How do i know if my marriage is over

Should I Get a Divorce? 17 Signs Your Marriage Is Over

There's no question that relationships are complicated. Even the most stable of marriages will go through intense highs and extreme lows. So if you're asking yourself, "Should I get a divorce?" know that you're not alone. A 2015 poll found that half of all married couples have contemplated divorce. And during the pandemic, the number of people interested in divorce has only increased.

But determining whether or not your marriage should end is a huge decision. "I have never met anyone who approaches the subject lightly," explains Jen Libby, MSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist who helps families through divorce. "I have also not met many individuals — even in seemingly healthy relationships — that haven't contemplated divorce at some point in their marriage." That said, Libby notes that there are some pretty obvious signs that you should consider divorce.

A number of things can weave a path straight to divorce: not putting in the effort to compromise, shutting down emotionally, pushing your partner away, and even seeking intimacy from an outside partner. Some of the signs you should get a divorce, however, are a lot more subtle and may take some time for you to see. Many of these red flags might also point to a need for support, be it from a family member, friend, or marriage counselor, so that you and your partner can be better equipped to work through your issues.

But if you do decide to take the divorce leap, consider this: "Coming to terms that the marriage is over and working together [with your spouse] towards a resolution that is fair for everyone will almost always make the process go quicker especially when kids are involved," says matrimonial and family law attorney Elizabeth Rozin-Golinder.

Here are some of the most common signs that it’s time to get a divorce, according to relationship experts.


There's a lack of intimacy.

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According to Rozin-Golinder, a lack of intimacy is one of the most obvious signs that a divorce is imminent.

Sure, every couple goes through dry spells, but sometimes it's more than that. A sign your marriage is failing is when "there is a definite lack of interest in sex and they don't communicate about it and don't do anything about it, or they are in very different places on it," says matrimonial lawyer Dawn Cardi. "Basically, the trigger is that sex is not working and hasn't worked in a while."


You begin to doubt yourself.

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When your partner no longer prioritizes you — or worse, devalues you — self-doubt can start to creep in. "Constantly being put down and told that your thoughts aren’t valued can cause you to transfer these feelings into your career, family, and other social settings, leaving you feeling insignificant and doubting all the abilities you were once confident in," says Maria Sullivan, relationship expert and vice president of Dating. com.

According to Sullivan, what's worse is when your partner begins to make you feel like everything is your fault. When a significant other is unwilling to realize that marriage is about compromise and working things out, it could be an indication that they no longer want to be in a relationship.


You are two different people.

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"Some people get divorced because they are not the same people they were when they got married," Rozin-Golinder points out. It doesn’t mean that you have to hate each other, she adds. You may have just grown apart and want different things.

Rozin-Golinder says that in her experience, "when you approach the situation from a standpoint of 'we don’t hate each other, we just are not meant to be anymore' it can soften the blow and make things easier."


There's been an instance of domestic violence.

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Libby cautions that physical, sexual, or psychological abuse in any form is an obvious sign you should consider divorce.

The reality is that, more likely than not, if there has been one incident of domestic violence, there will be more. According to Dr. Brown, if you are in doubt about this, ask yourself the following question: If you had a daughter who was the victim of domestic violence, would you encourage her to stay married? "Hopefully, your response would be a resounding, 'no,'" Dr. Brown says.

Litman agrees, noting that "when your health and safety are compromised by staying in the marriage" there should be no question about whether you should leave.

If you are the victim of domestic violence and need support, you can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 for help 24/7.


Your partner is no longer making an effort.

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Marriages are often faced with a variety of challenges, and according to Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After, both spouses have to commit to solving the issue, not just one. "One partner can't do all the trying on his or her own," says Bowman. "You can't go anywhere like that."

Sullivan agrees, adding, "It’s normal and common to feel something is missing when your partner is failing to hold up their end of the bargain." From big issues to daily conversations, dialogues require two people, and they can't happen if your partner isn't willing to participate.


You constantly trash talk your partner.

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Libby says that one not-so-obvious sign you should consider divorce is that "you find yourself trash-talking your partner whenever you have the chance." Complaining to your girlfriends every now and then about something your husband does that bugs you is very different than consistently and constantly griping about your partner. This could mean that there's a lack of respect on both of your parts.

And if you do decide to get divorced, and you have children, Libby suggests that you not talk negatively about the other parent in front of your kids. "Relationship dynamics often reveal themselves to kids," Libby points out. "They typically know more than you think, especially in cases of infidelity. So, being open to talking, but be careful with your words — it's essential in helping them navigate a divorce."


You no longer feel the need to make an effort.

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Making an effort goes both ways. If you're no longer interested in marriage counseling or reigniting that spark, it could be another sign that you need to get a divorce lawyer. "If you have too much pent-up resentment to care about moving past these problems, it’s time to pack it in," Sullivan says.

