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10 Signs Your Relationship or Marriage Is Falling Apart

Christopher enjoys writing about relationships and offering advice on various relationship issues.

Relationships and Friendships That Feel Like Marriages

We all fall in love with someone or develop amazingly close friendships that feel like marriages of sorts. But often, in these relationships or sometimes marriages, love falls apart. It doesn’t matter what it is built on—respect, teamwork, or lust—there is always a chance that things will change, and saving it will be a lot harder than taking a relationship quiz or reading relationship advice or reading quotes related to "is my relationship falling apart" or "is my love falling apart". It's going to take work, but first you have to determine whether or not your relationship is at risk of falling apart, which can be tricky.

Here are 10 signs of a failing relationship that might not be working out. As for what to do if or when your relationship is falling apart, I might include how to fix a relationship that is falling apart in another article. The most important way to go about this objectively is to find out why relationships fall apart.

As always, please consider professional relationship or marriage counseling, especially if you have a baby daughter or son or a child that's only a few months or years old.

1. Disagreements Escalate Into Arguments

Disagreeing is a part of life, and positive debates and discussions are signs of a healthy relationship that allows you to learn from and bond with your other. However, when it gets out of hand (I’m talking about flat-out yelling, screaming, and tantrum-like explosions), it's time to stop and reevaluate what's happening. When a simple disagreement turns into one-sided attempts to force the other to see or do things another way, the only thing that will be accomplished is pushing the other away. One sided relationships are a definite sign of trouble in a failing or falling apart relationship.

2. The Thought of Them (or Their Presence) Evokes Negative Feelings

This one is pretty extreme, but it does happen. If simply the sight of them entering a room is enough to lower your mood and depress you, if thinking about them deflates your mood, then this is something to pay attention to. Likewise, if it seems like your significant other is less than enthusiastic to see or think about you, it's time to take note. When just the thought of them sours your mood, its a good sign that your relationship is not working and something needs to be changed.

3. You Don’t Understand Each Other

Mystery is a good thing between people. Sometimes you don’t know why someone does something, but you're fascinated to learn more! However, sometimes understanding never comes. The negative type of misunderstanding I’m warning about comes from not being in tune with your partner. Usually, in a healthy relationship, you can begin to know what your partner will do next. If they never learn who you are, or you never understand them fully, then this will become a major obstacle to closeness. The more your partner feels like a stranger, the greater the chance there's no future for your relationship.

4. You Don’t Feel Like Making the Effort for Each Other

Think of your friend or your partner: Would you make a sandwich for them? How about taking them out to dinner? How about taking thirty minutes to drive them to their work? What if they're sick and they need you to take care of them? Although these scenarios are increasing in difficulty, you probably would do them for someone you really care for, at least once. But if you don’t want to make this kind of effort for them, then your relationship might have some underlying issues that need addressing. Without effort, you have no relationship and your marriage will be falling apart.

5. There Are Long Stretches of Time With No Romance

Every day doesn’t have to be filled with amazing things. There will be hard patches with lots of darkness and a few bright lights in the middle. But when the relationship feels like it's stuck in a dark tunnel with no lights visible ahead, there might be a problem.

6. You Stop Caring

This goes hand-in-hand with #4 and #5: If, when your significant other comes to mind, the thought doesn’t elicit any warm emotions, if his or her feelings no longer matter that much to you, this may not be a temporary lull. If it seems like your loved one doesn't really care what's going on with you, it might be the sign that his or her love is dying.

7. Things Become Consistently One-Sided

This is a major breaker in many relationships. When one person in the relationship has the sole responsibility of controlling all lines of communication, all plans, and all decisions, it's time to pay attention. It may be that the controlling partner throws tantrums or panics or refuses to listen to the other. It may be that the idle partner has washed their hands of all responsibility. Either way, if it continues to get worse over time, it might be time to break up.

8. You Feel a Constant Disconnect

This one is a little hard to explain. You know how with your close friends or partner, there is a strange unity or pattern that keeps you together? Communication is smooth and your patterns sync and you don't have to stop and analyze everything because you just understand one another. When you feel this slip away or disappear altogether, it may be time to re-think what happened and figure out where it went.

9. The “Used to” Count Is Increasing

“Used to” refers to the nice, generous things one partner or friend used to do for the other but doesn't any more. Maybe it was a sudden, unexpected hug, the mention of an inside joke, or a cup of coffee they used to bring: they used to do something that helped you, made you happy, or made you feel connected.

10. There Is No Evolution

I’m not talking about Darwin’s evolution, but it's a useful metaphor when applied to the survival of relationships. All healthy relationship evolve so that both partners adapt to new things that can occur both inside and outside the relationship. If both partners aren't learning, improving, evolving, and being flexible, prepare for something to happen. There are some rare cases where adaptation never happens, but these are extremely rare.

Is This the End of Our Relationship?

Remember, everything can be fixed or broken. It all depends on your actions and the effort you put into it. If nothing works or all else fails, you might need to look outside the relationship for advice and guidance. You might want to check out marriage counseling and relationship therapy for help.

