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When to Call for Help | Eight Signs of an Unhealthy Marriage

marriage counseling in Southern Pines NC

When to Call for Help | Eight Signs of an Unhealthy Marriage


If you feel more comfortable or happier doing things alone than spending moments or sharing the activity with your spouse, it is something worth your attention. According to experts in marriage counseling, ignoring the signs of an unhealthy marriage may take it into a downward spin, without you even knowing it.

Many of the unhealthy marriages that ended up in separation or divorce started with small conflicts that grew because they were ignored and unresolved. It will help you keep your marriage happy and solid if you’ll consider paying attention to the unhealthy signs of an unhappy marriage and doing something about it. What signs must you be on the lookout for?


  1. Frequent verbal tussle and arguments: Any marriage is bound to experience discussions, even arguments, but it can’t be that often. If the bickering happens even over small matters and these are happening repeatedly, these can be cues that your marriage is being weighed down by unsettled conflicts and your relationship is troubled. Sooner or later, frequent quarrels can weigh you both down.
  2. A hushed home front: Just as a home pervaded by squabbles is distressing, so is a quiet home that lacks healthy interactions. A happy marriage and home is not so quiet. There will be enough noise coming from laughter, conversations, and even healthy arguments. If you aren’t talking much, it would pay to check the reason for the silence. It may already indicate growing indifference, lack of care or an imprudent solution to avoid further conflict.
  3. No happy shared moments: Silence may also mean that you are not sharing intimate moments anymore. You may have grown apart, seeking and spending your free time with people outside your home. Maybe avoiding each other has become a solution to avoid more quarrels and disagreements. Whatever is the reason, not enjoying each other’s company is a sign that you have stopped communicating or caring.
  4. Insulting comments and blames: Spouses are supposed to be the biggest allies in the face of individual or family difficulties. They are also each other’s best friends, confidantes and cheerleaders. If one spouse or both use words to abuse or hurt the other, these are not merely signs of an unhealthy union. These are also indications that the very foundation of marriage – love, respect and trust – has been eroded.
  5. Lack of care for how you look: Neglecting your appearance or not having the motivation to look good in the eyes of your spouse can be a serious sign that you are stressed by the unhappy marriage. Happy couples would want to keep the physical side of their relationship healthy and happy too.
  6. Diverting attention somewhere else: If the marriage stopped making you or your spouse feeling complete, either or both of you may fill that void with activities and relationships outside the home. Consciously or unconsciously finding a distraction can be a defense mechanism to seek fulfillment that you may not be getting from home. Be conscious that it may cause your rift to grow wider. Rather than seek a distraction, consider seeking professional assistance to bridge the growing chasm.
  7. Not being “in the know”: If you or your spouse starts to share their everyday “stories” with someone else, it is a sign that you don’t enjoy the “best friend or confidante” status anymore. If you’ll get wind of what is happening in his/her life from another person or social media, it underscores the breakdown in your communication and relationship.
  8. Avoiding intimacy or intimacy has become a responsibility: Intimacy and endearments are expressions of love and are essential ingredients that help strengthen a relationship. Once you start avoiding being together in the same bed or bedroom because you don’t want to have intimate moments with your spouse anymore, it can be serious sign of a deteriorated relationship.


Your marriage is supposed to provide you a secure and happy haven during happy and sad times. You are supposed to be each other’s best friend, ally, confidante, and cheerleader. Your marriage is supposed to make you complete. When the foundation of or your marriage has been weakened, it may survive for a while, but not for long. An unhealthy marriage will show symptoms, just like an ailing body. Don’t ignore them until it’s too late. In fact, don’t wait for the signs to get worse; act on them with haste.

While it helps to have family and friends supporting you in your effort to build a strong relationship, you wouldn’t want any complication when they take sides. A counselor can provide you with the best possible help while staying neutral. A counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC, can help you rebuild your communication to narrow the chasm that threatens to pull you apart. They can also assist you to rebuild the foundation of your marriage to make it the happy haven for both of you and your children.

Confidential / Private Sessions

Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC contracts with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, caring, and relaxed atmosphere in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen/Raeford area. These independently contracted therapists/counselors assist adult individuals, couples, families, and children with resolving issues and getting back to enjoying their lives. Whether you are non-military or military, the independently contracted therapists with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC are able and happy to assist you!


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, NC, Montgomery County, NC, Richmond County, NC, Randolph County, NC, Chatham County, NC

Cities: Southern Pines NC, Pinehurst NC, Aberdeen NC, Taylortown NC, Pinebluff NC, West End NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Ashley Heights NC, Ashmont NC, Five Points NC, Wind Blow NC, Jackson Springs NC, Whispering Pines NC, Vass NC, Cameron NC, Carthage NC, Eastwood NC, Lakeview NC, Narrow Ridge NC, Robbins NC, Roseland NC, Tramway NC, Troy NC, Zion Grove NC, Biscoe NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Southern Pines, NC
780 NW Broad St. Suite 210
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 725-6336 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Choose your Therapist

  • Kristin Vernon, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Families, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Divorce, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Coping Skills, Parenting, Family Conflict, Marital Conflict, Relationship Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Gretchen Montesanto, MA, LPC, NCC

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Teens, Individuals, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Stress, LGBT, Adjustment Disorder, Motivation, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Military Spouses

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Jaime J. Fitzpatrick MS, LPCS, LCAS

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Families and Couples, Anxiety, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse Recovery, Depression, Military Life Issues, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Addictions, Emotional Disturbance, Coping Skills, Impulsivity, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare,  Tricare Prime/Select and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Kathryn Wiens, PsyD. HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adult, Individuals, Couples and Families.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Tracy Goldberg, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Individuals, Adolescents, Adults, Couples, Children and Families. Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Behavioral Issues, Peer Relationships, Family Conflict, Depression, Anxiety, Parenting Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Esteem Issues, Family Conflict/Divorce, Marriage Counseling, Adjustment Disorders, Relationship Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Behavioral Issues, Coping Skills, Mood Disorders, Parent Skill Building, Christian Counseling upon request
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, Cash, HRA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC