15 Signs That Your Marriage Is Over And Tips To Move On

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When you marry someone, you hope to live happily ever after. However, your marriage may go through unprecedented times, and never ending fights and arguments may drain your energy. When you try hard to keep your marriage together and fail miserably over and over again, you might look for signs that your marriage is over. You keep thinking about what went wrong in the marriage, hoping things will fall in place someday. However, when your heart tells you enough is enough, you have to pay heed to it and look for a way out. In this post, we list some telltale signs that your marriage is over and what you can do about it.

In This Article

Signs that Your Marriage Is Over

Look out for these signs to know if your relationship is really over:

1. There is loads of negativity

  • Currently, all your interactions with your spouse are negative, spiteful, and marked by a lack of respect; positive interactions barely happen. You are arguing or quarreling all the time.
  • Built-up resilience will make your marriage a breeding ground for bitterness.

2. Infidelity won’t end

Cheating can be forgiven once or twice. But for it to happen, the erring partner should sincerely apologize and vow not to stray out of the marriage again. If the spouse is not remorseful of what they did and continues to cheat, then that tells you something.

protip_icon Do remember
When a partner is a habitual cheater, it means that the marriage is lacking in many ways and is not working out. So thinking they would mend their ways can be futile and only adds to your woes.

4. You no longer get physically intimate

We are not talking only about sex. Relationships strengthen with the soft but reassuring touches like holding hands, hugging each other, cuddling and kissing. These touches help us communicate at a deeper emotional level and feel more connected. When it no longer happens, it’s not a good sign.

It’s also a big red flag when one spouse desires sex and the other is rejecting continuously. This can seriously affect the self-esteem of the spouse who is being denied. This is when couples start to experience emotional distance from each other, where one or both partners feel like they are no longer connected on a deep level.

5. You share nothing anymore

If you are not sharing your feelings, ideas, fears and daily experiences with each other, it means that you don’t find each other worthy of having in your life. Communication is imperative to relieve stress and strengthen the bond with your partner. If one spouse refuses to share their emotions or hear the other’s, it’s a clear sign of a split.

Communication breakdown is one of the most common signs that a marriage is in trouble. When couples stop talking to each other, resentment can build up, leading to constant fighting and a loss of trust.

6. You don’t have any interest in each other

Not only do you not share anything with your spouse, but you also do not care to know what’s happening in their life, but it also suggests a possible incompatibility between you two. This indicates your lack of interest in your partner. The best part about marriage is to have a companion with whom you can talk and listen to. When neither of you makes efforts to know about each other, something is going wrong in your relationship.

7. Addictions are ruining your life

Addiction to alcohol or drugs can ruin your marriage. If a person is unwilling to change their ways, it would be very difficult for their partner to survive the uncertainty, insults and in some cases physical violence as it becomes a daily routine.

8. Secrets come out

If your spouse declares that they are homosexual or is in love with somebody else, there is nothing you can do about it but to move on. Listen to your heart and do what’s best for you both. If that calls for an end of this marriage, be brave and do it.

9. Your spouse’s absence makes you feel better

The thought of not having to be with your spouse gives you peace, relaxation, and relief. If you wonder how good your life would have been without your spouse, then it is a sharp indicator of the beginning of the end of your union.

10. Financial dealings go awry between you

Financial issues can create emotional distance between partners, particularly when one partner perceives a lack of support. Previously, you discussed money and handling it together like everything else in your marriage. But if your spouse has suddenly changed passwords, is withdrawing money without informing you or misappropriating your money, it could reflect their dishonesty towards you and the relationship.

11. Overworking and spending more time on screen

This sign is subjective. If your spouse is genuinely burdened with work as their deadline is approaching or their work is usually hectic, then it may not be the sign of a bad marriage. But if the partner is deliberately keeping themselves busy by sitting in front of the computer or extending their work hours in order to avoid you, then you need to discuss why this is happening. When couples have different priorities and can’t agree on important issues, it can lead to feelings of frustration and anger.This is when couples start seeking outside validation or turning to other people for emotional support, it can be a sign that they are no longer getting what they need from their marriage.

12. One partner has already given up

If one of you has already given up on the other, and emotional distance is growing, it may be a sign that you are gradually growing apart. If your partner refuses to talk through the problems, gets therapy, and walks away or ignores anything you try – it indicates that they are no longer happy in the marriage, and hope for a resolution is fading. Just like it takes two people for a problem between them to exist, it also takes two to fix it.

Sharing her divorce story, YouTuber Julie Dawn Olsen says, “I was the one that didn’t want to get the divorce and my ex-husband did, so I was at a place where I really want to work through it, but he didn’t, and there was nothing to do about it and it was very painful (i).”

13. Narcissistic behavior

Your spouse shows signs of narcissistic behavior. They are full of their own grandiose and criticize you for minor mistakes. They ignore your needs and make you responsible for everything wrong that happens. If such behavior is commonplace and you feel unloved in the relationship, it may be time to move on.

14. Physical abuse

Physical abuse in a relationship should not be acceptable. Your spouse may present stress or work pressure as an explanation for their abusive behavior, but such actions have no justification. Even a single isolated incident demands prompt action, and any repetitions are a sign of an unhappy relationship.

15. Counseling has become ineffective

Your partner and you had attended counselling sessions previously, tried to reconcile and live together, but the relationship has been breaking up too many times to repair. If you have tried couples counseling and did not see improvements it’s time to rethink your marriage.

Note that just a couple of signs among these may not necessarily mean that your marriage is breaking. However, if you find multiple signs working against you, then it’s time you asked yourself some questions. Also, if you are a victim of domestic violence, then that could be the single reason to raise the red flag.