It's possible that you're not making an effort because you don't think you're at fault. "Sometimes we may tend to think that most of the fault in our marriages is with our partner," says L.A.-based couples' therapist Dr. Gary Brown. "It is generally a 50/50 proposition. It helps when marital partners take 100% responsibility for their 50% of the issues in the marriage." Of course, if you're not willing to acknowledge your shortcomings in the marriage, that's a telling sign.


You're having less face-to-face time.

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Over-scheduling work commitments or spending more time on your phone is a strong indicator that a marriage is in jeopardy — especially when it is intentional. "There's a certain amount of work that a person has to do, but if you see it's becoming more and more, and it continues to increase, especially over the holidays, that's called distancing," says Cardi.

Couples whose marriages are nearly over often uncouple, or disconnect from each other, before it legally ends, says Elayne Savage, Ph. D., author of Breathing Room: Creating Space to Be a Couple. "If you're no longer spending any time together, if one or both partners is spending all their time at work, with friends, online — and if feels like a relief not to be with each other — it's a sign that you've already disengaged from the marriage."


You don't support or listen to each other.

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"Actively hearing what your spouse is saying is vital to the survival of a marriage," says Sydney Ceruto, Ph.D., psychologist and life coach. "When neither spouse is taking the time to really hear what the other is expressing, you are demonstrating that your partner's thoughts and feelings do not matter to you." She says that this frequently leads to one or both spouses finding someone else to confide in, which can lead to infidelity.

In healthy marriages, both partners work as a team on everything from parenting to running the household to supporting each other's personal ambitions. As Savage points out, "If you've both started moving in completely separate orbits, or if you're not working together on day-to-day issues, it's a sign of serious trouble. Lack of personal, intimate exchange in a marriage is a very bad sign, especially if you are talking to others."


Someone has unrealistic expectations.

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According to Laurie Puhn, a family and divorce attorney-mediator in New York City and author of Fight Less, Love More, one spouse may start to grasp onto the idea that if things were different from how they were in the past, then they wouldn't have the problems they're experiencing in the present — and this can lead to disappointment.

Ceruto agrees, adding, "The ability or inability to adapt to change in married life greatly depends on having realistic expectations about one's spouse. If disillusionment sets in when preconceived expectations are not met, it generates enormous dissatisfaction and makes compromise impossible, which leads to an irreparable breakdown of the marriage. "


There's no compromising in terms of wants and needs.

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A major part of marriage involves trying to fulfill your partner's needs while also making sure your own needs are met. It's a lifelong dance, a give-and-take, and it requires constant communication. But if your partner continually refuses to listen to what you need (time, affection, sex, help with children), or refuses to share their own needs, you're not in a good place, says Dr. Bryce Kaye, Ph.D., author of The Marriage First Aid Kit .

Likewise, when you start to feel like there's zero overlap (or effort to try to find overlap) in your interests, you may have a problem. "Couples should be able to share experiences they're excited about, even if someone is not personally interested in the activity," Savage explains. If your partner is simply not interested in finding middle ground with you, this could be a sign of their unhappiness in the marriage.


You're not on the same page about your future.

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Sometimes when two people get together, someone has a future plan in mind that they fail to relay to their partner before tying the knot. According to Talia Litman, a certified marriage and family therapist, you should probably be wary "when your life agendas and timelines don't and never will align" in a marriage.

There are many areas of compromise in a long-term relationship, but if one of you is absolutely sure you want a child and the other categorically refuses, you're likely in trouble. "If someone's close to either side of the will-we-or-won't-we-have-children fence, you can work through it. But if not, and having a child is a life goal of yours, you may be looking at the end of your marriage," Bowman says.

Dr. Brown agrees, adding, "If you want children and your partner clearly does not, that may be a deal breaker. You need to ask yourself if you are willing to give up on something as basic as wanting (or not wanting) a family. If your partner strongly desires a family, and you do not, then you may need to consider whether or not your marriage can be viable in the long run."


There's a lack of respect in the relationship.

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One of the most important aspects of a healthy marriage is mutual respect. When that's gone and one partner consistently feels dismissed and rejected, you're not in a healthy relationship. "Marriages that reach this place are toxic — you're no longer civil, and all discourse is either attacking or defending," says Savage.

That disrespect may even turn into feelings of contempt. Ceruto says contempt is toxic to a marriage, because it conveys disgust and superiority on such a deep level. "Contempt is fueled by simmering negative thoughts about one's spouse and it arises in the form of an attack on someone's sense of self," she explains. And contempt can lead to resentment, which Savage says often takes up space in the relationship to the point where there's no room for connection or intimacy.

The good news is that a divorce could make you and your counterpart better towards each other. "Allow for the possibility that you both may turn out to be kinder, happier people as a result of the divorce," says Libby.


You're fighting more frequently than in the past.