If there is anything I got wrong or if you have a differing opinion, let me know in the comments below. Thank you and good luck to you all!

Relationship Advice

Read More From Pairedlife

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Natasha durson on November 09, 2019:

My marriage is going into eight years next year, it has been rough all the way, my husband only cooks, sometimes, that's all he does, I am the one who works, he does not, and if I ask him to do like spread the bed or sweep out the house, he said yes and he does not do it, and if I say something about it he argues. Sometimes he gets angry and tell me to come out of his house,I love my husband very much, but to me, I believe that a visiting marriage relationship will be better for us, if there is something like that.

Melisa scot from NewYork on November 07, 2019:


DeltaGalaxy427 on July 20, 2019:

We have hit every one of these. I hate arguing but the marriage counselor said there is healthy ways to fight and unhealthy ways. And he has bad influences from outside family who are drama queens/Kings and send it to our home. A letter to my husband, I feel it's more like having a roommate than a husband. My needs are rarely met and I'm always giving my all to you and the big family we have that I have hardly any energy by the end of every day for myself. I have learned to take care others I must take care of myself and I can't take care of myself because I give my all to you and all the kids. You spend the whole day every day building a relationship with your computer, but I only get your time for TV time at bed time or go to sleep alone. I feel like the mom to the kids, the dad to the kids, your wife and mom, let's also not forget I'm a taxi, a maid, a counselor, a referee, the house cleaner, and many more other titles I have have to complete every day. I have fan pages that I run. I have a man child and kids to all care for.

To make it short and stop here, I love you my ASD husband.

Tonya on April 09, 2019:

YEP, My marriage has reach all of these! Sad part is we never had to get here. My marriage fell apart from outside family. It is hard when you merge families together. I will give this advise we have to let our kids grow up. Being emotionally enmeshed to your child gets in the way of any relationship or marriage. (YOU CANT HAVE A 34 YEAR OLD "CHILD" that refuses to get up and get a life/Job/Support on his self, his wife and kids) Mom and Dad's you are not helping your child! I had no idea when we had gotten married, later found out that the previous wife had the same issues this was what destroyed there marriage.

Parents we have children and we love them, the best thing we can do is give them the tools to be a successful adult. Love them yes, but we do no favors by doing everything for them.

My marriage has completely fallen apart due to the arguments over this to the point it destroyed everything and I could no longer stand the site of his son.

Jay on March 13, 2019:

What if your husband is nearly perfect but I still am giving up?? It makes no since. Could it be that I’m too depressed and I hate myself so I hate everyone else including him?

Joe on February 11, 2019:

Dam think im 10 for 10 in my marriage. Shouldn't have ignored all the redflags but 9 years later at least i have a beautiful daughter. Thats one relationship i wont lose. Its so hard to separate and things will be hard on me but two happy parents separated is better then two parents together hating eachother. I did my best to save the marriage im just not the man she loves anymore i dont make her happy. Life goes on though and i have my daughter to help me get through this.

Karenolidg on July 31, 2018:

Its not over yet! have you tired your best to seek solution to help your self and your union? i know of a couple who had problems in their marriage and have already filled for divorce, She contacted this great man and their union was saved and today its blessed with twins.. Take a bold step today to save your union together.. You cant get solution when you don't try, You can not win without practice" God has given a lot of disciple powers to intercede on our behalf when we are down and in need of his attention... Linkup this great man today Via : spirituallove at hotmail .com

Kenneth mccracken on April 21, 2018:

What do you do when there's no understanding it's always you that isn't providing for the other and when you are no longer aloud to talk to ppl without being investigated

Erica Walker on December 19, 2017:

what if you want to with a boy and it turns out hes gay and you want to be with him, how can we work it out, because i really like him he likes me and yet he is telling me hes gay

Beckett Glover on January 31, 2017:

I feel like me and my husband don't connect like we used to he treats me like crap most of the time I'm about to just give up on our love and call it quits

Michael on December 22, 2016:

This was very helpful thank you very much for the advice

Kay on November 16, 2016:

Sometimes I feel like he and I are just two people that live together. We've been together for 3 years and when we first started dating, we couldn't be pulled apart which is why we decided to move in together. I know the spark of new relationships die down a bit after awhile but I don't feel like I'm in a romantic relationship, not even a sexual one. I know he loves me and I love him but it's like he's just not into me anymore. We laugh and joke around but I can't remember the last time he held me for a prolonged period of time or kissed me passionately. I can't get him to come around my parents and they've given him no reason to be that way. Tonight, my parents were helping move some heavy equipment at home while he was at work and they were still here when he got off from work. He left to go to a friend's house because he didn't want to be around them. It made me so sick to my stomach and gave me thoughts of leaving him. My family will always be around and if he ever feels like I choose them over him, he probably deserves it for nights like this. Am I wrong to feel that way? I'm so angry and these days I don't have anyone to talk about these kind of situations. I found your article very helpful but if I truly need to end this relationship, I need to be sure.. And I'm not. Right now, I just feel very angry and upset.

