Should I Get Divorced? 15 Signs You're Unhappy In Marriage

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Marriages go through many unprecedented troubles. There may be arguments, fights, and harassment, and after a point, you may feel like you cannot take it anymore. If you are tired of trying to fix your marriage, you might ask yourself, “should I get a divorce?”

Deciding whether to end a marriage or try further is a tough call to make. While you don’t want to make a hasty decision, you may not want to continue being in a toxic or hopeless marriage. But how do you know you have had enough and should call it quits? In this post, we talk about some clear signs that it’s time to get a divorce.

Signs You May Want A Divorce

The decision to get divorced should not be a hasty one. Don’t decide to walk out when you are angry or sad because the decisions you make when you are emotional are an attempt to numb that pain for the moment, and once the moment has passed, you might look back and regret what you did.

Instead, try to think of reasons to stay or not stay in the marriage. You can also look for these signs in your relationship, which may help you decide if you should get a divorce.

1. There’s No Communication

There are disagreements in every marriage, and openly talking about them will help you both come to a consensus. But lack of communication in the marriage, and a clear unwillingness or long standing inability to address the issue, is a bad sign. When neither of you has anything to say, or you know that nothing positive is going to come out of a discussion, then a disagreement turns into an ugly fight that makes it difficult for you to go ahead.

2. One of You Has Changed Drastically

Time and experiences indeed change people. But if your marriage is affected due to such personality changes, then it could be a problem. People change in different ways as they age, and your partner may not be the same person you fell in love with. If you are unable to accept your partner as they are, even after relationship counselling, living together becomes difficult. And the only option sometimes is to walk away.

3. No Efforts to Patch Up

Yes, you both are unique individuals with different perspectives. But as a couple, it is essential to understand each other and try to do certain things to stay together. If neither of you wants to put in the effort, even when the relationship is taking a turn for the worse, it is clear that you do not care enough to make it work.

4. You are Not Yourself

Do you think your partner will reject you after a certain point in the marriage? Are you trying to hide your true-self just for your partner’s sake? Well, there’s no way to make a marriage successful when you are someone else other than yourself. If you are compromising who you are for a relationship that is not working, and this is not a pattern you play out in many relationships, it could be time to call it quits and take care of yourself. If it is a pattern that you notice in other relationships, consider working with a therapist who can help you improve your self acceptance and security.

5. One of You Is Stonewalling

Stonewalling is the term used to describe the ‘silent treatment,’ which is often worse than fighting. It is when one partner is not ready to talk and does not respond to the other in spite of being coaxed. Such behavior hurts your partner and marriage. Not knowing the reason for being stonewalled can leave you perplexed, and result in disappointment, anger, and maybe resentment.

If stonewalling persists and the problems seem to pile up in the marriage, maybe it is time to take the next best step for yourself, even if it is walking away from your spouse.

6. You Are Not The Priority Anymore

When you are married, your partner and your marriage are your top priorities after yourself. But if either of the partner’s priorities have changed and the spouse is not given the importance they deserve, it could create a disconnect. When your spouse refuses to make you a priority, won’t hear your concerns and has excuses each time you confront them, you should stop and reflect on what you are doing in the relationship and what the relationship is doing to you.

7. You Are Blamed at Every Step

Instead of taking responsibility, your partner blames you for everything that goes wrong in the marriage. You are called names, verbally abused and are disrespected by your spouse. You start believing that it is all your fault and feel guilty even for your partner’s mistakes.

When your partner is not interested in talking and cleaning their mess, it shows a lack of interest in the marriage.

8. Your Partner is Cheating on You

It is rightly said that the past should be left in the past. So, if your partner is still friendly with his or her ex or is having an extramarital affair, then it is a red flag right there. You cannot keep holding on to your partner or compromise your dignity for their weaknesses. Unfaithfulness or infidelity is something that cannot be forgiven easily and the damage is lasting.

If your partner shows no regret or remorse for cheating on you, it suggests that they may not be seeking your forgiveness and may not even care about saving the marriage.

