No couple is immune to a midlife marital crisis.
Unfortunately, many couples do ignore the signs that a marital crisis could be on the horizon.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of. When you’re married for an extended period of time, it’s normal to go through some rough patches. But there are certain risk factors to pay attention to in order to make sure those rough patches don’t get out of hand.
The good news?
Once you know these risk factors, you and your spouse can take active roles in avoiding a crisis. And when you’re able to do that, your relationship can be stronger than ever!
So, what are some of these risk factors?
A Lack of Connection
When we first get married, we tend to feel a strong connection to our spouse. That connection is often built on feelings of love. However, the connection can fizzle out over time as the monotony of life starts to take hold.
When you don’t feel as connected to your spouse as you once did, it’s a starting point for a lot of things to go wrong. A lack of connection leads to a lack of communication. As a result, you may not talk to your spouse as much. You may not even trust them as much.
Moreover, when you don’t connect, you’ll also undoubtedly start arguing more, which leads to our next point.
A lack of connection doesn’t just manifest verbally. You’ll undoubtedly start to notice it in more intimate settings, too. There are plenty of old stereotypes about a couple’s sex life fizzling out through years of marriage. But, there’s a difference between something like that, and a total lack of physical, intimate connection and communication.
Likely, you’ll be able to tell the difference.
A New Way of Arguing
When you don’t feel connected to your spouse, you might avoid arguments because you just don’t want to put in the effort to work through the issues. Or you might even feel awkward about them.
Unfortunately, avoiding things like that is never a good idea. It allows resentment and anger to build up. When that happens, the arguments you do have become ten times worse. In fact, they’re hardly ever productive, and you’re more likely to say hurtful things to your partner.
Of course, arguments throughout a marriage are normal. But they should have a positive end goal or compromise in mind. If you’ve started to avoid arguments until you feel like you can’t hold in your feelings anymore, you could definitely be at risk for a midlife marital crisis.
Areas of Dishonesty
A lack of communication eventually leads to a lack of honesty. When you’re not honest with each other (even by leaving out information), it’s easy for trust to begin to crumble. Yet, trust should be one of the key foundations of your marriage.
If you’ve started to hide things from your spouse, or you know they’ve done the same to you, it could be time to seek out help for your marriage before the situation gets worse.
As you can see, these risk factors for a midlife marital crisis all share some common threads—when communication and connection have started to take a backseat in a marriage, trouble often follows.
So, what can you do?
Marital therapy is one of the best options. Catching these red flags and addressing them before they create a huge divide in your marriage can save your relationship.
You don’t have to go through this alone. A midlife marital crisis is avoidable with the right help. But both partners involved have to be willing to put in the work to make changes. Together, we can work through the best possible ways to do that in your marriage.
Contact me if you’re ready to put a stop to these risk factors and strengthen your bond as a couple. Or learn more about marital therapy and couples counseling.