Kari on November 14, 2016:

My boyfriend's mother is basically bullying me, and it's been going on for about 6+ months. Last night, my boyfriend and I were planning to go eat out. We both live with our parents while in college, so he had to ask his parents if he was able to go since his parents are kind of protective. His dad said no, so we decided to go pick up a board game to play at his house. After we picked up a game, I decided to order to-go food from a restaurant because I hadn't eaten dinner yet and he did. While waiting for my order, his mother called him and told him that it was "very convenient" that I went get take-out from a restaurant being that we had wanted to go eat out at a restaurant before. She proceeded to tell him that I wasn't allowed at their home to play the board game, and I had to go back home after I dropped him off at his house. This isn't the first time she has done something like this. She even told my boyfriend that she wants us to break up. I told my boyfriend that he will have to move out if he wants a future with me because I can't emotionally deal with the bullying from his mother. I'm currently waiting on his answer, and I told him this yesterday after she had done what is described above. Does anyone have any advice? I want a future with him and we both love each other very much, but I just don't know if I can deal with his mother hating me for the rest of my life.

Kitty Cat on September 29, 2016:

If there is no evolution, if you don't care, it's your fault. If you try your best, and you believe that you are doing everything right, but your partner never improves. It's time to leave. I've never left anybody, because I would hate to hurt their feelings. Sometimes you just have to though.

Linda on August 31, 2016:

What do you do when the same problem keeps happening over and over again? I keep making the same mistake by arguing with my spouse. He constantly repeats himself and it gets to be annoying. All he talks about is the past and says it is going to keep happening again and again. I want to tell him how I really feel but then again I am afraid that he will leave me. We made a deal about whomever starts to argument should leave and cool down. But the next day it starts up again because I need help in expressing myself without getting to emotional and blowing off steam. I should have told him a long time ago how I feel, but I was always afraid I will hurt his feelings. What is a woman supposed to do?

SUSAN on May 19, 2016:

I was searching for help on the internet to get my ex husband back after he divorced me 5 months ago, i came across so many testimonies from different people and they are all talking about this wonderful man called Doctor Kasee of how he help them to save their marriage and relationships and i also contact him on his email ( and explain my problem to him and he did a nice job by helping me to get my divorced husband back within 48hours.. I never believe that such things like this can be possible but now i am a living testimony to it because Doctor Kasee actually brought my lover back, If you are having any relationship problems why not contact Doctor Kasee for help via email: . Then i promise you that after 48hours you will have reasons to celebrate like me.

Yalul from Philippines on July 21, 2015:

#2 is an aye-opener. but hasn't it fallen apart already if the thought of him evokes negative feelings?

anonymous on May 16, 2015:

I feel like im stuck in my relationship... We have been going out nearly 3 years now. We have always had different personalities but that is what made us attracted to each other in the beginning. I agreed to about 7 of the 10 points in the article. I cant tell if im comfortable where im at and i dont want to change anything, or if im scared to end the relationship, or if i truly want to try and make things better. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Arthur on April 11, 2014:

I just feel the bond isn't there anymore and that she's not paying as much attention to me anymore no matter what I do! Then I see her having great times with others and talking to other men I'm not sure she cares for me anymore ad it's killing me!!

Lucy on September 29, 2013:

I think your hub is perfect. We have huge problems, and most of my problems outside of my relationship are stemming from inside my relationship. I just choose a man that talks lies for the sake of keeping me, and doesn't live up to what he says in writing he is going to do...but I keep believing if anything this hub not only tells me how I can stay together, but how to pull it apart so I can break free. thank you.

nick on April 10, 2013:

some of these are going on with my relationship i haveve been trying to fix it like the other night i thought to surprise her with a dinner cruise and it was a disaster if felt like i was with a friend more then my gf help me i dont want the spark and everything to end

GamerAinion (author) from Miami, FL on July 15, 2012:

Thank you very much! :D

chris on July 14, 2012:

all your points are very true! spot on the money!

supladita on June 22, 2011:

I have been experiencing many problems and I don't know what to do. It's very hard for me to make a decision. My partner has been showing bad signs lately but I believe that we can still work this out since I don't want to end the relationship without even trying to fix it. He always told me I have the key weather I want these relationship to work or not...I have been trying so hard but it's still not enough to bring back the good relationship.

GamerAinion (author) from Miami, FL on February 05, 2011:

There will always be low points in a relationship, and with work the two of you will bond together and rise above it stronger than before. These low points might drop into the pit of hell and back. However you need to watch out for things like Domestic Violence, Grudges or the possibility of Hatred.

Not saying a drop in a relationship will lead to one of these but if the drop falls far enough and stays long enough, you need to watch out for them.

Thank you for the comment :D.

dotty1 from In my world on February 04, 2011:

i liked your hub, and I'd agree with these points...isn't it love though when you can see each point being ticked off but yet you cant break away????????

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