9. Diminishing Intimacy Between You Two

If either one of you is expressing disinterest in sexual life, then there may be something wrong with the relationship. If your relationship lacks physical intimacy, which is a part of a healthy marriage, then that could be a sign that the marriage is not working.

Note: Sexual intimacy is not a priority for all couples, some are happy to value a long standing trusting relationship, even in the absence of sexual pleasure.

10. Ego Rules Over Love

Fighting to win every conversation and proving that you are always right is another sign that you do not care about the other person’s opinion or perspective. Conflicts arise in every marriage, and couples need to listen to and understand each other to resolve them. But if one partner’s overpowering ego is dominant in the marriage, it may seem almost impossible to resolve the issues and make the marriage work.

11. Distrust and Disrespect

In a marriage, respect for each other is as important as love for each other. If one partner is mocking the other frequently, rejecting their ideas, and letting them down often, it is not a healthy relationship.

Lack of trust is also a reason your partner disrespects you. If you think you are not getting the respect or attention you deserve from your partner, or if he or she is always suspicious of you, it is a sign to move on.

12. You Think You Can Live Alone Peacefully

Do you keep thinking you’d be better off living alone than with your partner? If your marriage is straining you mentally, and in your head, you are planning to live alone, away from your spouse, then you should give those thoughts some attention and figure out what you want to do about the relationship.

13. Your Children are Getting Affected

When your marriage seems to fall apart, it’s the children who get most affected. Watching you always fight or argue can be traumatizing for your children. How you behave around them can affect their personality drastically, making them misbehave, depressed, or fall in with the wrong crowd. If you are sure that your kids will suffer less if you walk out of a failed marriage, it could be time to think about a legal separation.

14. Marriage Is Not a Priority

When other things (friends, work, or colleagues) take priority over your marriage, it may leave a negative impact on your relationship. You spend more time with other people or at work and barely spend any time with your spouse. This widens the gap that is already there between the two of you and leaves the marriage in shambles.

15. You Both Already Started Moving On

In a marriage, two individuals come together to do everything as a couple. But if you are not supporting each other, and living your individual lives, then it cannot be called a marriage. A healthy association is all about ‘we’ and not ‘you’ and ‘I.’ If you and your partner are happy living your own solo lives without the other, it is a sign that the marriage is no more important to either of you.

Are any of these signs familiar to you? If yes, you would want to know what to do.

What To Do Next?

If the signs indicate that it’s time for you to walk out of the marriage, then set your emotions aside and practically deal with the situation.

Start with knowing about:

When marriages start going through difficulties and challenges, you may wonder, ’should I get a divorce?’ However, the decision might not be easy. You may want to stay married because of love or responsibility; however, you may want to move on to safeguard your well-being and self-respect. The decision of whether to take a divorce or not should be well thought over. Analyze your relationship judiciously and check your communication levels, amount of effort you are willing to put in the marriage, level of commitment, or the extent of respect you have for each other. Talk to your friends and family or consult a marriage counselor. If you feel you will be happier and more content after separation, only then go ahead with the divorce.

Key Pointers

  • Lack of communication, no interest in patching up, and disrespect towards the partner can be the signs that indicate divorce is the right choice.
  • Silent treatment by your partner or them not prioritizing you are indications to consider divorce.
  • You may consider divorce if you think you can live peacefully being single and manage your children’s future effectively.

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Vincenzo Sinisi

Vincenzo Sinisi is a clinical psychologist (HPCSA), psychoanalyst (SAPA/IPA) and group analyst (IGA). He offers in-depth psychotherapy (individual and group) for adults from his private practice in Cape Town, South Africa. Sinisi is an active member in the psychotherapeutic community and has held executive positions including chairperson of the Cape Town Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, secretary of the South African... more

sanjana lagudu

Sanjana did her graduation in Pharmacy and post graduation in management. It was during her first job, she recognized her skills in writing and began working as a freelance writer. Later, she completely moved into content writing and began working as a full-time content writer. Sanjana's articles in MomJunction cover topics related to new parenting and relationships. A fitness enthusiast... more