Everyone is entitled to a practice marriage. For a lot of us, we need to practice things before we achieve perfection. Others of us get it right the first time. I applaud you for your stellar abilities. This list is not for all of the first marriage success stories. For the rest of us who don’t usually get things right the first time around, here are some signs you may want to chalk your current marriage up as practice and call in for the redo.
1) You haven’t planned a vacation, dinner, lunch or afternoon with your significant other in a really long time, and there just doesn’t seem to be any room in your schedule to do so. You have plenty of time on your calendar for your friends, your friend’s children, even your friend’s dog, but there just doesn’t seem to be any open space left for your legally bound companion.
2) You have taken up death-defying extracurricular activities. Suddenly, you’ve joined the skydiving club, the rock climbing club, the no-gloves boxing league and are seriously considering training for MMA. Do you have a death wish or does death just seem more enjoyable than your current marriage?
3) The sound of your mate’s chewing makes you so angry that you scream and cry every time you have to listen to it. You also find the way he or she breathes particularly awful. Generally, spouses enjoy each other’s company and their breathing isn’t an activity that causes you to want to stab your eyes out.
4) You typically reply to your husband or wife’s “I love you” with, “I know”, “thanks”, “uh huh”, or “that’s nice”. You can’t actually remember the last time you uttered “I love you” even in a sarcastic way.
5) When you see bride-to-be at bachelorette parties, you scream, “don’t do it!”, “it’s not worth it”, “you’ll be sorry” and “stay single”. You also think your words are really useful advice and not really, really sad.
6) You haven’t slept in the same bed as your spouse in months. You conveniently fall asleep on the couch, are too much of a light sleeper, or you don’t want to keep your spouse up with all of your tossing and turning or snoring. This isn’t the I Love Lucy show; happily married people don’t sleep in separate twin beds or separate rooms.
7) Whenever your spouse’s name shows up on your cell phone, you push “decline” and continue on with your day. After the 15th time, you still push “decline” and get really annoyed that he/she is being so needy. The thought that there might be an emergency or your spouse is in trouble NEVER crosses your mind, and you just stay annoyed for the whole day without ever picking up or responding to the call.
8) You forget to tell your spouse important information like you got a new job, the dog died, the house burned down, and you get really annoyed when asked where the dog went or why your payroll notice changed. While finally explaining the thing you forgot to mention to your uninformed spouse, you give very short and obviously irritated answers.
9) You invite extra people on your dates. If you actually do go on a date, you always invite your sister, your mother, another couple or random strangers to come along with you. You spend the entire night talking to the additional invitees and practically forget you are there with your spouse until you realize one of the two of you should pay for dinner.
10) You never have sex. As in never, maybe the once a year anniversary pity sex, but other than that, it’s a deserted wasteland. Not only do you never have sex, but quite frankly you have no desire to have sex with your partner and vice versa.
If a lot of these things are happening to you, take a serious look at your relationship and decide if it is worth it. You might just need some couples therapy, or you might need to do a better job of loving your spouse. Before you commit murder, adultery or suicide, consider that maybe you just needed a practice marriage, and next time around you’ll do a better job or maybe you’ll decide there’s not enough practice in the world and stay single.