Questions to ask yourself

Here are some questions you should ask yourself to introspect:

  • Are you indifferent towards your spouse?
  • Does your spouse show indifference or treat you harshly?
  • Is there no intimacy at all?
  • Have all your patience and hope run out?
  • Do you not like anything that your partner does and vice versa?
  • Is there infidelity, addiction or abuse in your marriage?

If your answer is ‘yes’ to most or all of these questions, then you need to prepare yourself for calling it quits.

What should you do before calling it quits?

Take these measures for a smooth separation.

  • Try everything you can to reduce stress. Meet your friends, family members or take a break from work. Get to a point where you feel stable enough to deal with whatever happens.
  • Come up with a plan for your life ahead; this will give you a sense of purpose and control over your life. You can rebuild your financial status and look for resources, jobs or education that best suits your needs.
  • If you think you need some time to introspect, then plan a weekend getaway to get a clearer perspective of your life and make clear decisions.
  • If you think that your spouse can get violent after knowing your decision, be away from them, and communicate remotely.

Once you have decided to come out of the relationship and take the necessary steps, seek professional help. They will guide you through the entire process of separation and divorce.

Tips to move on after a marital break

When you have decided to discontinue in the relationship, you need to make conscious efforts to come out of the trauma that comes with it. These tips may be useful in your transition from being married to single.

  • Its purpose has come to an end: Look at your marriage as something that had a purpose to serve in your life and has run its own course. Try to remember all the things you’ve learned, how you’ve grown as an individual, and what you have gained from all this. These insights are soul-searching and will help you in your future relationships.
  • Let yourself feel the pain: Acknowledge and explore all the overwhelming mixed emotions you’re feeling. Let yourself mourn. It won’t make you weak. The more you release the bitter feelings, the better you feel.
protip_icon Do remember
Not addressing feelings of grief can eventually take a toll on your mental health. So do not repress your feelings or hold onto unnecessary emotional baggage.
  • Monitor your emotions: If they are affecting your health or escalating with time, contact a psychological counselor for help. Don’t avoid symptoms of depression. Your therapist will help you cope with the transition.
  • Get positively involved: Keep in touch with your close friends. Friends are the best social and emotional support especially during times like these. Stay active, join clubs or social groups; indulge in your hobbies or do recreational activities.

Olsen further adds about her moving-on phase and current partner, Josh. She says, “I was not looking for anybody, and whenever Josh did come around at work, because we work together, we talked a little bit… One day, he gave me his number, and I knew that he liked me, but I was scared because I didn’t want to get involved in another relationship right away.

“But I had been thinking I needed to make some guy friends, so I went out on a date with him, and it just clicked. I felt like he got where I was coming from. He didn’t rush things. It felt like we had been friends forever, and it just flowed naturally.” Olsen expresses that such experiences may give one hope that one may find somebody again.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What causes a marriage to end?

Infidelity, lack of commitment, conflicts, domestic violence, and substance use are some of the most common causes of separation or divorce (1). Lack of physical and emotional intimacy and financial problems also lead to the end of marriages.

2. How do I accept that my marriage is over?

Mourn for as long as you need to, stop contacting your ex, share your sorrows with a trustworthy friend or family member, indulge in self-care, and forgive yourself. Try to move on and keep the kids out of all disputes. Time is the best healer; give yourself ample of it.

3. At what point can a marriage not be saved?

It is difficult to determine when one cannot save a marriage, as every situation is unique. Certain conditions may make it more challenging, such as infidelity or abuse. The decision to try to save a marriage or end it is personal and should be made with careful consideration and possibly with the help of a therapist.

If you notice the above signs in your marriage, you should take a step back, ponder your equation, and make a strong decision to lead a happy life. It may take some time for one to realize and accept that the marriage they thought would last till their last breath is falling apart. But, it is better to cut yourself off from a toxic relationship to save you from further trauma. If you have tried everything to save your marriage, it is important to remember that a lifeless and loveless marriage will end one day, and the sooner it happens, the better it is.

Infographic: Why Leaving Your Marriage Is Difficult, But The Right Decision?

Ending a marriage can be extremely hard. However, it is always better to part ways than to stay in an unhappy or broken marriage. Check out the infographic to know why leaving the marriage is difficult but the best choice for you.

reasons why leaving a marriage is difficult, but the right decision (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Marriage is over when there is a lack of intimacy and communication, habitual infidelity, constant arguments, criticism, and negativity.
  • Introspect your feelings towards your marriage if you feel like there are too many problems.
  • Take necessary action and consult a professional for separation and divorce as soon as you decide to end the partnership.
  • Overcome the challenges of married life after divorce by accepting the truth, monitoring your emotions, and surrounding yourself with loved ones.
Signs That Your Marriage Is Over_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team


The signs of a marriage ending can be hard to spot. This video assists in identifying these red flags, enabling you to take the essential steps toward healing and growth.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Shelby B. Scott et al.; Reasons for Divorce and Recollections of Premarital Intervention: Implications for Improving Relationship Education
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012696/#:~:text=The%20most%20commonly%20reported%20majordomestic%20violence%2C%20and%20substance%20use.
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Iten Elyassaki is a Licensed Professional Counselor with five years of experience in serving clients with diverse needs. She works with children, adolescents, and adults needing support with stress management, relationship challenges, self-esteem, behavioral issues, trauma, marital discord, infidelity, parenting difficulties, grief, and addictions.

Read full bio of Iten Elyassaki