Body language is a dead giveaway about the state of your marriage, and body language experts can read your stance and gestures like a book. Your eyes, facial expressions and the space between you and your significant other reveal the emotional health of your relationship. Here’s how two experts interpret the signals you’re sending to your spouse and the rest of the world. If you catch yourself or him broadcasting indifference or hostility these gestures, you may want to start doing serious repair work on your romance.
You’re constantly rolling your eyes.
“It’s simple: Eye rolling indicates a disapproval or annoyance with your significant other,” says Susan Constantine, human behavioral expert and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reading Body Language. Constantly giving your partner side-eye signals displeasure. The message is unavoidable, so don’t think he’s missing the point.
You lean away from one another.
Loving partners tend to lean toward one another. The show of intimacy extends even to the way they position their chairs. “If your seat is pointed away from your partner, then so is your body,” says Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma. “This is dangerous because it means that you’re disinterested in connecting with your partner.”
You interrupt each other.
You feel disrespected when your significant other runs right over the opinion you’re trying to voice. “If your partner cuts you off when you’re speaking, it means that they’re thinking of any answer rather than listening to you,” says Constantine. If you feel he’s more interested in himself than he is in you, you’re right.
You cross your arms (a lot).
Crossing your arms over your chest is an outward signal of inward distancing. “Typically, people cross their arms when they’re trying to defend themselves,” says Constantine. “It’s a visible way to put your guard up, which is never a good thing in an intimate relationship.”
You stand with your hands on your hips.
This stance communicates a desire to control. “This cocky stance is an obvious way to show someone who’s boss,” says Constantine. “However, this isn’t necessary in a strong relationship.”
You mimic one another maliciously.
If you and your partner are mimicking one another out of spite, you’re engaging in a form of very personal warfare. “Mimicking, name-calling, ridicule, and sarcasm are all means of contempt, which leads to relationship sabotage,” says Constantine.
Your facial expressions don’t align.
Your partner comes home from work with frustration and worry written all over his face. When your face is disinterested or, even worse, wreathed in smiles, how much do you care about his feelings? “It’s troubling when one person in the relationship doesn’t show the correct emotional response given the situation,” says Constantine. “If your partner is stressed, your face should reflect that. The same goes for any emotion that your partner feels.”