By Julie Orlov for YourTango
You and your spouse just had another fight about money. You have argued about money for years, never agreeing on spending and saving habits. This time, the fight turned uglier than usual. There was a lot of name calling and threats of divorce. You both have had it. You just don't believe you will ever see eye to eye and are burned out. At this point, you aren't sure you want to stay married. And although you have had these kinds of arguments many times over the past 12 years, this time you believe the marriage is at risk. But is it?
Arguing is normal. Conflict is inevitable. Ups and downs are part of a long-term marriage. So when does an ebb run the risk of becoming the beginning of the end or the end itself? Here are five signs that indicate your marriage is at risk.
1. You begin to feel apathy for the marriage and for your spouse. You feel your love for your husband or wife disappearing, not because you feel angry or hurt, but because you feel nothing. If the flames have turned to embers and the embers are burning out, you relationship is definitely at risk.
2. You're negative about your spouse. All your conversations with friends and family members about your spouse are negative. You find yourself focusing on what your spouse does wrong and have difficulty identifying what your spouse does right. You only seek out friends and family who agree with your point of view and validate your negative feelings.
3. You begin to avoid being home with your spouse. You find yourself making plans with friends, having drinks with colleagues after work, or worse, having an affair. If you are spending all your free time with others with the intention of avoiding your spouse, you have already disengaged. At this point, you may prefer to avoid the marital issues rather than address them. This will definitely lead to the relationship's demise if this behavior continues.
4. You fantasize a lot about being single and on your own. While it is normal to fantasize about what it would be like to be single or with another person every now and then, if you are doing this on a regular basis, you may have one foot out the door and are preparing the bring the other foot along. Remember, thoughts precede action and you can talk (or think) yourself into a divorce before you know it.
5. You have a "light bulb" moment. And that light bulb tells you you've been tolerating a marriage that simply does not work. In fact, you believe that you have kept yourself in a situation that is not good for you and conclude that this is no longer acceptable. You feel committed to your well-being and will no longer accept disrespectful or abusive behaviors. When the light bulb goes on, the marriage needs to change NOW or you will gather the strength to leave.
Most people hang in there until the bitter end. They hold on to the hope that something will shift and the marriage will be saved. No one wants a marriage to end. It's painful. Some marriages really do need to end. But many do not. If you identify with any of the signs above, you need to act now. Don't wait. You are at the brink of no return. Getting the right help with the right person can make the difference. Act now.