warning sign-marriage shutdown

Worried about a Government Shutdown? Don’t Miss Signs of a Marriage Shutdown

Deb PattersonMarriage Health

Did you pay attention to the recent banter during the government shutdown? During the past couple of weeks, many people working for federal agencies found themselves a bit confused and anxious. Uncertainty about their jobs (and paychecks) caused a lot of stress for many families. It also caused Americans to roll their eyes at Washington’s divisiveness once again.

The most recent shutdown is one of nearly 20 during the past 40 years. This one includes services from several key departments like the Center for Disease Control and some national and historic sites. Still worse, it may have a significant impact on the military.

Hopefully Congress will sort things out and avert a prolonged crisis for the nation it pledged to serve. When these shutdowns occur, they are usually over in a matter of days or weeks. However, it is often a different story in a marriage, where a breakdown in the relationship can cause long-lasting devastation.

Here are some of the signs of a potential marriage shutdown. Fail to pay attention to these symptoms, and you could put your relationship with your spouse in jeopardy.

Three Warning Signals of a Marriage Shutdown:

Defenses against Infection Minimized

The Center for Disease Control is an $11.5 billion organization that helps keep our nation safe from health threats, no matter the source. Without funding, we’re left less secure against dangerous threats to our well-being.

Similarly, if you’re not investing in the strength of your relationship, protecting your marriage from internal and external attacks, the risks of failure loom large. Letting your guard down against temptation, keeping secrets from your spouse, and justifying harsh words are all signs you and your spouse need to take time to get things back on track.

Limited Access to Things You Used to Enjoy

During shutdowns, the federal government closes historical sites and tourist attractions like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Statue of Liberty. Athletic competitions at military academies won’t happen. The national mall isn’t available as before. Things that should bring enjoyment to Americans aren’t accessible.

Take a hard look at your marriage and determine if you’ve been keeping anything from your spouse. Are you hiding feelings that you need to express? Is there a physical distance that didn’t exist before? When’s the last time you prayed together or shared a devotional thought?

If your life together is going to work, you’ve got to share with each other things that will draw you close, and keep you that way.

Fighting With, Not For, Each Other

While the military still has to show up for work because they’re deemed essential for the safety of our nation, they may not get paid on time during a shutdown. Also, soldiers may not get some of the equipment they need because of the impasse in Congress. Isn’t it a shame that people who should have the interest of others at heart are seemingly heartless because of their personal or political interests?

Be honest with yourself, too. Are you more into what you can get out of your marriage these days instead of what you can give? If that’s the case, you’ve strayed far from what you signed up to do.

When a marriage shuts down, you not only hurt your spouse, you short-change the other people in your life, too. Your squabbles don’t just stay with you and your spouse; the people around you also suffer from the fallout.

Do what it takes to get things back on track. Avoid a marriage shutdown.

About the Author

Deb Patterson