Marriage partners can end up as cell mates instead of soul mates. It is a lousy place to be. I've worked with couples that feel very trapped, as if they are caught in a life sentence in their marriage.
Signs of The Cell Mate Marriage
- Open hostility to the partner
- Sickening silences that can last for days
- Lead completely separate lives
- Feel trapped, helpless and hopeless
- Some people can feel suicidal when they feel so trapped
As you can imagine this is a horrible place to be. Couples have settled for a life of despair and emptiness, and have resigned themselves to living this way until they die. My belief is once they make this decision to live this way, they have already begun to die.
What to Do
To quote the popular line from both “Amityville Horror" movies:
Now, let me clarify what I mean. I'm a big believer in marriage. I fight for the marriages of the couples I coach and counsel. Sometimes people have to tell me to stop, it's over. I am anything but quick to recommend the end to a relationship.
At the same time, I am not a big believer in a lifetime of misery. When someone has tried everything possible to make it work and make it good, and they are still in a cell mate marriage, then sometimes the most loving thing you can do is release each other from the prison cell.
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