KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR MARRIAGE:
Warning signs that communication could be breaking down:
- I struggle to think of things to say to my partner.
- I am rarely interested in what my partner has to say.
- Every time we talk, we fight.
- I try not to criticize but I feel so negative much of the time.
- I’m too tired to argue so I just don’t say anything.
- When my partner talks to me I notice I am easily distracted.
Do you feel as though your communication has started to break down?
Warning signs that ambivalence has set in:
- I don’t care anymore.
- I feel stuck.
- No matter what I say, it doesn’t make a difference.
- My partner doesn’t seem to be invested anymore.
- Some days things feel great. Other days, I can’t believe we are still together.
- I’m honestly not sure how I feel.
- Every time I offer a solution, my partner backs down and avoids any effort to make something feel better.
Do you feel you are experiencing the early stages of ambivalence?
Warning signs of severe disengagement that signal trouble and the need for intervention are:
- I prefer to be alone all of the time.
- It’s a relief to not be with my partner.
- I never enjoy his/her company.
- I do not want to be touched.
- We never talk, and when we do, we fight.
- Nothing I do is ever right.
- We have nothing in common.
- I don’t care how she/he feels.
- There has been no progress for months and every time I bring up how serious this is, I am dismissed.
Keep in mind that some of these statements may be uttered from time to time with little consequence. If, on the other hand, these statements reveal feelings that are more constant, reflecting a more chronic state of mind, then both partners would cope and feel better with supportive counseling.
Could your marriage be suffering from the early stages of disengagement?
For more information and strategies to enhance your connection, read Tokens of Affection: Reclaiming Your Marriage After Postpartum Depression. (Routledge, 2014)