Five Signs of Trouble in Marriage
When a man and a woman decide to become one flesh, there is no doubt that a new adventure begins. This adventure will involve many ups and downs; however, there are times when it seems as though the bad far outweighs the good. To help you be mindful of these times, let’s discuss five signs of trouble in marriage (and what to do about it).
Communication Becomes Non-existent
Communication carries a heavy weight in marriage (and beyond). Our words have the power to build up or tear down. Scripture also says that life and death flow from the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). So when communication becomes non-existent in your marriage, that is a true indicator that there is trouble.
Talking to your spouse doesn’t seem like it would be hard to do; however, how often do you actually do it? Any when you talk, what are the topics of your conversations? Are you mainly talking about work, the children, problems, etc.? In most cases, the topic of conversations can tell you what is taking priority.
In marriage, the husband and wife should always take priority over children, work, extra curricular activities, and so on. This means that communication takes priority as well. Conversations should be marriage-building and involve:
- Compassion (Ephesians 4:23)
- Patience (James 1:19-20)
- Prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Despite how well you think you and your spouse communicate, you can always commit to improve your communication!
More Time is Spent with Others
It’s amazing to see (and experience) the exciting pursuance of a couple prior to marriage. There are regular dates, long talks, and intentional time spent to get to know one another. We spend countless hours learning about our future husband (or wife).
Then, we get married and over time become distracted by life’s throws. It could be having children, homeschooling, careers, extra curricular activities – or a plethora of other things. In the midst of it all, a marriage can quickly take the back seat and start to feel like another chore.
This also opens the door for finding more enjoyment in spending time with others, rather than with your spouse. Yes, it is super easy to let this happen, but we must be intentional about the time we spend with our spouse.
Hebrews 13:4 reminds us to respect our marriage and remain faithful. This also means to nurture the relationship we have with our spouse; hence, being faithful and intentional in spending time with one another.
Harsh Words are Spoken to One Another
As highlighted earlier, communication is vital in marriage which means the kind of words we speak matter. Speaking harsh words to your spouse are not only an indicator that there is trouble, but also trouble from within. Scripture says from the heart the mouth overflows (Matthew 12:34), which means the words spoken show how one truly feels about the other.
Think about the words you speak to your spouse. Are the uplifting, true, encouraging, and profiting? Or, are they depressing, belittling, and mean? Keep in mind that words also work like seeds. When they are planted, it is only a matter of time before they bloom. Do you want a marriage filled with rotten flowers (and fruit), or a prosperous, beautiful one?
Scripture gives many verses to help understand how we are to speak to our spouse:
- With humility, gentleness, and peace (Ephesians 4:2-3, Colossians 3:8)
- Honestly (Proverbs 24:26, Psalm 37:30)
- Gracious and seasoned (Colossians 4:6, Proverbs 16:24)
Even if you’ve spoken harsh words to your spouse in the past, it is never too late to begin speaking words that are kind, gentle, peaceable, and gracious.
Your Sex Life is Non-existent
Most couples would probably agree that the busyness of life is the number one reason why they are not intimate with their spouse. Even though this may be the case, physical intimacy goes much deeper than that. There is also a sense of emotional connection involved, making this act a vital part to marital growth.
Beyond busyness, there are other reasons why a couple may lack intimacy:
- Loss of attraction.
- Emotional wounds.
- Pornography addictions or affairs.
Whatever the case may be, we cannot allow the enemy to play the harp on this trouble in marriage. God sees this act as an important part of marriage and we should too. Scripture encourages us to:
- Keep the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4)
- Not withhold from one another (1 Corinthians 7:5)
- Keep the physical connection with our spouse (entire book of Song of Solomon)
If you find your sex life non-existent, try talking to your spouse about it. As always, pray… and if needed, seek wise counsel from like-minded believers in Christ.
You Find Yourself Comparing Your Spouse
In any area of life, playing the comparison game is a trap that never ends well. The same outcome applies to a marriage. If you find yourself comparing your spouse to someone else, it is time to take mental and heart inventory. Ask yourself where these thoughts are coming from and make it a point to repent and replace the thoughts with Scripture.
All actions come from thoughts; therefore, it is important to note how the Word of God can help in these times – especially to help prevent serious consequences from happening. Truth be told, comparison can be a sign of inward jealousy, not being content, and having a negative outlook.
If you find yourself comparing your spouse, remember these Scriptures:
- Galatians 5:22-25
- 2 Corinthians 5:14
- Philippians 2:3
- Psalm 37:4
- 2 Corinthians 10:5
These few Scriptures are a great reminder about how to not compare, as well as how to reprogram your mind to think about your spouse (and your marriage). Getting in control of your thought-process is one way to ensure the comparison game doesn’t trap your marriage.
Trouble in Marriage Can Be Used for Good
It’s no secret that marriages endure trials and tribulations, but these don’t always have to be seen as a bad thing. It’s overcoming them that makes them powerful. God can use a mess in your marriage as a message to another married couple. He can turn the test in your marriage into a testimony that will touch hundreds of marriages.
The point is to endure to the end, always keeping your eye on the prize which is in Christ Jesus.
We want to hear from you! What advice do you have to overcome troubling times in marriage?