3 Communication Signals Your Spouse Sends When They Start to Check Out of Your Marriage

BY: - 22 Sep '17 | Communication

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No one wants to believe, much less be told, they are in a bad marriage. I mean, the typical walk down the aisle has usually been vetted with life circumstances that prepared the bride and groom for this commitment of a lifetime. The experiences they have faced up to that point and the way they have handled them solidified their conviction that they could handle anything together.

Unfortunately, for some relationships, one or both individuals find reason to forget the “together” part. Ultimately, they “check out” of the marriage and the bond that kept trouble at bay is weakened, opening the marriage up to potential failure.

I won’t say it’s easy to avoid this possibility in your relationship. In fact, it’s one of the reasons people often say marriage is hard. But how do you know if either you or your spouse has decided to check out of your marriage? While there are some very blatant and obvious signs down the road, more subtle communication signals begin first and easily hide under the radar. Before you know it, you’re living in a world of “everything was fine and then all of a sudden…”

“You Always” and “You Never”

These two are some sneaky suckers. You see, one day, your spouse is the love of your life and the next: “You always talk down to me!” and “You never listen to anything I have to say!” What typically follows is an angry walk out of the room then a door slamming shut. Later, whether it’s an hour, a day, or a week, the couple puts a band aid on the issue…until the next argument. That’s why they’re so sneaky.


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Unless you fully resolve an issue where the concerns of both are addressed, heard, and understood, the opportunity for growth and change in the relationship is lost. If you or your spouse begin to pepper your disagreements with these two phrases, take notice because someone is starting to check out of the relationship.

“Yes.” “No.” “I don’t know.”

Remember how interesting you thought your spouse was when you were dating? They seemed to be so smart and had a wealth of knowledge that captivated your attention. Now, any effort to make conversation is followed by a monosyllabic or seriously abbreviated response.

“Did you have a good day?”


“Is dinner ready yet?”


Even open ended questions are tough.

“What do you think?”

“I don’t know.”

The easy, fluid conversations you once had with each other are now happening with other people. If you overhear your mate chatting with a friend, laughing and sharing more information with them than they do with you, they are starting to check out of the relationship. It’s time to bring this to their attention and address the root cause before it’s too late.

Time is No Longer of the Essence

There are only 24 hours in a day. That’s not changing any time soon. If you are to have a healthy marriage, your spouse will need a decent portion of that time on any given day. Sadly, while this is probably the easiest thing to notice, it’s the hardest to fix when a person decides to check out of their marriage.

Unlike the start of the relationship when you couldn’t get enough of your partner, if you find yourself making up reasons to not be in their presence, you have made a decision to check out. Rather than go on a date, you hang with the fellas. Rather than plan a romantic dinner, you have the ladies over for a book club meeting.

Without saying the words, you are communicating to your spouse that you have no interest in spending time with them. You are staying busy so you can stay checked out. This is not one of those issues that can afford to wait or will work itself out. Once you check out on time, it’s tough to get it back. So don’t sleep on this issue if you see it taking shape in your marriage. Address it right away and give your relationship the chance it deserves.

Checking out of your marriage is a decision. But so is checking back in. These three are tough when the relationship has hit rock bottom, but catch them early and your marriage will have a fighting chance.

BMWK, based on these three signals, have you started to check out of your marriage?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 156 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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At Last! The Secret to a Happy Marriage is Revealed

BY: - 9 Oct '17 | Communication

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I was at a restaurant not too long ago and saw an older couple. Maybe in their late 70s or early 80s, there was an air of serenity about them that bespoke decades of life and love together. They ate in comfortable silence, but somehow I just felt they were conveying something beyond words. As they walked out holding hands, I couldn’t help but wonder. What’s their secret? We hear often about how difficult marriage can be, so love that lasts a lifetime must have a secret, right?

To find out what the secret sauce might be, I posed the question to a few of my married friends. I got some great responses including communication, respect, honesty, vulnerability, and friendship. But there was one answer that stood out – be intentional.

Let’s give this some thought. Regardless of arena, success is achieved through intentional behavior. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, a doctor, a blogger, or an artist. And, marriage is no different.

When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success. Charles F. Glassman

The thing about marriage, though, is that it ebbs and flows in one area in particular – communication. How often do you get into it with your spouse over some misunderstanding, misinformation, misrepresentation, or miscalculation? Typically, all of those “misses” can be traced back to some aspect of failed communication with one or both parties claiming, “I didn’t intend to make you feel that way.”

So, let’s take a look at intentional communication and see where it leads.

Intentionally Respectful Communication

Every couple argues. Some have some knock-down drag-outs. Others prefer the passive aggressive method. But to protect the heart and soul of your marriage, it’s important to be respectful when speaking to or otherwise communicating with your spouse. Don’t hit below the belt. Don’t demoralize them. No matter the topic, make it your intention to be respectful.

Intentionally Honest Communication

If you start out with the intention of respecting your spouse and your marriage, then being honest should be less stressful. Honesty gives your partner the opportunity to really know how you think. But when you dip it in some respect, it teaches them to listen to you. The “I just tell it like it is” attitude is nothing more than an excuse to be mean. To have a mature relationship that lasts, it will serve you well to keep Ephesians 4:15 close to the heart and “speak the truth in love.”

Intentionally Vulnerable Communication

This is probably one of the most challenging things to embrace in a marriage. Why? Because society tells a man that being vulnerable means he’s soft. As for a woman, it means she’s being manipulative. However, to the successfully married couple, it means they are allowing their spouse to enter a space where only they and God reside. They then create a bond of trust that they have reason to fight and protect every day.

Intentionally Spiritual Communication

One of the deeper aspects of vulnerability lies in our spiritual selves. I have my own personal relationship with God. My husband has his. But taking the time to share with each other where and how God is moving our hearts is the only way to strengthen our chord of three strands. By being intentional, you and your spouse ensure that God keeps His position at the head of your relationship.

Intentionally Intimate Communication

This one is fairly simple. No one else gets to call you “Babe.” No one else gets to put it on you. No one else gets to send you sensual text messages. No one else gets to talk dirty to you on the phone. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. Your marriage is the only place this form of communication takes place if it’s to last a lifetime. Unless you are hot and ready teenagers with raging hormones, you have to be intentional about it. Period.

Now, I don’t know if being intentional is the secret sauce to a happy marriage. In fact, my friend believes that the secret is there is no secret.  One thing is certain. If you intend to have a bad marriage, you will. If you intend to have one that lasts a lifetime, nothing will keep you from it.

BMWK, what do you think is in the secret sauce of a happy marriage?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 156 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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