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30 Telltale Signs Your Marriage Is Over

Espresso logo Espresso 12/20/2018 Shelley White
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No one ever said that marriage is easy. Every couple goes through rough periods now and again. Disagreements and arguments are bound to happen, especially as the pressures of work, money, and children come into play. But how do you know when it’s time to call it quits with your partner—for good?

You’re not having sex

Though sex isn’t everything in a relationship, the absence of it is a surefire sign that a marriage is in crisis. Sure, there are many issues that can get in the way of a couple’s sex life, such as kids, stress, illness, or differences in libido. But if you or your partner aren’t interested in doing it with each other, ever, it could spell doom for the relationship.

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You’re always fighting and bickering

Few couples can make it through their marriage without the odd disagreement. In fact, knowing how to argue with your mate in a friendly way can be an important part of a healthy, mature relationship. But when the only way you communicate is through yelling, blame, and angry accusations, it’s a good indication that the relationship has spiralled into a state of permanent conflict.

You’re not communicating anymore

While fighting can be harmful to a marriage, a lack of communication can be just as deadly. One of the most important components of a partnership is the support you get from—and give to—your loved one. And when you’re no longer sharing your thoughts, dreams, concerns, or even a laugh or kind word, it’s a sure sign that your relationship is on its last legs.

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Your partner is cheating—and isn’t sorry

Infidelity can be devastating to a relationship. For many people, it’s the ultimate betrayal of trust. That said, cheating doesn’t necessarily have to mean the end of a marriage. Some couples can move beyond a dalliance with the help of counselling and a great deal of effort by both parties. But if there is a long-term pattern of deceit, or it becomes clear your partner isn’t sorry for their actions, that can indicate they no longer value your relationship.

Therapy isn’t working

For many people, couples therapy can be an effective way to save a marriage. While no external person can fix your problems for you, enlisting a professional can help you communicate, examine your own issues, and take a good, hard look at your role in the marital conflict. But therapy isn’t for everyone. And when a couple has tried therapy and it just isn’t working, it might be an indication that the marriage is irreparably broken.

Your partner doesn’t want to make it work

Sometimes the disintegration of a marriage can be one-sided. One half of a couple wants to make it work and is willing to put the time in to save the relationship, but the other half just isn’t interested. While acknowledging this can feel heartbreaking for the partner left in the cold, it’s important to recognize when a loved one has emotionally and mentally checked out.

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You’re daydreaming about being single or with another partner

While it’s perfectly normal to sometimes fantasize about people other than your partner, if you’re constantly daydreaming about how great it would be to be single or married to someone else, it may be an indication you are mentally and emotionally done with your marriage. If the idea of growing old with your current partner seems like a nightmare rather than a dream, that’s an issue you shouldn’t ignore.

You and your partner give each other no respect

Sneering, name-calling, mimicking, eye-rolling—these can all be signs of a lack of respect when they’re being directed at a life partner. This kind of contemptuous interaction is especially hurtful when done to purposefully embarrass or belittle a partner in front of friends and family. And it’s not just language that matters—a partner who ignores your boundaries or gives romantic attention to others is also showing disrespect to you and your marriage.

When you seldom resolve your differences

One essential part of a healthy argument is the resolution. Couples in successful marriages are usually able to work out their differences and both partners come away satisfied. But if you’re having the same arguments over and over again and never resolving anything, it may mean you won’t be able to ever see eye-to-eye.

Friends or family notice the conflict in your relationship

Some couples strive hard to put on a good show and convince everyone that their relationship is fine, even when it’s falling apart. But friends and family can sometimes see your marital problems more clearly than you can. Instead of trying to hide conflict from those closest to you, a trusted friend or relative can be a great resource to share your thoughts and concerns, and help you figure out your next steps.

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Your children are suffering because of the toxic situation

Couples may not realize the harm they might be doing to their children if they are constantly in a state of conflict with each other. Children of toxic marriages may suffer from chronic tension, an unstable sense of self, mood problems, or a fear of intimacy later in their lives. If your children are showing these signs as a result of your hostile interactions, it might be a good indication you shouldn’t be “staying together for the kids.”

You or your spouse put your children first—always

When children come into a marriage, it often changes the dynamic between partners. That can be a wonderful thing when a partnership is based on love, respect, and mutual support. But when one spouse decides to always put the children first, it can erode the relationship to the point of collapse.

Your partner develops addictive habits

Sometimes a relationship disintegrates not because of a lack of love, but because of the destructive influence of an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or other vices. While a loving couple can work through one partner’s addictions and come out the other side even stronger, there are times when a spouse’s addictions can be so destructive or dangerous that the marriage cannot be saved.

Abuse of any kind

Spousal abuse can come in many different forms, be it emotional, psychological, verbal, or physical. While many people may feel reluctant to reveal abuse to the people in their lives, it’s crucial to seek help. And if you ever feel uneasy or fearful about going home to your partner, you should always take steps to ensure your safety.

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Your partner is moving money between accounts

Sometimes there are clues that your marriage is headed for a split, even if you think everything is fine. If your partner seems to be hiding money, is moving money between accounts, or withdraws large sums for what seems like no good reason, it may be an indication they are planning to divorce you. In this case, it may be a good time to seek out a divorce lawyer so you don’t end up blindsided.