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Though your marriage can certainly thrive in the face of normal adversities, there are couples who manage to turn every adversity into a fight. Dr. Brown refers to those marriages as "'high conflict,' where it seems that almost every issue has become a toxic and destructively emotional experience." As he explains, "If this cycle continues without some forms of effective intervention, the prognosis for a healthy marriage is almost nil. "

According to Puhn, it's definitely an issue if the arguments that you're having are redundant and never get resolved. "Marriage is all about knowing good communication skills and how to resolve conflicts," she says. "My research shows that 69% of divorcing couples have reported unresolved arguments, which lead to feelings of hopelessness."


One of you commits adultery.

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For many couples, cheating is a non-negotiable. If trust is paramount for you to continue on in your relationship, this will come as no surprise.

Even if it's just one time, if you will never look at your spouse the same way again or you'll live the rest of your lives not getting over the betrayal, it may mean that you need to move on for everyone's sake.


One spouse is a serial cheater.

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It's possible that your spouse just isn't cut out for marriage or monogamy, even if they seemed to have wanted to get married, says Bowman. They also may put the blame for their philandering and untrustworthiness on you, accusing you of being too jealous or controlling.

When trust is broken in such a painful way, it is difficult to recover, and if your partner has had multiple affairs, "it is highly improbable that there will be enough good will for your marriage to be viable," according to Dr. Brown. Even if you decide to stay in the marriage, it is doubtful that you will ever be able to fully trust your partner if they have cheated multiple times. As Litman points out, when you "can't get past a major breach of trust in the marriage despite many efforts and discussions," that's a telltale sign your marriage may be beyond repair.


Someone files for divorce.

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A divorce filing can be a huge wake-up call. But according to Rozin-Golinder, couples getting back together during divorce proceedings actually happens much more often than you think.

"Sometimes it takes a divorce filing for people to understand this is not what they really want and that they want to work on the marriage and salvage it," she says. "I have had cases go through an entire litigation and when we are at the final court appearance to put the divorce through, they decide to reconcile." She's also seen divorces finalized, only to have the couple remarry. "Sometimes it takes a huge step towards a change to realize that the loss of the marriage is not what people want after all," she says.

That said, if you've gotten very far in your divorce process and neither party budges, there's no turning back. Just do the best you can to navigate this challenging time and stay true to yourself.

Brie Gatchalian Brie Gatchalian is a mom of two, experienced cat mom, wife and freelance writer based in North Jersey.

The 30 Subtle Signs Your Marriage is Over — Best Life

You probably didn't get married assuming that in just a few months, years, or even decades, you'd have to look for the subtle signs your marriage is over. However, while researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, discovered an 18 percent dip in the total U.S. divorce rate between 2008 and 2016, the odds a married couple will divorce in their lifetime is still relatively high. In fact, while just over 2.2 million U.S. couples tied the knot in 2016, 827,261 divorces and annulments granted that same year, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And the lead-up to a split isn't necessarily a blow-out fight; instead, it's typically a slow burn that eventually fizzles out.

"Marriage is tough, marriage is work, and marriage is a full-time job. It is something that takes a lot of time to grow and requires you to learn, grow, and compromise," says licensed mental health counselor and life coach Dr. Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D. "During this journey of learning, growing, and developing, sometimes, for various reasons, people drift away from one another. As an individual and couple, we put a lot of time, money, energy and sweat equity into building a marriage. But, if it doesn't work out, for some, it is hard to admit it."

Before you get blindsided by your spouse walking away, it's time to discover the signs your marriage is over.

1. You're living like a single person, not a married person.

The single life can be great, with few responsibilities to others other than making sure your bills get paid on time. However, if you're married and are still acting like you're not in a committed relationship, that's a major red flag.

"It is perfectly OK for a spouse to go and hang out with some friends that might be single," says Kulaga. "But when that is the weekly go-to and you start finding yourself hanging out in singles locations (i.e.: singles clubs/bars, singles destinations, or talking with the opposite sex knowing that they are single), this is a sign you are desiring a much different life. "

Additionally, Kulaga explains that acting like you're single can be a sign of growing disrespect toward your spouse. And "marriage requires a genuine respect for the other person if it is going to grow and thrive," she warns.

2. Imagining your spouse with someone else doesn't hurt you.

"Your marriage might be over if you love them but aren't in love with them," says Kulaga. "Perhaps you imagine a life without them and imagine them with someone else, and you are not hurt by it. You genuinely want them to be happy as a person, but you do not want to grow and spend your life with them."

There's a big difference between living together and sharing a life with someone.

"In some marriages, couples live together, but that is it," says Kulaga. "They mentally checked out years ago. They go about their daily lives separately, sleep in different rooms, are not intimate with one another. In fact, they have very little emotion and communication with one another. If you see your spouse as your 'roommate,' this is one subtle sign that your marriage might be coming to a close."

3. Your view of the future doesn't include your spouse.

If you see yourself 10 or 15 years down the line living a totally different kind of life sans spouse, it's time to start wondering if your marriage will stand the test of time. For most couples who make their marriage work, that means being on the same page regarding what your life will look like in the future. And while shifts can happen, if you need to be single to make those changes occur, that's one of the most clear signs your marriage is over, or about to be.

