The early months, if not years of marriage, usually define “wedded bliss.” However, the “head over heels dynamic” can change over time. Balance in a relationship is paramount. Spouses should embrace their union. However, imbalances can shift the environment from healthy to outright toxic. Signs range from the subtle to the overt and include the following:
Isolation and solitude
Plans with friends are continually postponed or outright rejected by a spouse. Every excuse in the proverbial book is used to avoid any level of socialization. Over time, the isolation grows as the spouse becomes more reliant on their partner. When appearances are made, spouses refuse to interact with others, choosing instead to sulk in a corner. When engaged in conversation, a spouse may use that opportunity to mock their partner for perceived shortcomings.
No interest in the other spouse’s interests
Spouses who have their own separate hobbies or interests can maintain a healthy relationship. One spouse uninterested in exploring their interests can lead to resentment and change how they treat their spouse. Time spent on activities becomes a threat due to less time spent with a spouse unwilling to expand horizons and more time on pastimes.
Dysfunctional spouses who continue to simmer in resentment may take drastic steps to stop a spouse’s behavior. A hard-working partner who plies their trade well into the evening hours can come home to a barrage of threats to end the relationship or pursue a divorce as some form of punishment.
Silence and shifting focus
Imbalance in a relationship can also result from avoiding or being unwilling to have conversations about important aspects of the relationship. Healthy relationships see partners working together to implement action plans when it comes to finances or other essential facets of their lives together. Signs of a fraying partnership are never more evident. When confronted with resistance, they change the subject, if not the dynamic, and act as petulant as children not getting their way.
Over time, toxicity reaches a boiling point, requiring a beleaguered spouse to escape the toxic setting and take steps to formally end the relationship.