I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that marriage is not always a picnic. You won’t always get along. You won’t always feel close. Sometimes you won’t even like your spouse. Like any other relationship or important project, a marriage requires continuous time and effort to maintain its health and keep the bond between spouses strong!
It is not uncommon for every marriage to endure at least one trial. Things may become very dark in a marriage with stress added from financial problems, a health crisis, family problems, and many other daily issues that begin to chip away at the foundation of the marriage. A patch of marital strain need not result in divorce. A couple can resurrect the union through communication, dedicating time to share together, and a strong commitment to regain trust, respect, and affection. Some couples find counseling, regular dates, and other methods helpful to get back on track.
I would never tell a couple to throw in the towel on their marriage just because the relationship begins to lack the former sparkle it had during the new love phase; however, after a point, a relationship is beyond repair, and divorce becomes the best option a couple has.
How do we know when a marriage is to the point of divorce? I’ll give you 49 reasons:
- You no longer talk, you just exchange information.
- The thought of going home and being with your spouse makes you feel depressed.
- You feel nothing when you look at your spouse…
- …or you feel angry, hurt, or almost ill in their presence.
- You dread knowing you have to have a conversation or feel that time together is forced.
- You are barely able to be nice, and even argue with your spouse, even with others around.
- Your spouse demonstrates no respect or you feel no respect for them.
- You are no longer intimate or the thought of being intimate makes you want to be sick.
- You no longer share any common activities or goals.
- Your free time is no longer spent together and you both prefer it that way.
- Your interactions are usually arguments…
- …or your interactions are chilly because neither of you care anymore.
- There is physical, emotional, verbal, financial, or sexual abuse in the relationship.
- Your spouse refuses to interact or work on the concerns you express.
- You or your spouse purposely avoid spending time together.
- When you imagine your future, your spouse isn’t part of it.
- You find yourself mentally planning your move out, how to divide property, and what your divorce and parenting plan would say.
- You feel that you’ve already grieved the loss of your relationship and are ready to move on.
- Your spouse has betrayed you and you find yourself unable to forget what happened or forgive.
- You feel like you and your spouse are now strangers.
- Other people have mentioned to you that you seem miserable or that what you endure in your relationship is abnormal, or have urged you to get help.
- Your goals, ideas, and beliefs no longer align.
- You no longer even like your spouse.
- You find that the only reason you still care about your spouse is as the other parent of your children.
- You are in no way attracted to your spouse.
- You can’t believe what your spouse says anymore.
- You are suspicious of your spouse’s actions.
- You are overly critical of your spouse, or them of you.
- You feel the need to punish your spouse by withholding affection or in other ways trying to make their life more difficult.
- You feel the need to hide your activities (e.g. who you spend time with, your money, and so on).
- Your spouse lies about you or tries to make you look bad to your children and others.
- You fear your spouse.
- Either you or your spouse has mentally, emotionally, or physically moved on from the marriage.
- You find yourself attracted to other people and wishing you were with others.
- You are at peace with contacting a lawyer or taking other steps to end the marriage.
- You and your spouse have already discussed divorce and it feels real.
- People who you trust tell you that you should leave and have solid reasons why.
- You have tried- really tried- and it hasn’t made a difference.
- You have tried- really tried- and your spouse won’t.
- You recognize that you are not the best parent or person you can be when with your spouse.
- Your marriage makes you want to cry, sleep away your time, or even die.
- You have recurrent fantasies of a life away from your spouse and your marriage, and you often “escape” to these fantasies.
- Your spouse has no regard for your safety, well-being, and reputation (or you for them).
- Your marriage sets the worst possible example for your children.
- You are no longer a priority to your spouse, or them to you.
- You find yourself wondering if life will ever get any better than it is now and if you can survive the rest of your life in your relationship.
- Your spouse refuses to go to counseling, to talk about your issues, or denies that there is a problem.
- You find yourself questioning if your marriage could possibly be normal and you regularly compare yours to other people’s to seek an answer to this question.
- You find yourself grieving that your marriage has “died” or that it failed to live up to the dreams you had for it.
Your marriage isn’t necessarily over just because you can check off one or two reasons. Finding yourself attracted to someone else, for instance, isn’t reason enough to end a marriage; though it’s a good indicator of the state of the marriage and your mental state. A couple of reasons might be enough for you, depending on the severity of the issues; but, only a couple might also leave plenty of room for working to salvage the relationship.
The answer to the question “is it over?” is completely subjective. Only you will know if you’ve met your breaking point and if the marriage is beyond the point of no return. This list should at least provide a good starting point for discussion and to evaluate the health of your marriage and whether or not it’s time to move on.