4. The two of you don't have sex anymore.

Sex isn't everything in a marriage, but it's not nothing, either. Of course, you may not be having sex multiple times a day like you did when you got together. But if you're both physically and mentally healthy enough for sex but go months or even years without it, that's a surefire sign your relationship is seriously off-kilter.

"If you have noticed that your sexual attraction to your partner has significantly diminished, this is a red flag that something serious is going on in your marriage," explains Kulaga. "Intimacy is a strong part of a healthy marriage. Without intimacy, marriages end in divorce or are filled with anger, resentment or two couples living together as if they were roommates."

5. You're making major money moves without your spouse's knowledge.

Is it okay to have separate bank accounts, or to make those daily Starbucks runs without consulting your spouse first? Of course.

However, if you're making major purchases—a motorcycle here, an all-expenses-paid solo vacation there—without even thinking of consulting your spouse, that's one of many signs your marriage is over. In fact, financial issues are a major contributor to marital breakdown. A 2017 survey from Magnify Money reveals that financial issues were responsible for the divorces of 21 percent of respondents.


You want to cheat.

"If you have consistent thoughts about cheating on your spouse in general (regardless of acting on it), you may need to consider why you are beginning to have these thoughts so you can improve the health of your marriage if you so desire," says Kulaga.

7. You're having an "emotional affair."

"If you are finding yourself talking with or texting another person in a manner where you wouldn't want your spouse to see, or you begin meeting up with someone you fantasize about cheating with, despite whether or not there was any physical intimacy, you are risking your marriage and this is a sign your marriage is headed for an ending," says Kulaga.

8. Your goals don't include your spouse.

Do you want to go back to school and change careers? Are you eager to build your own home and live off the land? Are those goals completely unattainable if you're with your spouse? If so, that's just one of the more blatant signs your marriage is over.

"Creating goals to help you thrive is important and necessary for a healthy marriage. What is not healthy for a marriage is creating goals without thinking of your spouse's goals, desires, and needs," says Kulaga. "When you create goals that help you personally grow, but yet you are consciously aware that it might hurt your spouse or push the marriage in a direction that causes harm or distance, you may have checked out of your marriage."

9. You have different opinions regarding having kids.

Having kids won't necessarily make you and your partner happy, and not having them won't make you miserable if they're not a priority for you. However, if you and your spouse aren't on the same page about whether or not you want to have kids, that's a major red flag.

While your relationship may work for awhile, even if your opinions on the subject differ, it's likely that at least one of you will feel resentful about not getting your way, putting you on a fast track toward divorce.

10. You're not invested in fixing your marriage.

Fixing a marriage is hard work. However, if you're opposed to the idea entirely, and would rather just stay miserable, your marriage may already be done for.

"Every marriage has its ups and downs. Sometimes there are periods of highs that last for years and other times where the lows last just as long. But during the low times, healthy couples communicate and find ways to quickly strengthen their marriage," explains Kulaga. "If you find yourself highlighting the bad aspects to your marriage and dismissing all the solutions to fix those things, you may be checking out of your marriage."

11. You make excuses to spend time without your spouse.

Having alone time isn't just normal, it's healthy. However, if you constantly find yourself looking for excuses to spend any and all of your free time away from your significant other, that's not just a minor issue. Having a loving relationship means you want to spend time together—and if you don't, you might be headed for divorce.

12. You or your partner won't go to therapy.

It can be undeniably difficult to admit that you and your spouse need therapy. That said, if your marriage is crumbling before your very eyes and at least one of you refuses to fix it, that's a surefire sign your marriage is going downhill fast. Refusing to get therapy is akin to saying, "I'm not willing to fix this," and if that's the case, you've likely already resigned yourself to the fact that a divorce is in your future.

13. Or therapy isn't working.

Just because you're getting therapy doesn't mean you can necessarily save your relationship, either. Therapy can be a great tool for couples, but it can't fix a relationship that's irreparably broken.

14. You refuse to compromise.

Compromise can be difficult, even in the healthiest marriages. But if you or your spouse won't even attempt to compromise on an important issue, that's one of the clearest signs your marriage is over.

Couples who want to make things work will go to great lengths to do so—even if that means one or both parties can't get what they want all the time.

15. You jump to the idea of divorce when you're upset.

For most people in happy, loving marriages, divorce is a four-letter word. However, if your marriage is already over, it may be the first thing you think of when you and your spouse get into a fight. If your spouse does something minor to annoy you and you suddenly imagine yourself living your life without them, that's a definite sign there are greater issues at play.

16. You express contempt toward your spouse.

Those eye rolls, scoffs, and "whatevers" aren't the sign of a marriage that's on the right track.

"Contempt is the most destructive negative behavior within relationships, whether overt or covert. Essentially, contempt behaviors communicate to your partner, 'I'm better than you, and I don't care about your perspective,'" says sex therapist Erika Miley, M.Ed., LMHC. "Contempt is often the result of negative thoughts about your partner over time."ae0fcc31ae342fd3a1346ebb1f342fcb


You don't want to listen to your spouse's problems.

