How to Tell When Your Marriage Is Coming to an End

Updated on December 11, 2017
Kaitlyn Lo profile image

Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.

The honeymoon is long over, and you’re starting to notice some fundamental differences and issues that you’re just not prepared to deal with. Relationships are hard work, and many of us are scared of any fleeting tension or bumps that are normal for any relationship. No relationship is roses and champagne 24/7, but when we encounter an issue, we get scared and think we’ve fallen out of love. This feeling could snowball into cheating, arguments, or a gradual distancing from each other.

There are things you can do to try and nudge your marriage back on track, but it’s also important to know when to walk away. Here are a few signs that may indicate that your marriage is coming to an end.

Poll: The State of Your Marriage

Are you happy with your marriage?

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By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons.
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

7 Signs That Your Marriage is Over

1. You don’t share anymore

Communication is the pinnacle of a healthy, successful relationship. Are you the last to know about your partner’s decisions? Do you feel like you don’t know what’s going on in your partner’s life anymore? It’s not necessary to share every thought with each other, but being able to share your successes and talk about your problems, concerns, and insecurities is crucial.

If you find that communication has broken down or become nonexistent in your relationship, it’s a major negative indicator of the health of your relationship.

2. You fantasize about being single

It’s not unusual to reminisce about the “good old times” when you used to paint the town red with your single friends. But, if you find that you're daydreaming about how much better your life would be if you weren’t married, it may be time to dig a little deeper to find out why you’re fantasizing about the single life. There may be some serious issues in your marriage that need to be addressed.

3. Arguing about the same thing over and over without resolution

Disagreements are par for the course in relationships. It’s how you deal with those disagreements that will determine the success of the relationship. Ideally, every disagreement or argument will come to a satisfactory resolution for both parties. So, if you find that every little disagreement turns into a full-blown argument, or if you keep arguing about the same issue without coming to a resolution, your marriage is in danger.

Disagreements are par for the course in relationships. It’s how you deal with those disagreements that will determine the success of the relationship.

4. You feel alone even when you’re together

Marriage is about sharing a life with another person, about providing companionship, emotional and physical intimacy, and spending time with someone you love. So, if you’re continually feeling lonely even when your partner is in the same room, there may be an underlying issue eroding your marriage. It may mean that your partner is withdrawing emotionally or is cutting you out.

5. No more physical intimacy

Physical intimacy isn’t everything in a marriage, but it does play a significant role in sustaining a close bond between husband and wife. If your spouse is showing a declined interest in being intimate with you, chances are, they’re also providing less emotional intimacy as well. Lack of intimacy will weaken the bond you have with your partner and is a major symptom of a dysfunctional marriage.

6. You don’t have anything in common anymore

When was the last time you shared a laugh together or talked about random shared interests? Chronic silence is a major symptom of marital breakdown. Yes, our lives are busy and you may be too drained to speak with each other at the end of a hectic day, but no one said marriage was easy. If you’re finding it hard to talk about things other than what time dinner will be, or who will pick up the dry cleaning, your marriage may be at risk.

7. You find it hard to support each other’s individual growth without feeling resentful

A healthy, strong marriage is one where a couple will actively support each other’s dreams, goals, and help each other grow. But if you’re starting to resent your partner’s success and are finding it increasingly hard to genuinely feel happy for them, that could be an indication that you're no longer operating as a unit.

By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons.
By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

3 Things You Can Do to Heal a Marriage

It takes two to be married so these tips will only work if both of you are ready to try.

1. Check your expectations to inject positive energy into the marriage

This is perhaps the number one most important thing you can do not only to enjoy a happy marriage but to become a happier person as well. When we feel as though we're unfairly treated, it’s often because we approached a situation with certain expectations. When those expectations aren’t met, we feel disappointed and perhaps even resentful. And for your partner, there’s nothing more demotivating than feeling like they’re constantly disappointing you.

So, go into every interaction with your spouse with lowered expectations. When something good happens, you’ll always be pleasantly surprised. And when all good deeds, big or small, are always received positively, your partner (and you) will feel motivated to do even more for each other.

