Are the skies darkening over your relationship? If so, you're probably doing these things.
While there are many reasons for relationship breakdown, I have through my years in practice noticed that there is a "top ten" list of reasons that make a relationship more vulnerable to everything from arguing to affairs.
Take a look through the below list. The more behaviors you see in your relationship, the more likely it is that your marriage may face the ultimate doomsday—divorce.
1. You're A Narcissist.
It's all about you, all the time. You tend to be short-sighted and focused on your own instant gratification. You try to control others and you don't care about the impact your behavior has on your partner or even your children.
You're quick to blame your partner for all your problems and you probably have a short-fuse, quickly erupting into adult temper-tantrums whenever you don't get your way.
2. You Have Opposite-sex Friendships.
Today, the vast majority of affairs start as inappropriate opposite-sex friendships. What starts as "innocent" texting quickly escalates to secretive behavior, deleting text histories, and emotional or sexual betrayal.
Suspicious partners are left to wonder what is happening and, if they express their concerns, are often told they're being "crazy" or paranoid. Yet in the end, those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.
3. You're Leading Separate Lives.
You have no shared vision about your future and you're unable to get on the same page about anything, whether it's how to spend (or save) your money or where to go on vacation. One or both of you probably spend hours every night avoiding each other and instead staring vacantly at your computer or phone screen.
4. You Have A Child-Centered Marriage.
You'd rather scrapbook with your kids than get sexy with your spouse. Couples who let their relationships revolve around their kids don't just weaken their loving bond, they also serve as poor role models for what a romantic friendship should be like.
5. You've Stopped Prioritizing Intimacy.
Whether you've stopped spontaneously embracing your partner in the kitchen or initiating new sex ideas with enthusiasm, your emotional and sexual intimacy – two sides of the same coin – are wearing thin.
6. You've Had Horrible Role Models In Your Life.
Perhaps your parents scrapped all the time, walked away from their parental obligation to you, or didn't know how to control their emotions or anger. Regardless, you're all grown-up now and it's your responsibility to break the cycle to provide a better life for yourself, your partner and your kids.
7. You're Just No Fun To Live With.
Sure, we all have our less than flattering moments. But if the vibe in your relationship and home is one of boredom, negativity, anger or criticism, or if you're always barking at or micro-managing others, chances are nobody enjoys your company.
8. You Don't Appreciate Your Partner.
Regardless of what problems a couple is going through, feeling "unappreciated" by one's partner is a common complaint in almost all troubled relationships.
9. You Think The Grass Will Be Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence.
Do you know how ostriches are captivated by shiny objects? That's you. You spot a new shiny person and assume they are a better catch than your current partner.
10. You Expect Your Partner To Take The First Step To Make Your Relationship A Better One.
Unfortunately, he or she is waiting for you to do the same thing. This deadlock, foolishly created out of hurt feelings, pride and resentment, has a good chance of sealing your fate.
So what to do if you check-marked too many of these portends of doom? Well, sometimes it's enough to be aware of it and challenge yourself to change for the better. Some people can do this alone. If you can't do it alone, reach out for help. There are a gazillion resources out there, including my Marriage SOS book series.
Whatever you do, do it today. The sooner you can begin to erase those check-marks, the sooner you can enjoy the many benefits of a happy and healthy long-term relationship. Life's too short to live in the misery of impending doom.