Of course, it's not always a picnic to listen to someone unload all their personal baggage. That said, if you're completely uninterested in what's bothering your spouse—or if you refuse to listen entirely—that's a major sign your relationship is on some seriously unsteady footing.

18. You keep secrets from one another.

If you're hanging out with your ex and keeping it from your significant other, have gotten yourself deep into debt and haven't mentioned it, or are making plans for the future without your partner, those big secrets are all sure signs your relationship isn't long for this world.

19. You ignore advice from members of your inner circle.

Friends and family members may be eager to give you advice on how to fix things in your marriage, but if you refuse to take their well-intentioned suggestions to heart, that's yet another sign you're on the fast track toward a divorce.

"If friends, family, and even your spouse are searching for solutions and ways to help your marriage strengthen but you don't want to hear them, this may be a sign your marriage is over but you are not ready to admit it," says Kulaga.

20. Your fights turn into personal critiques.

Your spouse forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste again. Your response? Reminding them of that time they forgot your anniversary. If this sounds like you, you're seeing some of the signs your marriage is over play out right in front of your eyes. If you can't have a fight without personally criticizing your spouse, that's a good sign larger issues are at play—potentially ones that could capsize your marriage.

21. And you can't talk without fighting.

If every conversation with your spouse turns into a fight, it might be time to start looking up divorce lawyers. Having non-stop fights with your significant other is a good indication that there's a major disconnect between the two of you, likely one that's insurmountable.

22. Or you and your spouse have stopped arguing.

While having constant arguments is hardly a sign of a healthy marriage, not fighting at all is just as big of a red flag. If you won't have a healthy debate with your spouse over an issue you're passionate about, odds are you've already noticed that your marriage isn't in great shape and feel like there's nothing you can do to change things.

23. You won't apologize to your spouse.

While Love Story may have told audiences that "love means never having to say you're sorry," most people in healthy marriages will tell you the opposite is more accurate. In fact, if you won't say you're sorry to your spouse, that's a pretty good indication that your marriage is over; those still committed to their relationship will fight to make it work, even when doing so means admitting their own faults.

24. You can't talk to them about your problems.

Whether you're dealing with mental health issues, problems at work, or issues with your friends, if you don't feel like you can talk to your spouse about your problems, that's a huge red flag. Not only does needing to rely on others for emotional support increase your risk of having an emotional affair, but not being able to talk to your significant other about major issues in your life means that a major component of your marriage is already missing.


You or your partner have substance abuse issues and won't get help.

While substance abuse isn't a moral failing, it's not necessarily an obstacle a marriage can overcome—especially if the person with the issue refuses to recognize it or get help. And while doing illicit drugs may be a more obvious problem, many people believe themselves to be social drinkers when they're anything but. In fact, according to the CDC, one in six adults in the United States binge drinks an average of once a week.

26. You don't respect your significant other anymore.

Respect is a major factor when it comes to overall marital satisfaction. If you think your partner isn't worthy of your respect anymore, that's one of the major signs your marriage is over—whether you want to admit it or not. And not all the signs of disrespect in a marriage are glaring; things as little as making jokes about your spouse's income or looks that seem harmless to you can be a sign of a much bigger problem.


You don't have anything in common anymore.

If you want to know whether your marriage is over, just think about the conversations you have with your spouse. When you got together, you probably loved nothing more than spending time on your collective interests. But if those things you thought you had in common turned out to be things you or your spouse just pretended to like in order to woo each other, you might be in over your head. As the list of common interests between you and your spouse wanes, so too do your chances of making it work in the long run.

29. You never get their undivided attention.

It's natural for your partner to check their phone when you are together every now and again, but if they do it constantly, it might be a sign that they have lost interest in your relationship, and that your marriage is in trouble.

"If your partner is always on their cell phone—looking at YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram—they may be more focused on what's going on there than in the relationship," explains Katie Ziskind, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Wisdom Within Counseling.

29. Your relationship leaves you constantly feeling drained.

Even if you're not constantly fighting, that doesn't mean your relationship can't leave you feeling utterly depleted. If every second you spend with your spouse makes you feel emotionally and physically drained, that's one of the signs your marriage is over.

30. You're having a physical affair and won't end things.

"If your spouse is having an active affair and doesn't want to drop it, it's pretty much impossible for the marriage to last," says relationship therapist Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, MS, LCPC, cofounder of The Marriage Restoration Project. And if your spouse is unfaithful and you want to know if you should forgive and forget or head for divorce, check out these 20 Real Women Explain Why They Forgave Their Partners for Cheating. (Spoiler alert: It didn't always work out in their favor.)

