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Counselors Explain 15 Signs of a Dysfunctional Marriage


When you are in a good relationship, it is full of joy, creating memories and having a good time together. Unfortunately, many people do not know the happiness of this type of union because their relationship is full of pain and pain. Identifying the red flags in a dysfunctional marriage is not always as easy for the person in the situation as it is for those around them.

So how do you know if your relationship is toxic? If you are in a dysfunctional relationship, it can cause you a lot of pain. Consequently, when you are in a unhealthy situation, the problems only seem to grow with time.

It’s scary to use words like dysfunctional and toxic when talking about someone you love, but these terms describe a very real situation that many people find themselves in.

Are you in a dysfunctional marriage?

When things are not going well between you and your partner, counselors use the term toxic to describe your connection. The very essence of a relationship is bringing you happiness. You want someone to provide emotional support and fulfillment, and if your relationship doesn’t get those things, then it’s dysfunctional.

A connection that is unstable and destructive is often a dead end situation that is toxic. Did you know that children who grow up under dysfunctional parents often look for toxic partners in their life? It’s weird because you would think that these people would want something different for themselves.

Ironically, even if you depend on your partner for happiness, it is a sign of dysfunction. The emotional roller coaster that toxic relationships offer is too much for one person to handle. While there is no perfect relationship, everyone needs someone to build them rather than tear them down.

A classic example of a dysfunctional marriage

Consider this example. Rachael and Kenny have been married for twenty years. Things started very well, but over time they have grown apart. Rachael suspects that Kenny is cheating. You constantly work overtime and take more trips out of town than usual.

She feels that they no longer communicate. While they still talk and love each other a lot, the frustrations and mistrust she feels for him make her think about leaving little by little. Rather than face the problem and learn the truth, Rachel continues to hide her problems under the rug.

Kenny is frustrated from working so hard and is faithful to his wife. He becomes frustrated with her because he feels that she no longer treats him the same. She constantly accuses him of lying, even when he’s honest. Will this couple last?

The main problem here is a lack of communication. If they would just sit down and talk things over, they could save this marriage. However, they ignore the obvious issues and let things get big.

Fifteen signs of a dysfunctional marriage

A dysfunctional marriage can bring you many negative experiences, and those around you will often see the signs before they realize there is a problem. Here are some signs that you are in a toxic situation and need help – or you should get out!

1. Disappointment and frustration

It is extremely difficult to work on the easy stuff in the relationship, despite using maximum effort and hard work. Working with your spouse is frustrating and you become attached to a selfish and insensitive narcissist every time you try to discuss matters.

2. Anger and bitterness

When there is resentment in your marriage, it is like deadly poison that kills from the inside out. When there is anger and bitterness that rot under the surface, it is difficult to keep things healthy. Long-term resentment is often a conflict of values ​​and an overly exaggerated sense of pride, but these underlying toxins can destroy your relationship.

3. Indecision

One of the main red flags of a dysfunctional relationship is when you are often skeptical about your partner’s behavior. TO toxic individual He will be pleasant, compassionate and charming one night, but he will be the opposite the next day.

If your spouse seems to be more like Jekyll and Hyde, then he will live on the edge and watch their actions and tone with them.

4. Domination

Does one person make all the decisions in their marriage and one party has no voice? If your relationship has a hierarchy where one person runs the show, it won’t work. This union is one-sided and the person ruling is often demanding and controlling.

5. Constant criticism

Your partner should build you up and not bring you down. According to Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP of the Eddins Advisory Group, couples who criticize each other need firm limits. If your spouse continually criticizes you until you feel like you are walking on eggshells, you need advice and help from a third party to identify the root cause.

6. Grudges are a hallmark of dysfunctional marriages

Holding a grudge is very youthful behavior, yet many people harbor unresolved feelings. Grievances arise from unresolved complaints, and it is not uncommon for one of the parties to feel like a victim of their spouse. Resentment can grow like a malice in your union and can corrode the foundation of your relationship, causing ruin.

7. Boundary violations

Everyone has personal limits that they create to protect themselves. When these boundaries are crossed, you feel vulnerable and insecure. A dysfunctional marriage violates the boundaries you have set as healthy, and the other party does not care about the harmful consequences of their actions.

8. Point fingers at the blame game

When a partner is unhappy, it is easier to point the finger at the other party than to take responsibility. One of the main reasons to play the blame game it is a lack of communication. When people stop arguing and working on problems, it’s easy to blame the other person for the disconnect.

9. Trust a person to be happy

You are responsible for your happiness and cannot depend on someone else to provide it for you. If your spouse has the burden of making you happy, it will never work. Sure, they can bring joy to your life, but you must learn to be satisfied with or without them.

10. Lack of trust

Trust is one of the basic pillars on which the foundation of marriage is built. If you don’t trust each other, then your union is on shaky ground. When trust is broken, it won’t last long.

A dysfunctional marriage is one in which you constantly question each other. Question their motives, their stories, and everything related to them.

11. Friction and opposition

Is there an underlying friction that no one is addressing? In many cases, the couple is reluctant to address problems because they want peace. They do not like to start another discussion, so they prefer not to say anything.

Having a good relationship means communicating, but if there is so much tension that you can no longer talk about it, it is toxic. According to Jerez Gaba LCSW, relationships are divided into two categories, healthy or dysfunctional. If it is not in a healthy union, then it is toxic.

12. Unhappiness

No relationship is sun and rainbow all the time, but overall you should be happy. However, if you are constantly unhappy with your partner, you need to find out why the situation has become dysfunctional. Everyone deserves to be with someone who makes them happy, and long-term unhappiness is emotionally damaging.

13. Emotional detachment becomes the norm in a dysfunctional marriage.

Part of being in a relationship is for him emotional security provides. Sadly, when your union is toxic, you may not feel this level of connectedness with your spouse. When there is selfishness or one of the parties is not emotionally available, it is a sign of a toxic union.

14. Conflict

Every relationship has a conflict, but it is the way you handle this conflict that defines your union. The unhealthy partner will engage in harmful communication and will view their partner as destructive or disruptive. Without conflict management skills, tensions will multiply.

15. Disloyalty and treason

It’s no wonder people fool each other, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. According to an investigation carried out by the Health Research Fund, 60 percent of marriages will deal with infidelity. Also, most of these relationships start at work.

Once a marriage has such betrayal in the mix, it is often difficult to trust and overcome these mistakes. The same study found that only 31 percent of marriages will stay together after one partner cheated on them, so leaving the union can often be a death sentence for your relationship.

Final Thoughts: Repair a Dysfunctional Marriage?

Why do people stay in toxic relationships that cause them more pain than joy? Remember, if your union is not healthy, it is dysfunctional. Sure, there are varying degrees of toxicity, but if your marriage doesn’t bring you joy, chances are you know the sting of pain.

Sometimes a situation is toxic, but even dysfunctional marriages can be saved. Only you can make the decision about how much work and effort you will put into your union to change things. Sadly, many people would rather walk away than figure it out, but in some situations, that’s in the best interest of both parties.





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