Marriages fizzle and die a slow death for the most innocuous reasons. Most marriages don’t succumb to an affair or midlife crisis. Most go the way of divorce because spouses fail to pay attention to the simple things that keep a marriage humming along and both spouse’s happy.
Below are 10 Reasons Your Marriage Fizzled Out:
1. Lack of Enjoyment in The Relationship
If the marriage and relationship become dull and predictable both spouses will lose interest. When both spouses work at keeping things exciting and fun the marriage has a better chance of lasting. When it turns into Football every Sunday and shopping with the girlfriends instead of spending time with each other engaging in new experiences the marriage will slowly die.
2. A Lack of Boundaries in The Relationship
Setting boundaries is an important part of any healthy relationship. If you aren’t willing to tell your spouse what you will and will not tolerate in the marriage, how will your spouse know what lines can and can’t be crossed?
Most feel that boundaries are about settling limits on the other person’s behaviors. In reality, boundaries are YOU setting YOUR limits and then not hanging around when YOUR boundaries are crossed. For example:
“I feel belittled when you tease me in front of friends. Next time this happens I will tell you, in front of our friends that I feel belittled and I will remove myself from the conversation.” Then, next time you are belittled or, whatever behavior it is your spouse does that upsets you, live up to the boundary you set.
3. Taking The Relationship For Granted
I heard a bride say, “Now that we are married, he can never leave me.” Think again! The moment your spouse becomes your sure thing, your marriage begins to die. It is human nature to pay less attention to things we are sure of. Not paying attention to whether or not the marriage is in good shape and your spouse is happy is a great way to end up with a bad marriage and unhappy spouse.
4. A Failure to Communicate…Properly
My ex and I used to take great pride in our ability to communicate. What we were doing was talking circles around each other and not solving problems in the marriage. When having crucial conversations about the relationship, keep in mind that men and woman have different styles of communication. Women are emotional communicators, men are logical communicators. Learn how to decipher what your spouse is saying and where they are coming from.
5. Financial Difficulties or, Not Being on The Same Page, Financially
If both spouses aren’t involved in and aware of the financial realities of the marriage this is an invitation for trouble. In most marriages, one or the other spouse takes charge of paying the bills and keeping tabs on the money. That is all good and well but, both spouses should be aware of where they, as a couple, stand financially. And, there should be an understanding of who spends what and what it is spent on. If not, one spouse can spend a marriage into divorce court.
6. Engaging in Power Struggles as a Couple
Marriage is give and take. At times one spouse will give more than the other, but for the health of the marriage, the pendulum should swing back and forth. Couples get into trouble when one wants to have power over the other and there is a constant battle with that spouse trying to exert dominance. In successful marriages, spouses are willing to share the power, not fight over it.
7. Lack of Sex
Physical intimacy is what bonds a couple together. Without it, spouses become roommates instead of husband and wife. It is true that sexuality or the desire for intimacy increases and decreases based on many things. Women age and hormones decline, men work too much and come home too tired for sex.
It is beneficial for your marriage and relationship bond to make time for sex unless you are feeling abused or neglected by your spouse. In those situations, I encourage communication in the case of neglect and, leaving the marriage in the case of abuse.
8. Losing Your Sense of Self
It is easy, especially for women who do not work outside the home to lose themselves in the marriage and family. I would venture to say that this is probably the number one reason for gray divorces. Women raise their children, support their husband and his work and hit middle age with no idea who they are and what to do with their empty nest.
Each spouse needs to take time away from the other and the children to engage in activities they find fulfilling and help them maintain a sense of who they are outside the marriage and role of spouse and parent.
9. Becoming the Nagging Wife
Sorry ladies but, you are married to an adult, not a child. Yes, you may feel it is his job to mow the lawn but if he fails to do so nagging him won’t get him behind a mower. It will cause him to resent you and resentment in a marriage is a sure-fire killer.
If your husband doesn’t fix the leaking faucet, pay a plumber. If the deck needs to be stained and he ignores your request to do so, hire someone to get the job done. When he takes a look at the finances and sees that it will cost him less to get out and get those jobs done he will get busy. And, he won’t be able to accuse you of being a “nagging wife.”
10. Smothering Your Spouse
I have a friend who would cut her husband’s meat if he would allow her. Every shirt is starched to perfection, every lunch packed with nutritious meals and she is aware of every move he makes throughout his day.
Yes, you love your spouse but, that is no reason to treat them as if they can’t care for themselves or to feel you should be joined at the hips. Give your spouse space don’t keep them on a short leash and you will both be happier. In turn, you will have a better marriage.
This article first appeared on DivorcedMoms.com