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6 signs your spouse is quiet-quitting your marriage, even if things feel fine

6 signs your spouse is quiet-quitting your marriage, even if things feel fine
A couple sitting on opposite sides of the bed
Delmaine Donson/Getty Images
  • Just like one can quiet-quit a job, they can subtly check out of a relationship or marriage.

  • It can be hard to tell if a partner is quiet-quitting if they're pleasant and easygoing.

  • Some signs of quiet-quitting include avoiding arguments, intimacy, and spending time together.

In the same way a person can quiet-quit a job they hate but can't leave yet, they can also quiet-quit a relationship or marriage.

"Quiet-quitting is all about putting in the least amount of energy and effort in doing as little as possible to keep things running," Suzanne Degges-White, a licensed counselor and professor at Northern Illinois University, told Business Insider.

In romantic partnerships, Degges-White said it can look like someone agreeing in their mind to stay married, but doing the absolute bare minimum to keep things amicable.

Partners can quiet-quit for all the same reasons they initiate breakups — they can feel unheard, bored, or that they're just in the wrong relationship. But because of the "quiet" part, it's not always easy to know when someone is politely checking out of the relationship.

Degges-White shared some common signs someone is quiet-quitting the relationship — whether they're fully conscious of it or not.

1. They don't crave intimacy with you

One of the biggest signs of quiet-quitting a relationship is no longer desiring intimacy, Degges-White said.

"It's like you don't want to be alone with this person," she said of quiet-quitters. They may not want to hold your hand, snuggle during a movie, have sex, or say goodbye in the morning — whatever used to be their way of physically or emotionally connecting with you.

2. They deliberately spend time apart from you

While sleeping in different beds and traveling apart can be signs of healthy independence within a relationship, too much space can be a sign your partner is trying to stay away from the reality of the relationship.

Degges-White said that a relationship quiet-quitter may "look for reasons to get involved in an activity that their partner's not engaged in, just to spend time away."

This could look like them prioritizing their friends every weekend and being out of the house most nights — without making any effort to reconnect when you're both home.

3. They're not interested in what you're up to

Healthy relationships rely on couples responding to "bids" — open invitations to listen and ask questions about each other's days, passions, or interests.

Degges-White said that partners who are quiet-quitting see their life as "I do my thing and I let my partner do their thing," without caring about how their partner spends their day or even feeling jealous over who they spend it with. As long as they have their plans intact, they could care less about yours.

4. They don't bother to argue with you

A really important part of maintaining a healthy relationship is having productive arguments. But Degges-White said the "kicker" of quiet-quitting is your partner won't bother to challenge you on anything.

"They don't even want to care about arguing or disagreeing," she said "Conflict takes more energy than it's worth, and that's a sign of apathy."

Just like with quiet-quitting a job, Degges-White they won't try to improve things by pushing back or asking for more, because for whatever reason, they see it as a useless endeavor.

5. They don't like to be "the bad guy"

A very common reason people quiet-quit their marriages is because "they don't want to be the bad guy," Degges-White said.

If they have a history of dodging conflict or showing signs of an avoidant attachment style, they might be quiet-quitting because they don't want to be the ones to initiate a breakup or divorce — especially if they fear it won't be mutual. Degges-White said it's the same line of thinking that's behind ghosting.

The only caveat is if "you're in a high-conflict relationship, because conflict tends to escalate," she said. A partner might quiet-quit because they're legitimately afraid of how explosive your arguments can get.

6. They are modeling a "transactional marriage" and never wish to divorce

Whether they would never get divorced because of religious, cultural, or financial reasons, a quiet-quitting partner might have no wish to ever break up — but maintain a peaceful status quo.

Degges-White said a more transactional marriage isn't always the most unhealthy option. If a couple can get along as friends, "the relationship can endure a lot, as long as both people are on the same page."

She emphasized the importance of communicating boundaries and expectations with each other, so that the other person isn't left in the dark. Whether your partner is actively quiet-quitting or not, the least they owe you is honesty.

Read the original article on Business Insider