You’re leading separate lives

Sometimes a marriage ends with a whimper instead of a bang. You may not be engaging in bitter arguments or recriminations on a regular basis, but you’ve noticed that your lives are rapidly moving in different directions. You avoid spending time with each other, have no interest in speaking regularly, and plan separate activities or vacations. Maybe your love hasn’t turned to hate, but when it turns to indifference, it can be just as lethal.

You choose your phone over your mate

Even couples who are frequently together physically can be far apart in spirit. When you do spend time together, one or both of you are constantly distracted by your smartphone or TV. Or perhaps your time together is awkward and forced—you’re unable to just hang out together in quiet contentment. It should be enjoyable to be in the company of your mate, and when it isn’t, there is undoubtedly a problem.

You disagree about whether or not to have children

Loving couples can weather all kinds of disagreements—about where you should live, how much you should spend, where to go for your vacations. But there is one issue that can be a deal-breaker for couples: whether or not to have children. While spouses can compromise about many things, this is often not one of them, if both partners are absolutely sure of their stance on the matter.

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You feel like you can’t grow as a person while in this relationship

Sometimes it’s less about the other person in a partnership and more about you. If you feel like being in your marriage is keeping you from growing and developing into the person you want to be, it might be time to take a long, hard look at what will make you happier in the long run.

When it’s no fun anymore

Fun should be a central component of any relationship. When the thrill is gone, no one benefits. If the words you use to describe your partnership are things like “boring,” “dull” or just plain “meh,” your marriage problems may be serious. We all need a little joy in our lives, and we should be feeling that at home, of all places.

You’re ignoring your gut feeling

Sometimes it’s just there, sitting in the pit of your stomach. You know it’s over, but you just don’t want to admit it to yourself. We should all pay attention to our gut feelings, or intuitions, a little more. We often try to rationalize our instincts away with excuses – it’s not the right time, it will be financially challenging – but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

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You’re preoccupied with the problems of others

When you don’t want to face something unpleasant in your own life, sometimes it feels better to distract yourself with the problems of others. If you find yourself getting overly involved in your best friend’s family conflicts, your brother’s boyfriend troubles or your mom’s book club drama, it may be because you’re desperately trying to avoid dealing with a troubled relationship that feels overwhelming.

You’ve stopped fighting

Yes, fighting all the time can be a danger sign for a relationship. But so can avoiding fights entirely. If you and your partner have stopped caring enough to argue, or you’re both chronically trying to avoid conflict, it could mean the end of the relationship is near.

You’re having an affair, either emotional or physical

It can sometimes be difficult to define what’s innocent interaction and what constitutes an emotional affair. But if you know in your heart of hearts that you’re carrying on a relationship that goes over the line, emotionally or physically, you need to be honest with yourself and come to terms with what that means for your relationship. And don’t forget – be honest with your partner too.

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You feel controlled

Balance in a relationship is crucial for long-term success. If one partner is always calling the shots, there’s something seriously wrong. Controlling behavior can range from overactive jealousy to chronic criticism to spying or snooping, and it’s never a healthy dynamic. Check out these 20 signs your partner is controlling and if they sound familiar, it’s time to take steps to change it.

You and your partner have totally different agendas

Sometimes no one is at fault – it’s just that two partners want radically different things in life. You started on the same page, but now you’ve both changed. Maybe you’re thrilled with your job in the city, but your mate is determined to move to the country. Maybe it’s about a change in religion or dedicating yourself to a career on the other side of the globe. If your life goals are in opposition to each other, you may find compromising impossible.

You got married for the wrong reasons

Maybe marriage seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was less about love and more about something else. Did you marry for money? Or because you wanted to have a child? Did your parents push you into it? Or was it really for the wedding more than the marriage? There are many bad reasons to get married, and once the smoke clears, you might realize you made a mistake.

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You keep secrets

Sure, it’s okay to keep some things to yourself. But when you find yourself keeping big secrets from your mate – like infidelity or money troubles – it could be a sign that you’ve lost trust in your partner. Or it could mean you’re just not interested in sharing important thoughts and feelings with them. Keeping secrets can destroy a relationship, and it can also indicate when a relationship is already over.

You aren’t interested in participating in your partner’s favorite activities

Some couples like to do everything together, while others are perfectly fine with having different leisure activities. But if your partner wants you to go bowling, or antiquing, or learn to salsa, and you have absolutely no interest in taking part, it could be an indication your commitment has waned. Part of being in a couple is about wanting to please your mate. If you really don’t care about their feelings, you need to take a hard look at why.

You feel lonely

You live with your partner, you have meals with them, you see them every day, you sleep in the same bed. And yet, you feel unbearably lonely. Unless there are mental health issues (like depression) at play, it could be the partnership that is the problem. If your relationship isn’t making you feel loved and fulfilled and you’re not “happy together,” maybe you would be happier apart.

Related Video: Couples Therapy: A Crash Course in Happiness (Provided by: Cover Video)


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