If you are someone who once struggled with trust issues in a bad relationship, those sour feelings can continue to haunt you long after the relationship is over. It doesn’t even have to be from a romantic relationship, it could be trust issues from failed friendships, dealing with difficult family members or any other connection that went south. But how do you really know that some unresolved pain has begun to take a toll on your marriage? It’s not really hard to see but the most important part of being able to make this assessment is for both you and your partner to be completely honest with each other.
Either you or your partner first needs to acknowledge not just the way you feel about the pain you are going through, but also how those feelings are manifested in your behavior that is negatively affecting your marriage. One thing that often gets in the way of this is the fact that how your partner really feels is always very different from how you think they feel. Managing pain is unique to each person and unless they tell you that they are dealing with unresolved pain, you can’t really tell where they stand based on their behavior alone.
Sometimes these unresolved issues have their way of sneaking up on you in such a way that they settle in and become a part of the fabric of your marriage exerting their influence long before you are even able to realize it.
So how can you tell when this is happening? Here are 10 signs that unresolved pain is taking a toll on your marriage. After all, the first step towards working through your pain is first being able to identify them.
YOU CLOSE UP
If you find that you completely clam up when big issues come up, it is a sign that you are trying to protect yourself from something – even if it happens subconsciously – and all it does is make your spouse think that you are hiding things from them.
YOU GET TRIGGERED FOR NO REASON
If you see that you start feeling vulnerable and you experience mood swings that make you snap at your spouse for no reason, it might be some old issues popping up.
YOU PUSH YOUR SPOUSE AWAY
Many couples with unresolved issues tend to struggle to maintain intimacy so they keep each other at arm’s length. Why? Because they are unconsciously afraid of getting hurt. If you notice that despite your best efforts, you keep doing things that make your spouse feel uncared for or unloved, it could be your unresolved issues bubbling to the surface and not only do your hurt your marriage, you’ll find it difficult to connect with your partner and you’ll end up getting hurt.
If you find that these distancing mechanisms are affecting your marriage, you might want to look closely at the root cause.
YOU DON’T MIND YOUR BUSINESS
One classic case of unresolved pain is how it can manifest as trust issues. And one manifestation of trust issues is when you find yourself constantly snooping on your partner. Are you constantly checking their phone or emails or treating them with a level of suspicion that they really don’t deserve? Then chances are that you are letting your past trust issues to affect your marriage.
ALWAYS ASSUMING THE WORST
If you are always assuming that everything is a catastrophe followed by a panic attack or you are always picking fights over every little thing, it can be a sign of unresolved issues. If every receipt you find or every missed call or every time your partner seems withdrawn or tired makes you assume the worst, then there’s a good chance your unresolved issue is affecting how you view your marriage.
YOU FEEL OUT OF CONTROL
This out of control feeling stems from constantly assuming the worst. So even though you know it’s not the right thing to do, you can’t seem to stop yourself from going out of control.
JUST CAN’T BE PLEASED
Not being able to recall the last time you had a fun experience with your partner is one of the sure signs of unresolved pain because instead, you are constantly focusing and highlighting on their faults and weaknesses.
EXCESSIVE SELF BLAME
This happens when you are always taking inappropriate responsibility as if everything that happens in your home is your fault leading to always making excessive or unnecessary apologies. Every single variation in your spouse’s behavior – even though it might be something as simple as them having a bad day – feels like a warning sign that makes you conclude that you’ve done something wrong.
Constantly blaming yourself or apologizing for imagined slights will only keep putting your marriage under stress.
When you start feeling like your partner is being distant and they aren’t supporting you during your time of need, this is a sign of unresolved pain. Harboring such feelings tends to lead to resentment which only goes on to sour your marriage.
When one or both of you begin to exhibit symptoms of depression, it means your marriage has been greatly affected by issues that need to be resolved.
If you are experiencing or all of the above-listed signs, then it means that your marriage has been suffering due to one or painful experiences in your past.
Recognizing that you have unresolved affairs can be difficult but it’s not something you should be ashamed of because you are not alone. Knowing the signs gives you a chance to heal.
Being able to admit that the damage is happening is half the battle. The other half is deciding the things you can do to repair the damage and developing the abilities that you and your partner need to strengthen your marriage so that not only can you get back to those lovey-dovey days you used to be but to also come out a stronger unit.