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6 Signs You are Checked Out of Your Marriage

Posted at 3:16 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 17:16:05-04

Therapist Laura Heck gives us the six signs that you are checked out of your marriage.

Marriage is a journey and believe me it isn't a straight line. Over the course of a lifetime, you will have ups, downs, ins, outs and go around and around. While straying off the path is normal, it shouldn't be ignored. It's important to recognize the signs that one or both of you is checked out from the marriage so you can re-engage and stay the course. Here are six signs that you are checked out of your marriage and the marriage hack to get you back on track quickly. Interested to see how checked out you are from your relationship, take the connection quiz at

#1 You are hypercritical of your partner.
Have you noticed that you are hypercritical of small things and less generous with your partner's mistakes? Do you give your partner the benefit of the doubt? Dr. Gottman refers to this as Negative Sentiment Override (NSO).

Marriage Hack: How can you overcome NSO? Practice actively engaging your mind in positive thoughts about your partner by focusing on what you are appreciative for.

#2 Stonewalling (shutting down and disengaging from the conversation) becomes the norm.
What is stonewalling? Withdraw from conversation by refusing to communicate or express emotion. How common is it in relationships? Of stonewallers, 80% are men.

Marriage Hack: How can couples navigate stonewalling if it is already occurring? Physiological self-soothing by taking a 20 minute break.

#3 You get noticeably upset when your partner doesn't follow through on something.
It's one thing to let your emotions do the talking but a much healthier way of handling disappointment is to complain and ask for what you need instead of sulking or silently seething.

Marriage Hack: How do you complain in relationships? Use the gentle start up formula. 'I feel....about what...and I need.'

#4 You aren`t as playful as you used to be.
How do you suggest couples bring the light back into the relationship?

Marriage Hack: SPARK
S- Share dreams
P- Play (pick an activity that you both enjoyed doing when you were children). Ex. High dive contest or capture the flag.
A - Ask Questions (open ended questions to guide your conversation away from shop talk).
R- Romance (mystery date night)
K - Kiss (6 second kiss is a kiss with possibilities)

#5 You are impatient and short with your partner.

Marriage Hack: Complain early and often and take concerns seriously by holding a State of the Union meeting on a weekly basis to address the relationship concerns and give it the air time your complaints deserve. Turn your concerns into connection.

#6 You confides in other people for emotional support.
This is a slippery slope toward emotional betrayal and a big no-no in committed relationships.

Marriage Hack: Practice a daily stress reducing conversation. Be a safe place for your partner to vent and confide in you about the stresses of the day. Be a friend, confidant and open ear.

Learn more about the science of healthy relationships and marriage hacks to get you the relationship you desire and deserve by visiting