You still love your husband, or you at least think you do. But you aren't in love, and possibly haven't been for quite a long time. Somewhere along the way, things just changed. And those things seem to slowly but surely be destroying your spirit!
We've all heard of marriages that have stood the test of time, that go from strength to strength as the years and decades pass. However, sadly, not all marriages are built to last. If you no longer remember the woman you were before you walked down the aisle, or if married life feels more burdensome than joyful, it may be time to have a close look at what is going on, and either make some urgent repairs or get out altogether, for the sake of your spirit!
Here are five signs that your marriage may be destroying your spirit:
1. You can no longer be bothered with romance
Remember when even the simplest gesture from your boyfriend or husband (read: a sexy email or text message; a single red rose; a promise of eternal love and devotion) was enough to make your mouth split wide into a silly grin and your mind fill with thoughts of love and lust?
Well, that kind of ain't happening so much anymore. He's given up trying to impress you, but more importantly, you've given up noticing or caring. Most days you are simply on auto-pilot, doing what needs to be done for all of the people in your world before collapsing into an exhausted heap in bed for the sweet relief of sleep.
And as you drift off to sleep, you begin to fantasize of the ultimate luxury of a bed to yourself, without your snoring and fidgety husband by your side. Why oh why didn't mother tell you it would be like this?!
2. You put minimal effort into your appearance/health/wardrobe
Your mornings revolve around making sure that the kids are clean and appropriately dressed, and that your husband has a clean pressed business shirt before he flies out the door to begin his all-important day.
You're happy to grab the first item of clothing to catch your eye in the five minutes you've allocated yourself to get ready for wherever it is that you're going. Office/shopping/errands – it makes little difference to you. As long as what you're throwing on is relatively clean and wrinkle-free, it will do. You take ten seconds to run a brush through your hair and smack on some lipstick and then you're done. You don't dare look in the mirror for more than two seconds!
You take ten seconds to run a brush through your hair and smack on some lipstick and then you're done. You don't dare look in the mirror for more than two seconds!
The same goes for your health – you ensure that the kids are up to date with their various medical and dental appointments. Yours will just have to wait. Somewhere along the way, you (incorrectly) started believing that your needs were inferior to everybody else's – hence, minimal effort.
3. You no longer argue or fight for what you believe in
This is a big one.
In the early days of your courtship and marriage, there were some slamming doors and intense arguments as you passionately fought for your beliefs and your right to be heard. The arguments were mostly resolved after a cooling-off period, with you and hubby resuming your roles as equal partners in a loving household.
These days, you can't seem to muster the bother or the energy to argue. It's just too hard. You pretty much just go with the flow, not worrying about questioning the status quo - even when you suspect something is off - because what does it matter anyway? Well, lady, I am here today to tell you, it does matter!
The belief that a lack of arguments in a marriage is a positive sign, is not necessarily a true one. I'm not talking here about abuse or domestic violence, I'm talking about an honest, open and healthy exchange of ideas, and standing up for what you each believe in. If you are actually too bored to fight, even when there is something worth fighting for...you will slowly but surely destroy that spirit of yours.
4. You have become a couch potato
It's Friday night and two of your closest girlfriends have invited you out for a night on the town. Realistically, you could go. Your husband would be OK to stay with the kids for a few hours... there's no real reason for you to miss out on the fun and stay at home. You know this, yet you decline the offer of fun. Instead, you spend the night on the couch, alone, not even engaging with your husband because he's busy in the next room catching up on paperwork from the office!
Instead, you spend the night on the couch, alone, not even engaging with your husband because he's busy in the next room catching up on paperwork from the office!
Or, a colleague has invited you along to an interesting book launch or gallery opening on a Sunday afternoon. Again, you put this invitation in the too-hard basket, not wanting the bother of everything involved with leaving the house when you strictly don't have to.
Against your better judgment, you are becoming a couch potato! As long as you know the kids and housework have been tended to, you have no need to do anything else - you are satisfied. But this is not really satisfaction, is it? Somewhere buried inside of you is a spirited girl desperately wanting to get out in the world and try new things. Don't crush that girl's spirit! Get out there and live.
5. Your husband feels more like a colleague or co-parent than a mate
When you first decided to get hitched, you had an idealistic view of marriage, and what yours, in particular, would look and feel like. You vowed that you would always try to keep the love between you and your husband alive, that no matter what - even after children arrived - you would always put maximum effort in to keep things passionate.
Fast-forward to now, and things look and feel slightly different. With conflicting work schedules, kids activities, and whatever else married life has decided to throw at you, your husband somehow stopped being your love partner and instead became a member of your tag team.
Text messages and phone calls are now usually just directives or instructions, and good morning kisses are now no more than a hurried peck on the forehead or cheek as hubby flies out the door whilst you balance your cold morning coffee with your toddler's mushy toast and your older child's unfinished school project.
Of course, you still love your husband, or you at least think you do. But you aren't in love, and possibly haven't been for quite a long time. Somewhere along the way, things just changed. And those things seem to slowly but surely be destroying your spirit!