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10 Signs You're Looking Outside Your Marriage for Satisfaction

10 Signs You're Looking Outside Your Marriage for Satisfaction

Marriage is such a wonderful, life-long commitment. We willingly give ourselves over to that commitment because we understand the beauty of covenantal love. But because marriage is intended to be a lifelong relationship, it’s inevitable that we will experience dissatisfaction at some point along the way. There are no perfect marriages.

In my own marriage, I’ve found that it really takes no effort to be dissatisfied with my husband or frustrated in a difficult season that we may be going through. If we aren’t diligent, we can easily disconnect from our marriages, replacing our connection to a spouse with something or someone else. It takes great effort to confront and overcome the problems in our marriage that cause us to be dissatisfied. It’s hard work, but is incredibly worth every bit of effort and intention we give!

Because it can be easy to disconnect from our spouse when we aren’t satisfied, we often won’t even be aware that we are attempting to fill the void in other areas. I’ve compiled a list of ten signs you may be looking outside your marriage for satisfaction. I pray that this list helps you to look at your own marriage with sober judgement and to address the areas that need to be addressed with courage, strength, and love. You deserve to enjoy and look forward to the sweet gift that is your marriage, not run away from it.

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  • 1. You Have More Conversations about Your Marriage with Other People than with Your Spouse

    1. You Have More Conversations about Your Marriage with Other People than with Your Spouse

    Constant and open communication with your spouse is healthy and so very needed. If you aren’t satisfied in an area of your marriage, communicate the problem to your spouse and see the opportunity for reconciliation and healing.

    The problem comes when we speak less about our marriage with the person who is actually in our marriage. If we are going to our girlfriends, our parents, or anyone else about our marriage more than our spouse, that is an indication that we are unsatisfied, but moreso, that we aren’t truly looking for ways to be reconciled with our spouse. Satisfaction in our marriage doesn’t happen from the outside, in. It comes from effort and intention that we put forth from the inside!

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  • 2. Arguments Increase

    2. Arguments Increase

    Have you ever noticed that when arguments increase in your marriage, the level of happiness tends to decrease? We are meant to be at peace with our spouse as much as possible. Because God is part of our marriage, the Holy Spirit, the bearer of peace, should be present and active in our union! When we aren’t satisfied in our marriage, we tend to find that we nitpick, nag, and argue with our spouse more.

    Consequently, if we don’t allow the peace to flow in our marriage, we can find ourselves looking for it outside of the marriage.

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  • 3. You Seek the Flattery of Men Other than Your Spouse

    3. You Seek the Flattery of Men Other than Your Spouse

    This is a big indication that you are looking outside your marriage for satisfaction. Our eyes should be for our spouse only. Additionally, we shouldn’t be looking for the flattery and admiration of anyone other than our husband. If we are no longer seeking the attention of our husbands in this way, we are seeking it from someone else. When we are satisfied in our marriage, the flattery and attention of other men isn’t something that we seek or revel in. 

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  • 4. You Spend Less Time With Your Spouse

    4. You Spend Less Time With Your Spouse

     Dissatisfaction in any area of our lives can really turn us off from wanting to give our time, attention, and presence to it. For example, think about a job that you have or have had that has caused you to be unhappy. You probably dreaded going in for your shift, counting down the minutes until you could leave. If we aren’t careful, the same thing can happen in our marriages. We will find ourselves spending less and less time with our spouses because we simply aren’t enjoying the time we have with them. This one is tricky because we can’t get time back. Many people view their time as extremely valuable and spend it on the very things that bring them satisfaction and fulfillment as much as possible. Intentionally spending less time with our spouse is a sure sign that we aren’t satisfied.

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  • 5. Individual Lifestyles

    5. Individual Lifestyles

    When we are single, we life lifestyles that are separate and distinct from others. That is expected and perfectly understandable. When we get married, we join our life with the life of our spouse. The two become one. This doesn’t mean that we have to do every single thing together or spend every moment of our waking time with our spouse, but it definitely doesn’t mean that we are doing our own thing, either. If we are married and we are seeking to live our own life, it could be a sign that we aren’t satisfied with the life we share with our spouse. 