2. Learn how to discuss problems together constructively

It's important for a couple to be able to openly express any concerns or issues they may have in the relationship. In these situations, it's easy to become defensive or to feel insulted, but it's important not to get angry and to discuss any concerns constructively. A helpful rule of thumb is to start every sentence with "I feel" so it will sound like you're genuinely trying to communicate your thoughts and feelings - not pointing fingers. If at any point during the discussion, either of you are starting to get riled up, it's best to take a breather and resume the conversation with cool heads.

3. Make an effort to spend more quality time together

Marriage is hard work, and the most successful couples treat their marriage like a full-time job. Maximum effort, all of the time. So, while it’s easier to come home after a long day and unwind in front of the TV, you need to spend more quality time with your spouse. Play. Unplug and go out on dates, schedule romantic date nights at home, or try something new together. Let your imagination go wild. The more you go out of your way to connect with each other, the stronger your marriage will become.

Poll: Quality Time

Experts say a couple needs to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours of quality time together per week. How much quality time, on average, do you spend with your spouse?

See results
By burak kostak. CC0 Creative Commons.
By burak kostak. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

The Final Option: Divorce

If you’ve thought of and tried everything you could without seeing results, then it may be time to walk away. Here’s a brief breakdown of what to expect when you file for divorce.

Pros
Cons
You may be happier
Divorce isn’t cheap
You would be free to find a more suitable partner
You’ll have more time alone (empty house)
You can move on and start the healing process
Will cause stress in the family and children (if you have any)
You’ll have more time alone (single life, here you come!)
Divorce procedures may drag on
Freedom from the tension in your marriage
You may experience guilt, embarrassment, or lingering questions like “Could the marriage have been saved?”

Keep Calm and Carry On

Whether you decide to try and save your marriage or to cut your losses and file for divorce, it’s important not to lose faith in love. Marriage isn’t easy and is a long road filled with compromise, but it can also be a beautiful union between two compatible individuals. Just because you’re going through a tough time, doesn’t mean that you should lose hope. Whatever the outcome, your resilience and strength will pay off.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 KV Lo

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      • profile image

        MAria 

        4 months ago

        Good advice. My husband and I always try to get together, especially now since we are working on different schedules. We always try to remember and reminisce our time together. The worse thing that can happen to any relationship is routine. A relationship needs a spark in order to continue.

      • profile image

        Estillos 

        5 months ago

        I'm currently separated and this touched home!!! Communication is key and we lacked at that.

      • profile image

        ALEX 

        6 months ago

        I really enjoyed reading this. Marriage takes a lot of work and I think some people just give up without trying. On the flip, sometimes it just doesn't work, and accepting that and moving on is the hardest part. This article will be very helpful to those struggling with their marriage!

      • profile image

        Alex 

        7 months ago

        Wow, this is great. I love how honest you are in your writing.

      • profile image

        Veidehi Gite 

        7 months ago

        Spot on! Even though I’m not married, I think the same rules (More or less) apply to a relationship as well..and then eventually it all comes down to communication :)

      • profile image

        Ajay Chander R. 

        7 months ago

        Interesting article about marriage ending but i am not sure about all this , as i've not got married yet but a friend of mine had similiar experience like this and he said their life doesnt seems to be okay . From his word of facts , i believe what you saying could be a sign to the end of the good relation.

      • profile image

        Marjie Mare 

        7 months ago

        It is so sad to see a beautiful relationship comes to an end. Sometimes we let ourselves carried away by life challenges and forget to find strength in the relationship.

      • Deni Kidwell profile image

        Deni Kidwell 

        8 months ago

        So true! Everyone just thinks either marriage works or it doesn't...well, you have to work at it, nothing comes easy. My hubby and I have been married for 22 years after just 4 months of dating, I have tested the in sickness and in health for 20 of those years. I have to say, he makes me laugh, smile, he's my rock and I would say I do the same for him too! Respect also goes along way

      • profile image

        Kim 

        8 months ago

        This one hits home with me. I’ve been divorced. My brother and his wife are going through something right now, too. These were all signs I experienced before my divorce. Thanks for sharing.

      • profile image

        Lorna Holowaychuk 

        8 months ago

        Each situation is different. However, ending a marriage or a relationship is never easy. Some relationships are more stable and hold more promise for both parties. Other relationships were never meant to be.

      • profile image

        Jessica 

        8 months ago

        Awe yes, some of those are really sad. Great advice too!

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