1) Lack of Intimacy – Intimacy in a marriage includes sex but is not limited to just that. Intimacy is described in the dictionary as “a close familiarity or friendship; closeness”. The basis of a solid marriage is friendship. When couples are unwilling or unable to be vulnerable with each other it stifles intimacy and pulls people further apart. Many think intimacy should just come naturally, but marriage therapists believe that the “closeness” of intimacy is something that must be actively pursued in a healthy relationship. Intimacy takes work and couples who ignore that aspect of marriage risk losing their union.
2) Unforgiveness – It’s probably not a shocker but when couples hold on to the past and let resentment and anger build that is a recipe for disaster. The longer you’re married the more opportunities you have to cause hurt or offense to the person you live with and share everything with. Forgiveness is essential to strong marriages. It means choosing not to hold on to past transgressions and knowing when to stand down in a winless argument. Like famous tv therapist Dr. Phil says, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”
3) Avoiding Arguments – It isn’t healthy to be constantly arguing, but it is equally unhealthy to never fight at all. A healthy fight can make room to air out grievances and force communication. It an also be a sign of trust when partners feel safe enough to argue without worrying about one or the other leaving the relationship. Couples who don’t ever argue can end up harboring resentment which leads to bigger issues down the road. A safe, healthy row once in a while makes for a healthy marriage.
4) The Silent Treatment Otherwise known as “demand and withdraw”, this is something a lot of couples do while fighting and it can lead to serious consequences. You may think it is about being mad, but it’s really more about control than anything. When you’re busy controlling your partner you’re not listening to them. Partners who use the silent treatment have worse communication skills than those who don’t, and that greatly diminishes intimacy which is vital in a marriage.