Is your marriage withering away under the strain of something unspoken? Psychologists refer to certain traits in couples as silent “relationship killers.” These are issues that come between couples over time — without necessarily even being noticed at first.
The reality is that most marriages don’t implode suddenly over something large — like infidelity or a similar betrayal. Instead, they slowly disintegrate because they aren’t be nurtured properly. What gets in the way? The following:
1. Changing goals
In a perfect world, couples would always grow together and their goals would always align. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, particularly if you were young when you got married. People change — and don’t always end up on the path they expect to be on.
If your spouse seems to actively resent something you do, something about you or just seems to resent your life together, that’s going to constantly seep into their interactions with you. Sarcasm and passive-aggressive tactics are tough to handle and many people who find themselves on the wrong end of a spouse’s resentment just quit trying.
This is often the flip-side of what happens when one half of the couple is resentful and critical of the other. The other half of the couple may simply shut down in order to shut out feelings of pain and anger that are too hard to process.
4. Conflict avoidance
Let’s be honest: Nobody enjoys fighting with their spouse. However, avoiding conflict like it’s the plague is also a marriage-killer. You can’t have an honest conversation if you’re editing everything you say. You also can’t engage in constructive conversations that will provoke change for the better if you try to avoid conflict at all costs.
If these things are quietly destroying your relationship, it’s time to get help. If you feel like it’s already too late, however, you may need to take steps to protect your rights in a divorce.