By Dickson Tumuramye
Every marriage relationship begins with a rosy situation and everything seems to work well, but as time goes by, certain issues may emerge and cause disharmony.
What started as a sugary friendship becomes sour, and the intimacy between spouses dwindles, as marriage challenges begin to arise.
As all this is happening, take note of certain red flags that you may have ignored before.
Some of these bad indicators may take longer to be recognised in a relationship, and may not be obvious to everyone.
There are so many of them that we experience differently and at different levels because every marriage is unique.
There may be no particular order for these issues to present themselves, but you can pick one or two that are significant in your marriage relationship.
Bad communication is generally an indicator that the friendship is losing its solidity.
When no more calls or messages come in regularly, know that there is trouble in your marriage, and ensure that you find out where the challenge could be coming from.
There may be situations when one party enjoys chatting with ‘outsiders’ instead of their partner, and any comment about such behavior, the guilty party may ignore or get defensive. This is a negative signal.
Secretive phone calls
Secretive call incidences should tell you that this person is no longer comfortable with you and there is something you should not listen to.
At this point, partners may no longer feel free to share secrets with each other, since they do not trust each other with information any more.
Marriage is a relationship between the two of you and it involves growing and working together. If you find it easy to consult others first on what you want to do other than your spouse, then something is not right. If you do not see value in seeking your spouse’s consent, it is sometimes an indicator that you are not compatible anymore.
Infidelity and intimacy
When one of the partners gets involved in cheating or denies their spouse sex, then the friendship in the marriage has loopholes.
Some people get to an extent of making their spouses beg for sex and this is a bad sign that one of them is no longer comfortable with the other.
Cheating also is an indicator that the responsible person may no longer have the intimate satisfaction from their partner, and once this is noticed, it should be addressed.
Some spouses all of a sudden start to complain on everything or criticize every small action you do, rather than complimenting you.
Even when you try your best, your spouse trashes your efforts and you are no longer sure what makes him or her happy.
Coming home late
Happy couples always cannot wait to come home to each other, but when one is tired of the other, they will start coming late, in order to spend less time with the other.
In this case, one prefers to spend more time with their friends or strangers out in the bar than being home with their partners. This is an indicator that there is no more friendship between the two.
We have heard people who run away from their homes and prefer staying either alone instead of their spouses.
They look at staying home with their partners as very inconveniencing.
Others may always threaten to leave especially when there is a small argument.
Alcoholism, drug abuse
Excessive drinking or use of other substances like drugs usually under the disguise of searching for peace is an indicator of a loose relationship in your marriage.
If you find that your spouse’s drinking habits are worsening daily and they prefer spending more time away than at home, this is an indicator that something is not right.
Other issues could be selfishness, no conflict resolution, no sharing of plans together, withdrawal from family support, reporting you to friends or relatives on anything you do, threats to kill you, no more fun in your marriage, controlling behavior, non-resolution of past conflicts and many more.
These are some of the issues you should not take for granted when they arise. These cause abuse physically, emotionally, spiritually and eventually affect your intimacy.
When all these indicators are recognized, couples should seek counseling or sit down and address them together, in order to make their marriages successful.
The writer is a child advocate, parenting coach and marriage counselor.
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