Would You Be Able To Spot The Signs Of A Failing Marriage?

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I met my wife at Bristol university back in 1991 while being sponsored by the army to attend a Welfare Officer’s course. It was a hard slog, “Death by

It was a hard slog, “Death by vu-foil,,etc.” you know what I mean but we managed to escape in the evenings in order to get to know each other. We certainly built up a relationship pretty quickly, it appeared that we had so much in common with each other; the main factor being that we were both in a marriage which had run its time and had become stale, in more ways than I would care to mention. Within a couple of months, we truly felt that we had found and developed a true love for each other.

The Rise and Fall of a relationship

I had two children from my first marriage and she had three boys of her own., two of whom were away at boarding school, so we didn’t see a lot of each other during term time except for a couple of weekends during the term. There was a considerable sense of dislike from the boys, or so it seemed at the time. Things became more tense between us and I was challenged by their general behavior. But as time went by without either side giving rope, acceptance of each other’s situation became quite clear. During the period when the boys were attending boarding school my wife and I were still really getting to know each other.

My time in the army was coming to an end in February 1992 so we could really start to live out our lives in the house which I literally had to rebuild in part. This was a fantastic time for both my wife and I to learn even more about one other in the redesign of my old house.

Words can hardly express the feelings especially being as I was totally unaware that anything was wrong with our relationship at this stage. When things started to get rocky I became anxious and started to look for answers, I started to break out in sweats and to suffer from severe headaches. I decided that perhaps I needed some help, as a result I made an appointment with my General Practitioner, in the hope that he might be in a position to help me get through the anxiety which I was now suffering.

The Price of truth

When the realization hits you between the eyes, you start to look for answers and probably, more importantly, the reasons it was happening. My doctor prescribed a myriad of drugs in an attempt to bring me back to a stable equilibrium. But still my blood pressure kept rising and my headaches were increasing in strength each day. As a result, an appointment was made for me to be admitted to the hospital to have a head scan, I was also fitted with a heart rate monitor for a week. This made me worry even more because I was somewhat frightened that there was something sinister going on in my head and body which my Doctor wasn’t being very open or honest about.

Steadily from 2006 our love life disappeared, I was worried about it but believed that it was as a result of my wife’s tussle with breast cancer. Despite being given the all-clear after having a lumpectomy; she wouldn’t allow me anywhere near her, physically or sexually. It was obviously all over, but somehow I still had some hope, despite being told by various people that our marriage was over. Still believing and remaining the proverbial optimist, I had to come to the realization that it was all over.

This whole saga had messed my body about so much that I was diagnosed with type two Diabetes, and as a result was starting to be prescribed with so many tablets and capsules to take for the rest of my life. I truly felt that the fight for my life was just starting and I didn’t know how to control it. The drugs started to help to some extent but how on earth was I going to cope with my life, having lost what I still believed was a loving wife and partner. I was still hoping that we could work things out although in my own mind I realized that our marriage had gone beyond the realms of repair; there was no way back to what we once had, or believed we once had.

Blinded by love

Perhaps you could tell me how to spot the signs of a failing marriage? I have always lived my life as a positive person and never let anything drag me down, I have always given what I believed to be good advice to anyone who asked for it, be it at work or in their private lives, I would always and still do to this day find time to help anyone that I can. The experience of my last marriage made me into a better and wiser person. It is so difficult to spot the signs of a failing marriage, it is not always possible to spot any signs at all until it is too late and the betrayal sets in and the both of you start to play the blame game.

It did become extremely intolerable living at home although I tried to persevere in the hope and anticipation that somehow the love which we once had for each other, would spark into life once again. At least that was my hope, but sadly this wasn’t to happen and life as a whole became so bad that everything turned against me. As a result, our divorce proceedings were initiated and a few months later I was free, free to search for a true relationship, it took a little time to heal the scars which had been set from my previous marriage, but it is true – that all good things come to those who wait – or that is how it certainly feels now, having found the right girl, believe it or not in Asda, whilst doing my shopping – they have got a lot to answer to!

My moral is to stay happy and be happy taking care of each other all of the time. If you would like a lesson from our wedding vows, we all know how difficult it can be to stick by those, day in and day out; my only advice there would be to make sure that you are fully committed to each other that way you would have no need to be on your toes to “Spot the signs” or would you?



Retired Army Officer and author Joseph Tyler was blindsided when he discovered that his failing marriage would fall into this statistic. Forced to rediscover his own happiness, Tyler proves it’s never too late to fall in love in his new book, A Broken Man: The Rocky Shoals of Marriage, Remarriage and Divorce

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