You're Always Criticizing Each Other
It doesn't mean that you shouldn't criticize each other at all — constructive criticism can be helpful in a relationship, but it's important to think about whether your feedback is actually useful.
Several studies show that negative (or toxic) criticism can lead to problems in marriage. Dr. John Gottman, a therapist with more than 50 years of experience, suggests that toxic criticism at the start of a conflict can be a warning sign that your relationship might end in divorce.
Bad criticism: You're useless and annoying because you don't help me!
Good criticism: I feel overwhelmed because you don't help me with chores/laundry/etc., please help me.
Lack of Intimacy
If you don't feel close to your partner, it's possible that there's some emotional distance or negativity between you two. This is especially true if you're not interested in being intimate with your significant other or if they're not interested in being intimate with you.
Healthy intimacy is extremely important in any relationship, but we're not talking about sex here. Many couples don't have sex regularly (due to health problems, busy schedules, etc.), and that's completely normal. Intimacy has many forms, like holding hands, saying sweet nothings to each other, or even cooking together. There are many beautiful ways to show your partner that you love them.
You Constantly Have the Same Argument
Disagreements happen in every relationship (yes, even in completely healthy ones). Several studies show that couples who handle arguments effectively are more likely to have a healthy relationships than those who avoid difficult topics.
However, if you, as a couple, find yourselves stuck in the same argument without finding a resolution, there might be a serious problem in your relationship. This may cause you to start avoiding each other.
You may feel like avoiding a painful conversation is the best solution, but it won't help your connection in the long run. You two may need to take some time to figure out why the same issue keeps coming up. Be open and honest with each other!
You Aren't Communicating
A lot of married couples get into the routine of talking only about their kids, money, and work-related stuff. But it's crucial to feel heard and understood by your partner.
If you don't communicate honestly and openly, small everyday issues can pile up and cause bigger problems in the long run. It can be so much easier to deal with those issues as they come up instead of just letting them build up over time.
You Don't Enjoy Spending Time Together
Of course, it's healthy to have some alone time, even if you're happily married. You don't have to spend every second of your time together! But if you two start making excuses to avoid spending time with each other, there might be some hidden issues or important underlying reasons for this.
Try to understand why you don't feel like being around your partner. Do you argue all the time when you're together? Is there some tension between you two? Does their presence just annoy you? Understanding the root causes of this behavior can help you address (and solve) the deeper problems in your connection.
You Are Keeping Secrets or Lying to Your Spouse
Of course, everyone has the right to keep certain things private just because they feel like they need to keep them private. But if you're hiding something from your partner just because you know it would hurt their feelings (for example, going on a date with another person), your relationship is in trouble. If you're always lying to your significant other, try to understand why. Are you actually unhappy in your relationship but too scared to tell them? Do you not trust them?
There Is a Lack of Trust
If you often feel like your partner is lying or behaving suspiciously, you might be tempted to check their phone or email. However, if you feel the need to do this, it could mean there are more significant problems in your marriage that you need to deal with. When there's no trust, it can cause emotional instability between you and your spouse, and you both may feel unsafe or uncomfortable around each other.
You're Having an Affair
It's normal to find other people attractive even when you're in a relationship. Your biological needs (or feelings) do not magically disappear. But if you're constantly thinking about someone else (and even acting on those thoughts), it is a sign of a problem in your relationship. Maybe you're not getting certain things from your partner, like affection or attention, and you're trying to get these from someone else. It might feel great to have someone else to meet your needs, but often, it's just a temporary distraction from dealing with very real issues in your marriage.
You're Emotionally Relying on Another Person
Having emotional connections with people outside of your relationship is fine. But if you're constantly complaining about your partner to your best friend (or even just random people) without addressing these issues with your spouse, it means that your marriage is having problems. Try to talk to your partner and be honest about the things that make you feel uncomfortable.
There Is Abuse
Abuse in any form (verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual) is never normal. If there's domestic violence is happening in your relationship, it's extremely important to seek help right away. Make sure to create a safety plan and get to a safe space, like your friend's or family member's home, if it's possible.