Couples should seek professional help before giving up on the marriage. PHOTO | GETTY IMAGE


Signs your marriage is dying

What you need to know:

  • When a marriage is dying, both parties long to be heard. However, if one of you ends up doing all of the listening, while the other spouse does all the talking, then maybe it is time for you to speak up and make yourself heard as well.
  • The Bible says Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.” The same applies to a nagging husband because at no time does one desire to stay with a partner that complains about every fault of yours. 

The genesis of most marriages is embedded in bliss, joy and a bright future. They are like a cookie that has just been taken out of the oven; the aroma is inviting and the taste is something to behold. Indeed, the intimate friendship newly married couples have creates the feeling or atmosphere of closeness, bonding, and openness towards one another. However, with time, this bliss evolves into negativity as challenges arise. 

Poor communication

Remember the days when you would text or talk to each other the whole day? Dickson Tumuramye, a marriage counsellor, says this should continue even in marriage. Sadly, for some, this frequency in communication with endearing words rather than demands starts fading away, gradually. 

“There is reason to worry when the calls, SMS texts, and WhatsApp messages no longer come in as regularly as before. When you notice this, it is prudent that you dig beyond the surface. Another issue is when your spouse enjoys talking on their phone more than with you. It gets worse when you get a rude remark after pointing out the communication gap,” he says. 

 “As a spouse, you know your partner’s temperament and character and now is the time to use that knowledge to broach the subject so that you can get good results. That said, desist from nagging behaviour and allow the person time to answer. Getting professional advice will also help because the counsellor is neutral,” he advises.

Guarded communication

Where open communication between spouses has run dry, being secretive starts cropping in as well as taking leave from one’s presence to have a phone conversation. “This causes trust breakdown and solutions must be sought,” Resty Kabugo, a relationship counsellor, shares. She adds that one should desist from checking their partner’s phone since this will not stop the habit but infuriate your spouse. 

Consults others, not you

Marriage is between two consenting adults who ought to bond, grow and work together. However, if you or your spouse find it easier to consult other people rather than each other on issues pertaining to your marriage, then there is a problem. 

“It shows that you do not value the other’s opinion, an indicator, that you are not growing together,” Tumuramye shares. Trust and being valued are very crucial in marriage and one way to show it is when you value each other’s opinion. 

One of the remedies to the situation is to go back to the drawing board to find out which nut or bolt needs fastening or greasing. “Self-analysis is important before going to third parties because it is better for the marriage for the solutions to start within than without. Therefore, start the redeeming discussion from within,” he advises.


The Bible says, “Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.” The same applies to a nagging husband because at no time does one desire to stay with a partner that complains about every fault of yours. “Criticising everything your spouse does or pointing out every fault regardless of the magnitude is irritating and will push one to the wall. That is also because the partner on the receiving end is no longer sure of what makes the other happy,” Kabugo shares. 

That said, it is not time to start hurting them simply because you are hurt. “Keep being you, yet share your grievances with your spouse because keeping it in will lead to resentment and thus, further conflict,” she advises. 

Alcoholism and drug abuse

There is a difference if your partner had a tendency of substance abuse before the marriage. However, if this habit starts after marriage, it is a red flag. Dickson Tumuramye, a marriage counsellor, says substance abuse not only causes a partner to feel unsafe but even their finances are in jeopardy.

“Sometimes, the stresses of life brings this on so doing a background check is a great idea. It is also advisable to talk to your partner when they are sober to see how you can help. If all your efforts fail, seek help from a counsellor to advise you on how to help your spouse.