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"I am annoyed by my partner's extra weight, but he does not want to change"

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Divorce Man and woman

There are many

reasons why couples decide to divorce: adultery, loss of desire, mutual claims and contradictions. Is it possible to predict these problems and understand in advance whether the marriage will be sustainable? nine0003

Hidden Difficulties

Reasons that lead to divorce may exist in their infancy at the beginning of a relationship, says Gwendolyn Seidman, a relationship psychologist and professor at Albright College (USA).

For example, disagreements about how to spend your free time. Over time, they become more and more annoying and gradually undermine the relationship. According to this hypothesis, some unions are initially more “charged” with a negative scenario than others. nine0003

Insurmountable crisis

Another option is when contradictions accumulate in the course of living together. For example, a couple has a baby. And suddenly it turns out that the partners cannot agree literally on every little thing. How long to breastfeed your baby? What vaccinations to do? Is babysitting worth it?

Endless squabbles exhaust both of them and suggest a divorce. This scenario implies that it is impossible to initially predict which pairs will hold firm and when a break might occur. nine0003

False expectations

Another point of view focuses on the dramatic gap between illusion and reality. If partners are in the blind belief that their marriage will be a continuous celebration of life, everyday difficulties and disagreements can push them away from each other.

In any marriage, the sharpness of feelings dulls a little over time. At the same time, trust, intimacy and mutual understanding in happy couples become stronger. But disappointment due to too high expectations can prevent those feelings from maturing. nine0003

What do the studies say?

Psychologist Tara Huston and her colleagues have observed 150 couples for 13 years since 1981. Scientists were interested in family relationships, partners' opinions about each other and about relationships, problems and ways to solve them. In half of the couples, the relationship developed generally well. 20% of couples were unhappy in marriage. Finally, a third of all couples divorced during the follow-up.

Psychologists have drawn attention to some common features inherent in couples with a negative outcome:

  • They were less gentle, considerate and generous to each other from the very beginning.
  • From the very beginning, they had conflicting feelings about their choice, a lot of hesitation and doubt.

These observations confirm the idea of ​​some predestination in the fate of problem marriages.

On the other hand, a 2015 study showed a less clear picture: many unhappy couples had smoldering conflicts and disagreements from the very beginning, but those who chose a divorce accumulated new reasons for quarrels throughout their life together. nine0003

Bottom line

Partners who have doubts about their feelings from the very beginning or have unresolved conflicts are less satisfied with their married life. But this situation does not always lead to divorce. If partners manage to find a way around sharp corners or extinguish conflicts, their union can be sustainable. Unstable couples most often divorce in the first few years of marriage.

On the other hand, marriages that were relatively successful in the beginning may fall apart if spouse satisfaction falls. For example, after the children grow up, they suddenly realize that they don’t even have common topics for conversation, except for everyday affairs and on-duty congratulations for the holidays. In this case, divorce occurs relatively late (seven or more years after marriage). nine0003

A happy marriage can be a difficult goal. Not many can boast that they breathe in unison. In order to “catch” problems in time, arrange an inspection of your relationship from time to time:

  1. Keep track of what problems arise in the relationship. Deal with them before they get out of hand.
  2. Be prepared for the fact that your satisfaction will not be permanent. Look for ways to surprise each other, refresh feelings.
  3. Keep realistic expectations at the start of your marriage. Speak in advance situations that could cause friction, draw up a plan of action. The more practical you approach this task, the fewer unpleasant surprises await you. nine0040

Text: Anton Soldatov Photo source: Getty Images

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How I understood that it was time to get a divorce: personal experience

Olga Goryacheva

Author and editor at ArtSide internet marketing studio.

An empty marriage and sick relationships lead nowhere. And it's not even about when there are constant conflicts in the family. I'm talking about a marriage in which everything seems to be fine, but for some reason there is no love and happiness. nine0003

Looking back, I've come up with six signs that it's time for a divorce.

My story

My first marriage was a mistake. We were a dancing couple, falling in love, unplanned pregnancy, registry office. The usual story. We were connected only by dancing, and after the birth of a child, we had to forget about them altogether. But I believed that our boat of love should stay afloat no matter what.

The marriage lasted five years, during which I periodically thought about divorce. Sometimes out loud. But determination was not enough. Largely because outwardly everything was normal: we almost did not quarrel, did not live in poverty, the way of life stabilized over the years, the child grew up. But there was nothing in common either. nine0003

I'm lucky. I met the man of my dreams and over time I realized that if I want to be with someone, then only with him. But if it does not work out, then I can no longer live in an empty relationship. Even if we hadn't met, I would still come to the same decision, but later. There were bells.

We stopped talking to each other

At first we talked a lot: where did you study, what do you do, how do you look at the world, who are your parents and friends, what music do you listen to, what books do you read, what films do you like to watch. At the dating stage, there is always something to talk about. nine0003

But over time, the topics have exhausted themselves. It became clear to both that there was nothing to discuss. Just like in the movie What Men Talk About, when Camille reads a text message from his wife: “Toilet paper. Bread. Milk".

