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Subtle Signs and Suspicions: Ways to Tell When Your Marriage is in Jeopardy

Subtle Signs and Suspicions:
Ways to Tell When Your
Marriage is in Jeopardy


Has a friend ever cried on your shoulder and complained to you that they had no clue that their marriage was over, until their spouse suddenly filed for divorce? Sorry to say, but that sort of stuff happens all the time. In retrospect, many people who were blindsided by divorce look back and see the red flags. By then, though, it’s generally too late. Here are a few red flags to watch out for yourself.

You (or your spouse) always needs to be right and/or in control

If either party to the marriage becomes righteously self-indignant during every sort of argument, that’s a pretty sure sign that love is fading. If your partner always has to have the last word, it may be a sign that they have fallen irreparably out of love. Two people who truly care for one another tend to be flexible and willing to compromise.

Hoping or demanding that the other person change is another sure sign that the pair is not well suited for marriage. If your partner insists upon controlling the way you behave, the clothes you wear, the food you order in restaurants, and other aspects of your day-to-day life, that may indicate that they don’t love you for who you truly are.

Does your spouse sneak peeks at your phone to see who you’ve been texting with? Is your marital mate super secretive with their own cell phone or Internet device? A lack of trust like that, even when warranted, is a sure sign that neither spouse trusts the other. A strong and lasting marriage cannot be built on a foundation of distrust and jealousy. Jealousy is, after all, just another way of trying to exert control over another person. If that person happens to be someone you are married to, your relationship could be in grave danger.

Overblown venting and uncalled for retaliation

Every couple argues now and then. Even the happiest pairs of people sometimes disagree. It’s simply human nature. Disagreement becomes a problem when one or both spouses resort to yelling, name-calling, and insults. If your partner tries to shame you instead of calmly listening to your side of the story, a big red flag of impending marital doom may be waving right in front of your face.

If either you or your spouse feels the need to ‘get even’ after a disagreement, trouble may be brewing. Score-keeping is another sign that a marriage is in serious danger of falling to pieces. If you or your spouse uses phrases such as ‘you always’ and ‘you never’ during heated discussions, look out. Such extremes usually mean the other person wants to win the fight at all costs, and that bodes not well for a long and fruitful marriage.

Blaming, avoidance, deception, and withdrawal

Relationship gurus at YouTango note that when one partner becomes emotionally and sexually unavailable to the other, the relationship may be in peril. The same applies when one spouse tunes the other out instead of hearing what they have to say. A wife who blames her husband for everything bad in her life may be well on her way toward to door. Likewise when a husband stops being an active participant in the marriage.

A husband who stays late at the office every night instead of eating dinner with his wife may want out of the marriage but has not yet worked up the nerve to tell her. If either spouse attempts to ‘rewrite history’ and claims the relationship was never good, divorce may be on the horizon.

When dishonesty factors into a marriage, that marriage may be on the rocks. In a truly healthy marriage, both partners should feel free to be completely honest, no matter what. If you find yourself lying to your partner about finances and other matters, your relationship may be on shaky ground.

What you can do about a broken relationship

If you want to change your marriage for the better, take the initiative instead of waiting for your spouse to make the first move. Actions speak louder than words, and your changed behavior may be exactly what it takes to jump start your marriage again, says Huffington Post.

If you’ve tried everything, and you’re certain that your marriage is beyond hope, speak with a divorce lawyer without delay. An experience divorce attorney won’t try to convince you to stay, nor will he or she rush you into divorce.

Sometimes, it takes a calm and dispassionate third party to help you see that your marriage has passed the point of no return. If this happens to you, a compassionate attorney will make the marital dissolution as pain-free as possible.


Hayden Atkinson is a marriage and divorce therapist helping people to choose the right path, whether that’s to stay and work on a relationship, or to walk away to a happier future. She writes for online and offline publications on occasion, giving out her expert advice.

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