If there's anything I've learned from almost 30 years of watching friends and family navigate the terrain that is marriage, it's that things don't always wind up like you planned. All of those things you loved about your spouse when you first fell in love can wind up being the things that irritate you most about your spouse after you've been married for a little while. According to relationship counselor and psychologist Elisabeth Graham, there are a few surefire signs you're embarrassed by your spouse.
"Feelings of embarrassment can manifest themselves in different ways," Graham tells me in an interview. "But there are a few very obvious ways people manifest those feelings when they're embarrassed of their spouse." Graham goes on to say that usually, feeling embarrassed of your spouse means that there are greater issues at hand in your marriage, and that these red flags can often mean that there is a crack in your marital foundation. If you notice you or your partner partaking in any of the following behaviors, Graham recommends sitting down and communicating with your partner. "Communication with your partner can solve most problems that arise in any partnership," says Graham. Tackling your issues together is what marriage is all about, says Graham. Even when you're feeling embarrassed by your spouse.
1. You Don't Partake In PDA
"If you avoid being seen holding hands with your partner or being affectionate with your partner for others to see, you should be asking yourself why," Graham says. Although some people claim that they're just not that into public displays of affection, Graham says that if there's been a sudden stop in those public displays, it could mean that embarrassment is creeping through.
2. You Don't Bring Your Partner To Group Gatherings
If your friends are all getting together and you hesitate to bring your spouse, you're probably embarrassed. "Not all group gatherings have to include your significant other, but if you consistently avoid bringing your partner to group settings, there's a reason," she says. Your friends know you better than almost anyone, and if you don't want your husband around them, then it's time to open your eyes and assess why.
3. You Don't Plan Too Far Ahead
"When a couple lacks plans for the future, it points to a lack of faith in the longevity of their relationship," Graham says. If you find yourself holding off making big plans with your spouse, it could mean bigger issues are lying beneath the surface of your embarrassment.
4. You Don't Enjoy Your Partner Hanging With Your Family
Much like those gatherings with your friends, Graham says if the thought of bringing your spouse to a family gathering makes you cringe, you're either embarrassed of your spouse, or your family. Dig deep to find out why you've got an aversion to merging the two aspects of your family life, and address the issue head on.
5. You Don't Go On Dates
Much like public displays of affection, being seen in public with your spouse probably isn't the first thing you jump to when you're feeling embarrassed by them. "It's natural to shy away from public situations with your partner when you're embarrassed of them," Graham says. And dates? They may as well make you break out in hives.
6. You Don't Introduce Your Partner To New Friends
When courting new friends, there's a certain want to impress them. If you're leaving your spouse out of the picture, there's something wrong. "Being hesitant to introduce your spouse to new found friends is an enormous red flag," Graham says. Though your spouse doesn't need to be the apple of your eye every day of the week, including them in new relationships you're forging should be a joyful experience for you, not one that makes you uncomfortable.
7. You Think About "Better" Partners
"If you spend time daydreaming about a better or more worthy spouse, it's time to sit down with your partner and have an open discussion," Graham says. Daydreaming about something more worthy of your love and affection does nobody any good. Graham adds that living in reality with your partner is the only way to overcome any obstacles the two of you might be facing.
8. You Find Faults Easily In Your Partner
"When you're embarrassed of your partner, it becomes much easier to find faults in them," Graham says. Little things that used to be endearing to you have now become an embarrassment, have lost their allure, have become less and less appealing.
9. You Find Yourself Treating Your Partner Poorly
If you find yourself treating your partner poorly, it's because you've become uncomfortable with the state of your relationship. Graham says that most of these warning signs you're embarrassed by your partner lead directly to the decline of how you treat your partner. At the end of the day, if you've become embarrassed of your partner, it's time to stop compensating with passive aggressive behaviors and sit down with your partner to have a conversation. Graham says that although the conversation may be a tough one, that honesty is always the best policy in any relationship, and especially in a marriage.