems from unmet needs or unresolved issues within the relationship.

While it’s a serious symptom of a marriage in crisis, it’s also a wake-up call. It underscores the necessity for a transparent evaluation of your marriage to understand what drives you to consider this path and how to address the root causes.

Each Other’s Successes Aren’t Celebrated Together

Successes in life, big or small, call for recognition, especially from your life partner. When your wins go unnoticed, it might leave you feeling unsupported.

Partners need to share in each other’s triumphs as it reinforces the bond and shows mutual pride in achievements. When this doesn’t happen, it can create feelings of bitterness or distance. Finding ways to celebrate each other can rekindle shared joy and partnership.

Seeking Help Feels Uncertain

You’re likely feeling pretty stuck when you’re thinking about getting help for your marriage but doubt its effectiveness. It shows you’re aware of the problems but also worried about the possibility of resolution.

Despite these doubts, considering help is a positive step. It means there’s still a desire to make things work.

Seeking guidance from a counselor or therapist might offer the perspective and tools needed to navigate your issues. It can be the lifeline your marriage needs to start on the path to recovery.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

Frederick Koenig

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is being close so important in marriage?

Being close, like really in tune with each other, is what keeps your relationship tight. It’s not just about the bedroom; it’s about feeling connected and safe enough to share anything. Lose that, and you might start feeling alone, even when you’re together.

Can marriages with these problems be saved?

Totally, a lot of marriages bounce back from tough times. It takes both of you wanting to make things better, being open in your talks, making real changes, and sometimes getting help from a professional. Every marriage is different, so how things turn out really depends on the couple and the effort they put in.

What if my spouse thinks our marriage is fine, but I don’t?

If they don’t see what you see, try explaining how you feel in a non-confrontational way. Talk about how some things they do affect you and ask for their support to change together. Sometimes, writing a letter can help. If disagreements persist, speaking to a counselor alone might be a good start.

How can financial fights affect a marriage?

Arguing about cash is more than just disagreeing about spending. It can turn into a real trust issue and cause some serious grudges. The best move is to get on the same page about money by talking and planning together.

How do I suggest marriage counseling without upsetting my partner?

Start with the good stuff—tell them you love them and want the best for both of you. Then, gently say that counseling could make your marriage even stronger. Make sure they know it’s not about finding fault, just about helping each other grow.

How can I tell if my partner might be thinking about a divorce?

If they start to pull away, act like they have one foot out the door, move money or assets without discussion, or stop planning for the future with you, these might be hints. Also, watch out if they start talking a lot about life without you or messing with legal papers.

When is it time to consider separation or divorce?

Deciding to split is super personal. It usually comes down to feeling like things just can’t get better, no matter how hard you try. If you’re super unhappy all the time, things are terrible at home, or you just can’t bridge the gap between you, it might be time to think about moving on—but only after you’ve tried everything else to fix it.

Final Thoughts

A bad marriage can rub off on every little thing in your life, leaving you feeling like you’re in a constant fog. It’s tough when the vibes at home are off, and you find yourself doing the bare minimum just to get by. Good thing you’re spotting the glitches—that’s your cue to act!

So, what should you do now? Try talking to your partner about what’s happening, or get a counselor’s backup if needed. Remember, it’s about trying, even when the trying gets tough.

You decided to be together for a reason, and with some work and honest conversation, things can get better. Love your love back to life.

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.