Sometimes it was about views on life values. And here another problem arose. My husband is five years younger than me, and I turned out to be too experienced a partner for him in almost all areas of life. As a result, the dialogue did not work out - it was more like consultations. My husband was a smart and grateful listener, but I was getting more and more bored. nine0003


Communication is the main component of any relationship.

You communicate most of the time. And it should be fun for both of you.

If your partner looks into your mouth, and you are engaged in upbringing in life, over time you may get bored with this. If you are always in the position of an obedient student, someday you will want to be independent.

Communication should be mutually enriching. You should have a similar cultural background that you can build on together. When one constantly pulls the other along, or when people go their separate ways, vital chatter gradually disappears. nine0003

We tried to be out of the house as much as possible

We spent most of our time apart, but somehow we didn't want to be together. It was normal for the husband to come after 9-10 pm. I fell asleep peacefully when I put the baby to bed. We could hardly see each other until the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday were also spent in their own way. I walked with my son, tried to meet with friends. The husband spent time at the laptop: study, work, movies, games.

I used to tug at him and ask him to spend time with me. He reluctantly agreed. Then I left him alone. I felt more comfortable that way. nine0003

My husband's hobby is archery. I became interested in acrobatics on the pylon. As a result, we scored five evenings a week of separate leisure.

Holidays were the next distance. Everyone rested on their own and considered it the norm. We convinced others that it was easier and cheaper that way. That's right, but we wanted to travel without each other.


When the atmosphere in the house is depressing, you subconsciously look for an opportunity to be there as little as possible.

You leave for work earlier, stay late, respond to any offers to meet friends, invent a hobby that takes up all your free time. Your spouse silently supports your absence. You leave when everyone is still sleeping, come back and everyone is already asleep. nine0003

The problem is not with the mode itself. The problem is, both of you are fine with it.

Sex became less and less

During pregnancy and especially after childbirth, my sexual appetites moderated to zero. This is largely due to how my life has changed, there was no time for love. But even then, when everything stabilized, I realized that I was not attracted to my husband. And it wasn't about him.

He was a good lover and knew perfectly well where and how to pet me to make me tremble with delight. His sexual impulses always let me know that I was wanted. nine0003

But I still felt that I did not feel emotional intimacy, so I often refused him, referring to fatigue and an early rise. The amount of sex dropped to once a month. I perceived it as a marital duty and in 9 cases out of 10 I tried to finish it as soon as possible. It was nice, but overkill.


In a healthy relationship, the quantity and quality of sex suits both. There are couples who have enough intimacy once a month, and for some, six times a day is not enough. But if you constantly send your partner with the words "I want to sleep, let's not today", something goes wrong. nine0003

We ceased to interest each other

With a generally caring attitude, I stopped immersing myself in the life of my spouse, she no longer interested me.

One day my husband fell ill and ended up in the hospital, he had to have an operation. I visited him only twice during my 14 days in the hospital. For the first time I brought documents, things and products. The second time I came after the operation. When he asked if I would come again, I was sincerely perplexed: “Do you need to bring something? What am I to do there, to hold your hand? I have a lot to do, I can't." nine0003

It's a shame. And I was offended when I arrived from the exam from the traffic police with a driver's license after 10 hours of stress, and my husband said only: “Cool, well done. Will you pick up your child from kindergarten tomorrow?


Lack of immersion in the life of a partner, support, warmth is not revenge, but banal indifference, for which one cannot be blamed.

You either have feelings or you don't. And they cannot be faked.

Indifference is a sign that the relationship is over, only functions remain: earn money, look after the children, keep the house in order, cook food. This is not how spouses live, but roommates or bedmates. nine0003

We quarreled with anger

My ex-husband and I have non-conflict personalities, so the dishes in our house have never been broken. However, sometimes quarrels arose, and we tried to hurt each other more painfully, to accuse of something.

Sometimes skirmishes ended with me talking about divorce. One day, the husband really began to collect things. I cried and ran to the kitchen. I sob, and thoughts swirl in my head: “How am I now? So, wake up at 7:15, take the child to kindergarten.

We parted not that day, but later. But the way we quarreled and what we tried to come to clearly signaled that it was time to disperse.


In unhealthy relationships there is no care, no acceptance of each other's emotions. We behave coldly and instead of resolving the conflict, we are looking for something else to remember.

There are also quarrels in healthy relationships. All people are different and see the world differently, so disagreements are normal. But in the conflicts of a happy couple, there is always a goal to reconcile. nine0003

What do I want from a quarrel? Sleep separately? Don't talk for three days? Or do I want to live a happy life with this person? If the latter, then even in righteous anger, you will choose your words and try to talk about your feelings.

I began to dream about what my life would be like without my husband. And I liked it.

If you are afraid of breaking up, imagine that what you are afraid of has already happened. What will you do with it?

