You remember holding hands at the altar, looking into each other's eyes, and repeating the words "I do" and really meaning it. Just because you both said "till death do us part" doesn't mean that it was going to be easy to keep it that way.
If you are reading this because you are unsure of your own feelings or that of your partner's, then you should know the symptoms of a relationship heading for the rocks.
Read through these common signs of a failing relationship, and remember, just because you recognize some of them, doesn't mean that your marriage is necessarily over! There's always time to try and fix things, once you know what you are looking for.
Out Of Step
You spend the majority of your lives with your spouse, and it's meant to bring you closer together as the years go by. But are you finding that you and your partner are drifting apart?
This can take many forms, from physically spending time away from one another without noticing it, or simply developing incompatible perspectives on life.
If you are finding it harder and harder to maintain a conversation and small talk, then you may be unconsciously building a wall of silence between yourselves.
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
Have you noticed that everything becomes an argument with your partner nowadays? You can't even go out to dinner without fighting about where to go, what to watch on TV, or even who started the bickering.
This is a classic sign of unresolved frustration in a relationship. It usually means that something has happened that the other person felt wasn't fair, but can't let go of.
It could also be that your partner is trying to gain more control, and tearing down everything that you do is their way of showing how superior they are compared to you.
"Oh, did I not tell you?"
Couples in healthy partnerships tend to share the highlights of their lives with their spouses first, since it's really important for them, it should also be important for the other.
But if they start to share the good news with someone else before you, or worse, "forget" to tell you at all, then this could be a serious sign that they don't want to share their life with you at all.
New Look, New Me
Now, your partner going out and getting their hair cut or buying a new shirt isn't what we're talking about here.
This is more hand-in-hand with the above point, where your spouse starts changing their appearance and "style" without talking to you about it or including you in the decision-making process.
It could mean that they are trying to become a new person, one that has no connection to their current relationship.
Check out the more serious warning signs on the next page!
It's bad enough if your marriage has problems that are affecting the both of you, but ignoring them will only make it worse.
People seek distractions when they feel they can't, or don't want to solve the issues they are dealing with.
This can take the form of over-indulgence in a new hobby, spending more time with a new friend group, or at it's worst, having an affair.
These are all signs that your spouse is looking for something else to occupy their thoughts, replacing you as the center of their lives. Remember to not attack their new hobby as something bad on its own, but rather a symptom of their own disinterest in you.
Point Of Contention
Arguments are never the one thing to break a marriage, and just because you get into the occasional fight with your partner, doesn't mean it's game over for you both.
However, there are certain types of arguing that are sure fire signs that there is something serious happening. The biggest thing to look out for is when you both seem to be rehashing the same argument over and over again.
It highlights multiple problems between the two of you. First, that you cannot accept the other person's position on a topic. Second, it has clearly become more of a power struggle than anything else. And finally, that it is more important to win than to coexist peacefully with someone you love.
Lack Of Intimacy
A surefire way to tell if your marriage is heading for disaster is when you both find it difficult to share tender moments together.
If you can't remember the last time you had sex, or if you failed to keep the energy between the two of you, then it displays the loss of affection felt between both parties.
If you have noticed these or any other troubling behaviors within your marriage, just remember that the most successful tactic to avoiding separation is open communication. Trust that you can be honest with your partner, and let them know that they can be vulnerable with you as well.