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How Do I Know When My Marriage is Over: 3 Signs Your Marriage is in Trouble
Posted: 6/6/2014 | Relationships Comments
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Just because you see signs that your marriage may be broken or in trouble doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over.

First of all,
the marriage isn’t over until you both decide it is. If you fell in love in the beginning, you have a foundation of love that you can draw upon. Love is a funny thing. It has many levels and layers to it. Sometimes we can doubt if we still “love” someone, depending on what’s happened. But if you’ve built a life together, even if the “feeling of love” waxes and wanes, it is always worth putting extra time into learning about yourself, your partner, and the problems that have arisen. 

Even if things have been hard for a while in your relationship,
if both of you are willing to do whatever work is necessary, then it may be fixable. However, both parties have to pony up. Healing a marriage requires the ability to be honest with yourself and each other.

Life has challenges for everyone,
and relationships bring up our deepest wounds and vulnerabilities. Being in a relationship is a wonderful opportunity to grow and change. Yet, if your partner isn’t willing to look at themselves and what they’re doing in the marriage is unacceptable to you, then you may choose to move on.

If you think you’re seeing some sign that your marriage may be broken beyond repair,
that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over. In most cases you won’t know if you’ll be able to work through a difficult issue until you sit down with your partner and a good psychotherapist, who can help you clarify things and speed up the process.

So what are the signs that your marriage is in trouble?

You catch your spouse lying:
You might hear them lying to other people, saying things you know aren’t true. This can bring up trust issues because you know that when they lie to others, they’re capable of lying to you. But lying happens in degrees. So pay attention to what you hear. Are they lying to deceive someone in an attempt to get something from them, or is it that they just can’t figure out how to say “No” to someone, or to say, “I'm sorry, I don't disclose those kinds of things,” so they lie about it instead.

Your spouse cheats on you:
You might have had an inkling of what was happening, even before you found out. Then, once you’ve discovered the “other,” perhaps you feel angry, betrayed, hurt or sad. You might wonder how they could do that to you, or even blame yourself.

No matter what feelings and thoughts come up, each of us is responsible for working with them, rather than acting them out. So if your partner is discontent or unhappy, it’s their job to address the problem and speak up about it. However, you need to do your inner work as well, especially if this is a recurring pattern in your relationships. Everything in our life has meaning for us and is an opportunity for growth and healing, even if it seems impossible to think so at the time. 

Your spouse is abusive:
How do you know if you’re in an abusive relationship? Here are some of the classic signs. Your partner is excessively possessive or jealous, unable to see or admit when they’ve done something wrong, criticizes or makes fun of you in front of others, hits you or exhibits threatening behavior, and makes excuses for their actions. Depending on the severity of the abuse, psychological healing work can be done in the relationship—both individually and as a couple—or after you’ve left.

If leaving an abusive relationship or a marriage that seems broken beyond repair,
please know it’s not only an outer journey, but also an inner one. It takes great courage and compassion to do the personal, internal work to grieve the losses and see how you ended up in this situation to begin with. Did you come from an abusive or controlling family, or witness a difficult marriage as a child? Were you raised with a certain narrow view of relationships and gender roles? Or, did childhood events keep you young too long, or push you to grow up too fast? What are the repeating patterns you see in your relationship from your past?

None of this is easy, but it’s so worth the journey of being conscious of your life and of the truth of what is happening. As a person grows in self-awareness and knowledge, they also grow stronger, wiser, and happier whether they stay in the marriage and face the difficulties there, or leave and face them afterward.

In what ways have you experienced your relationship patterns? Your comments make a difference for us all.

For further information on accessing the wisdom, happiness, fulfillment, and peace you desire, click here to learn about Dr. Howard's Multiple Award Winning Book "Your Ultimate Life Plan: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That Last.

photo credit David Castillo Dominici via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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