This is necessary for the brain to develop a plan of action and calm down. Not only will you stop worrying, but you will also understand how to spread straws in case of misfortune. nine0003

I was also afraid. How will I live if I get divorced? I will have a child and a million financial difficulties. What will i do? And the brain drew the following plan in 10 minutes:

  • Rent out the existing apartment.
  • Rent a house within walking distance from the kindergarten.
  • Transfer all child's activities to kindergarten so as not to travel around the city.
  • Transfer work to a remote mode and collect orders so as not to waste time and money on the road.

I have formed an understanding of my actions in the event of a divorce. Now we need to think about how to deal with this. What emotions does the proposed action plan evoke? Do you want to live such a life? nine0003

If the answer is no, all is not lost. If the answer is “yes”, congratulations, soon you will get rid of the oppression of relationships you don’t need and become freer and happier.

I suddenly realized that I like my plan. I will spend more time with my son, not being distracted by my husband and not worrying that they do not communicate much. At this point, our family broke up.


Try to imagine life after divorce. If you can't, then you're not ready to take that step yet. If you can, but you don't like it, you don't need a divorce. If presented and everything suits - get a divorce. nine0003

Is it possible to save a problem relationship

It is possible to save a relationship if both of them want it. But they dream not to save the family, but to stay with their partner. Keeping a family is about decency in the eyes of others and an abstract sense of duty. And the desire to be with a loved one is about a personal conscious choice.

It happens that people simply do not know how to communicate and live together without destroying each other. Someone has a hot temper, someone has problems with self-esteem. If the two of you feel bad, but without each other it’s even worse, then the problem is not in choosing a partner, but in the quality of communication. nine0003

Read books on the psychology of relationships

The Passion Paradox by Dean Delis and Cassandra Phillips

A book about imbalances in relationships where one loves and the other doesn't. From it you will learn where love disappears and why it happens, who are strong and weak partners, how to properly resolve conflicts.

The book will be useful to weak partners who feel dependent on their soul mate and believe that relationships are based only on them. You will understand why your partner is drawn to you less and less and learn how to become stronger, restore harmony and self-sufficiency. nine0003

The book will help the leading people in a couple to figure out what happened in the relationship and where the former love and passion have gone. You will better understand your partner's motives and learn how to help him become more independent and calm and stop holding you around.

Buy at

Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman

The book is about different forms of manifestation of love. Some feel love in the time spent together, and some through physical care and assistance. Someone small, but frequent gifts lead to ecstasy. In total, the author identifies five types: joint time, help, encouragement, touch and gifts. nine0003

Look among them for yourself and your soul mate. You may want to learn how to love your partner in the way that makes them feel the most comfortable. The book will be useful to anyone who needs a good relationship not only with a loved one, but also with other people.

Buy at

Games People Play by Eric Berne

The meaning of the book is as follows: people tend to play social games. There are simple stroking games that are known to everyone and accepted in society. For example, I came back from vacation, and you ask how I spent it. nine0003

There are more complex and dangerous games - scenarios. A person unconsciously searches for his script and plays it out. They are instilled in us from childhood and are good (becoming a doctor and saving lives) and bad (saving the lives of others, not remembering yourself, burning out at work and dying at 35).

My scenario is that if you become pregnant, you definitely need to marry the child's father, you can't get divorced - you need to raise a partner. I did not see other options for the development of events and went straight ahead to this marriage, as if fulfilling a program. Only five years later I ask myself: do I really want to? Do I need it? nine0003

Buy at

More about dependent relationships can be found in the article by psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky "Family Therapy is a Divorce".

Go to a psychologist

Another way to harmonize relationships and life in general is to go to a psychologist. But it is better not together, but separately.

Psychologists do not tell how to live and do not give valuable advice about the toilet lid. They ask questions, help to consider the situation from different angles, put yourself in the place of another person and realize that something is not right. You find the way out yourself. nine0003

Psychologists help to deal effectively with anxiety, fears and anger through various therapeutic practices, such as art therapy or sand therapy.

As a result, you will no longer be offended by the unpleasant behavior of your spouse, you will learn to be happy and stable.

After that you will have two options:

  • your harmony will have a positive effect on your partner, your relationship will improve;
  • you will realize that you no longer need this relationship, and you will soon disperse. nine0040

When the only way out is to get a divorce

My first marriage was like chickenpox for me, after which the body acquires immunity forever. Was this marriage unsuccessful? Yes, there was. Do I need such a relationship? Yes, they are needed.

We always attract only the right people. We learn alongside them. And if we learn a lesson, we become better. I needed a man with whom I would be a superwoman to be proud of the severity of my life.

Then I grew out of these ideas, but the relationship itself did not change and ceased to suit me. And there was only one way out. nine0003

Divorce is not a sentence, but work on mistakes

We were not and could not be happy together. Nobody is to blame for this. My ex-husband is a wonderful person, decent, smart, attractive, he dances wonderfully. I treat him well and wish him happiness from the bottom of my heart. I absolutely did not want to hurt him, although I understood that a divorce would be a tragedy for him. However, I did not shine next to him and eventually stopped trying.

There was only one option for me - to disperse. Of course, it is a pity invested in the relationship of effort and time.

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