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  • 6. Addictions

    6. Addictions

    The dictionary definition of an addiction is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. Addictions temporarily fill voids in our lives that we believe cannot be satisfied in any other way than by fueling said addiction. This thinking is faulty since as Christians, our marriage is threefold (husband, wife, and God) and we should be seeking to be filled by Christ alone. Seeking means outside of the marriage is a sign that you are not satisfied.

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  • 7. Desire for Making Love Decreases

    7. Desire for Making Love Decreases

    Making love with our spouse is one of the most intimate ways to express our love and affection with our spouse. When we don’t come together with our spouse in this way, it can be indicative that there is something going on under the surface of our marriage. If we aren’t careful, we can neglect this area of our marriage and find ourselves seeking the pleasure and fulfillment outside of our marriage. All marriages go through seasons where the pattern of when and how often love making occurs changes, but if this area is continuously decreasing, or even non existent, it could be a sign that the level of satisfaction (perhaps in another area) isn’t being met.

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  • 8. Throwing Yourself Into Work or a Project

    8. Throwing Yourself Into Work or a Project

    Part of being a Christian means that we work hard, with excellency, and do so as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). We are called to put our hands to the plow so that we can bring glory to God. It’s when we do this that he blesses the work of our hands! An indication that we are looking outside our marriage for satisfaction is when our work is no longer about the Lord, and instead becomes a sort of “escape” from our marriage. Our marriages are supposed to bring us love and joy, not something that we try to run away from!

    For many, this is the easiest area to fall trap to because many of us go to a job, or work on projects, every day. When something is an everyday task, it is very easy to not recognize it as a scapegoat; It’s plausible to say that working is what we have to do. However, what is our motive behind our work? If it’s to pour ourselves into it because we are unsatisfied with our marriage, then it’s time to do some re-evaluating and allow the Lord to realign our hearts.

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  • 9. We Become Intimately Involved With Other People’s Problems

    9. We Become Intimately Involved With Other People’s Problems

    Avoidance can be a sign that we aren’t satisfied in our marriage. One of the ways that we display this is by taking our inability to fix our own issues, and become experts in the “field of others”. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with helping others in their times of need, but we can’t allow ourselves to focus so much on the health and well-being of others that we ignore our marriages when they are in need of healing. Sometimes, because of the nature of our relationships with our family and friends, we can find ourselves feeling the need to be their savior in different situations. But the truth is, there is only one savior, and his name is Jesus Christ. We can coach others and share biblical wisdom because that’s what we are called to do. We are to love others! However, it’s good to evaluate our involvement in other’s lives on a regular basis to make sure that we aren’t helping them to get away from dissatisfaction in our own marriages and lives.

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  • 10. You Begin to Compare Your Marriage to Other Marriages

    10. You Begin to Compare Your Marriage to Other Marriages

    This is probably the biggest sign on this list that we aren’t satisfied in our marriage. When we are going through things with our spouse, it can be easy to look at other marriages (from a distance of course because we don’t truly know what goes on behind the closed doors of other relationships) and think, “Wow, look at her husband. He does all the things that I wish my husband would do for me.” Comparison is so dangerous because it robs us of the joy that our marriage can give us. The thing about comparison is that we don’t realize in the moment that just like we go through things with our spouse, so do other people! They just may not vocalize and publicize the hard times the way they do the good times. So, what we get is a snapshot of other marriages and we compare it to our entire marriages. It doesn’t really make much sense to do that if we are honest about with ourselves. It’s so much better to address and pray about the areas in our marriages that are causing us to be dissatisfied, so that we can look at our marriage, as well as others, with healthy lenses.

    Britnee is a free-spirited, Old Navy-wearin', coffee-shop lovin', wife and momma. She serves in the worship ministry with her husband at their home church in Glendale, AZ and writes with the sole purpose of pointing others to Christ. You can catch up with her on her blog or via Instagram and Facebook.

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