A canary was taken into mines to provide a warning of danger to the miners – if the canary died the miners were also in danger. What are the signs that your marriage is in danger?
Divorce and the detachment that leads to divorce does not happen all at once. Instead, marriages die gradually. The typical couple will wait many years before seeking help. During this time, they ignore clear signals that their marriage is in trouble. Once they come for counseling, they have built so much resentment and so many barriers that reconnection becomes an extremely difficult task.
So let’s examine some common signals of a deteriorating relationship that should not be ignored.
Emotional Distancing: Emotional distancing often begins early in the marriage. When you began dating there was a mutual attraction and a desire to establish a future together. You were each motivated to show you cared and wanted a future together. After marriage, or perhaps even before, the concern about the future of the relationship fades with the belief that you will be together forever.
At the same time you believe that you have a partner for life, one or both of you find that the relationship is not living up to your expectations. This triggers tension that was not present in the past. The tension comes from one or both of you trying to change your partner.
It is common for a couple’s emotional disconnect to be traced back to earliest disagreements that left each partner feeling uncared for. The woman feels her partner distancing as a result of the tension while the man feels overwhelmed by the woman’s emotional plea for change. Both interpret the distance as a sign of their partner’s lack of caring.
Emotional distance crumbles the security of the relationship. When your partner is no longer viewed as caring, then he or she becomes a potential source of pain, which leads to physical distancing.
Physical Distancing: How many pictures have you seen of animals of all species cuddling? We are attracted to these pictures because they reflect a need for touch that we share with all of the animal world. When your relationship becomes physically distant, then you are going without a basic need.
A smile, a gentle touch and time spent holding one another provides comfort and caring. Men are often more comfortable expressing their love through physical expression rather than emotions. Without physical connection, couples describe their relationship as being like roommates or siblings.
Sexual Distancing: Too often couples think of their sexual relationship only in terms of intercourse. Yet when you think back to first exploring sex, you’ll recall how even holding hands was a sensual pleasure. Couples need to experience sensual as well as sexual pleasure.
Many couples continue having regular intercourse but find that it becomes routine and fails to help them connect. This is because they have lost the pleasure of sensual seduction. Sensual seduction ignites passion through stimulating a variety of senses – touch, smell, hearing before trying to stimulate the sexual organs.
Passion can have a healing effect. Daily tension can drain away and in its place comes a feeling of closeness and well-being.