If your spouse betrays you, it shakes your world. It’s difficult to believe someone you love so much could deeply hurt you after you trusted him or her with your heart.
It’s essential to have support when dealing with the fallout that comes with disloyalty. Before that, though, you have to recognize the warning signs of betrayal.
To help you recognize bad behaviors, here are 9 problems that could destroy your marriage:
Different spending habits
If you fight about money, research has shown you are more likely to divorce, according to The New York Times. While many couples occasionally disagree about what to save and what to spend, those who find themselves arguing about it several times a week could be in trouble. The best way to avoid arguments is to talk about money when you’re both calm and to respect each other’s opinions, Landon Dowdy writes for CNBC. However, if you cannot come together to create a budget, make changes to it and track it, it’s a sign you are not on the same page. This lack of communication can devastate a relationship.
Getting married can feel like the greatest step toward lifelong happiness. While being happy is vital, it comes with responsibilities. If your spouse is not taking on a fair share of life’s work inside and outside the home, you may feel resentful…an emotion that has no part in a happy marriage. Psychologist Mark Dombeck points out on MentalHelp.net that “failure to reach agreement with regard to roles can be a major source of conflict.” You and your partner should discuss what you expect of yourself and each other when it comes to jobs and housework. One of you cannot assume the other will follow a predefined role.
You married your best friend because you love each other and enjoy spending time together. So if your partner is constantly saying no to your invitations to work out, go for a hike, watch a movie, eat dinner, or whatever you want to do together, it’s a serious problem. It may be you need to communicate about how much time you want to spend together and how much time you want to yourself, but it could hint at unhappiness.
Arguing without resolution
While disagreements are important, and even a big argument can help air out differences, John M. Gottman of the Gottman Institute told Elite Daily, fights must lead to a resolution. The positives of a relationship should far outweigh the negatives so, if you and your partner constantly bicker without finding peace afterward, it is a sign of a negative undercurrent running through your relationship. You should be able to disagree with each other in a way that allows you to communicate your feelings and resolve problems.
Bottling hurt feelings
It makes sense for couples to learn not to sweat the small stuff. However, if your partner does something that bothers you — and you just can’t get over it — you should be able to talk about it before you bottle up the feeling and explode later. Psychologist Emilie Ross Raphael suggests several ways to have a respectful conversation, including avoiding blaming statements, listening respectfully to your partner’s grievances, accepting responsibility for your role in a conflict and doing what you can to make it better.
“You need to seek out what will make the situation better in the future so this situation doesn’t arise again,” Raphael told Psychology Today. “Further, you need to tell the other person, ‘this is what I need from you now to make things better.’ You need to take responsibility for what will fix it now. Is it merely listening? Is it an apology? Most people miss this piece.”
If those are impossible achievements, there is a deep-seated issue that could severely damage your relationship.
Giving the silent treatment
Time and again, research has shown communication is key in healthy relationships. When one partner refuses to communicate, it introduces a poison into your marriage that slowly eliminates happiness and compatibility.
While it is all right to be upset, giving the silent treatment is not the way to resolve conflict. Instead, ask for time alone, or communicate respectfully about the problem. The silent treatment is not only one partner trying to control the conversation — or lack thereof — but it can also cause dissatisfaction and, ultimately, contribute to divorce.
If your partner puts you down in front of others, looks down on what you do at work or how you spend your free time, or generally doesn’t care about your interests, it shows a lack of respect. That belittling behavior can decimate a relationship. In Peter Gray points out in Psychology Today that “love without respect is dangerous; it can crush the other person, sometimes literally.” To respect your spouse, Gray explains, “is to understand that the other person is not you, not an extension of you, not a reflection of you, not your toy, not your pet, not your product.” It’s important to take time to value the unique talents and differences you each bring to your marriage. As you seek to help each other grow, you’ll find increased happiness you would not have otherwise known.
This may seem like a no-brainer when discussing other people’s relationships, but it seems more complicated when it’s you. Cheating doesn’t only mean that your spouse has sex with another person. It could also include other forms of emotional betrayal. Intimate conversations with another person or talking about topics that aren’t being shared between spouses will cause damage to any marriage.
Physical abuse isn’t the only type of abuse in relationships. Emotional abuse carries with it serious problems in any relationship.
“[Emotional abuse] can be more harmful than physical abuse because it can undermine what we think about ourselves,” emotional health coach Maria Bogdanos writes for Psych Central. “It can cripple all we are meant to be as we allow something untrue to define us.”
If a partner puts you down or tries to regulate the people you see or talk to, this controlling behavior is abusive. It is important to pick out any warning signs in your relationship, and get counseling.
Providing an online support community for women, Bloom is a resource of support and education for women working to recover from betrayal and broken relationships. Get answers from experts, connect with women like you, and begin the healing process today. Click here to watch the video.