My Marriage Is Over: What Do I Do Next?

Updated June 14, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
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Whether your marriage is on the verge of ending, or you are a newly divorced individual, there are ways to make your transition into the future as a single person a little easier. This article will show why you should consider marriage counseling when your marriage is in trouble, how to plan and prepare for divorce, along with providing advice on how to begin moving on when your marriage is over.

How do you know when your marriage is over?

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Knowing your marriage is over can be difficult to manage alone

How can you tell when is a marriage over? When your marriage is on the verge of collapse, you do not have to take a "signs your marriage is over quiz" or a "how do you know when your marriage is over test". The signs of a fractured relationship have most likely existed for a while, and you have exhausted all avenues to reconciliation. However, sometimes recognizing that your marriage is failing may not be as obvious as it may seem. In this case, here are some signs of a marriage that is in serious trouble: 

  • Lack of communication

  • Lack of respect

  • Constant arguing with no resolution

  • Fantasizing about other people

  • Infidelity, especially with no remorse

  • Physical, verbal, and emotional abuse

Some of these signs your marriage is not working out can be resolved through therapy; however, in the case of abuse, it is time for an intervention to make sure the harmed party is in a safe place. 

If you or your partner is unwilling to play a part in fixing your relationship issues, it is unlikely the marriage will last. Such disinterest is one of the signs your marriage is failing for men and women alike. While it is entirely possible to fix what might seemingly appear to be a highly dysfunctional marriage, not all of them are salvageable. It could be that your time and physical and emotional energy might be better invested in preparing for a divorce, coping with it, and living a single life, at least temporarily.

Considering marriage counseling

 A marriage in trouble may not be a reason to call it quits. Many people consider trying a marriage counselor first before they head to divorce court. Even with all the signs that you and your partner are ending your marriage, it is still worth giving counseling a try. After all, you initially fell in love with that person, so there must be a reason things have fallen this far.

Maybe the passage of time and certain events during your marriage have put a strain on the relationship. Perhaps financial worries or a traumatic experience have changed things. Going to a marriage counselor first can help sort out these feelings and improve your marriage. By putting your feelings and thoughts into words, your spouse may realize the problems and how they can be fixed.

Married couples, especially those who have been married for a long time, fall into routines that create certain expectations, and when those expectations are not met, anger can result. But by talking through these concerns, it is possible to save your marriage.

Marriage counseling may not fix everything

However, even with counseling in trying to improve your marriage, there could still be a sign your marriage is not meant to be. Some marriages are just irreparably damaged to the point that there is no longer any love between them.

If you feel that your marriage is irreconcilable, you are not alone. Divorces are extremely common, and people have successfully divorced and learned how to build new lives. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, around 40 to 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. 

Despite it being common, divorce can be a difficult and challenging transition. The remainder of this article will provide you with ways to make it a little bit easier to cope with the end of a marriage and come out the other end of it healthy and as happy as possible.

Surround yourself with people who appreciate you

Although your marriage maybe did not end well, and you and your ex were unable to work things out, there are people who will listen and respect you. Try to find a family member or close friend who is understanding of your situation and can offer you kindness with a listening nature. Building a healthy relationship with other people who care for you will provide you with a support system to help you manage the difficult moments you may experience. 

Your support system may not be a relationship expert, but they can be there while you learn to navigate divorce and how to pick yourself back up again.

Having alone time to sit and reflect about your marriage can be healthy, but it can quickly go in the other direction and affect you negatively if left alone to your thoughts for too long. You might feel depressed, but closing yourself off to others completely is unproductive. You may even consider wanting to stay married to your spouse, which may only make the situation worse for both parties involved. Instead, actively find time to socialize with others and try to relish the good moments that can also take your mind off your marriage.

Find therapy for yourself

Therapy might not have been an option that could be agreed upon with your ex-husband or wife, but that does not mean that it will not benefit you. Spending time with a mental health therapist can help you prepare for when you know your marriage is over and start coping with divorce.

Some professionals specialize in helping people in the same situation as you, so finding the right guidance is much easier than you probably think. Marriage counselors are not just for couples who are struggling and are looking to save their relationship; rather, it covers all possible scenarios.

Attending therapy will allow you to process all of the emotions you feel and give you the strength to start over after a divorce. It can certainly make other aspects discussed in this article easier to manage.

Consider joining a support group 

While you might be able to form a solid support network with your friends, family, and your therapist, some groups are dedicated to divorces (and other forms of separation). These groups can be a valuable asset in helping you heal.

By connecting with individuals who are also trying to learn how to cope with their marriages ending, you will be able to form a bond and reassure each other. There is strength in numbers, after all. Just because you are no longer a married couple does not mean that you are unable to solace and comfort in other people.

Group therapy functions similarly to individual therapy sessions in that you discuss innermost thoughts that are bringing you distress, The difference is that you are conferring these moments with other people who also have lived through a failed marriage.  Many people enjoy having other people who can hear them out as they listen to their experiences. Who knows, you might also make some new friends that can potentially last a lifetime.

Participate in clubs

This is somewhat like joining a support group; however, it is centered around being social and having fun rather than a group support session. 

For example, some might join a group dedicated to a specific sport and find that exciting, whereas others might find a book club to be peaceful.

Joining a religious affiliation, such as a church, is also another option; some people might start going back to one or join for the very first time in their lives. Regardless of the reason, it will help keep you engaged with everything around you.

Find some new hobbies (or revisit old ones)

When you were married, you might have had to give up certain activities or were not permitted to spend much time doing them. Perhaps you were interested in trying something out, but you were uninspired, or the circumstances did not allow for it.

People who have dealt with divorce cite that finding recreational activities, either old or new, played a significant role in the healing process. These new activities helped them to focus on something productive and was something that they genuinely enjoyed doing.

Did you have a musical instrument that you wanted to try out or pick up painting but were unable to commit to it? Now is the time to explore these things because they can be an integral part of helping you move on. Some people also like to use their separation as an opportunity to travel and see new places that might have been impossible during the marriage.

Reinvent yourself

Knowing that your marriage is over does not mean that your life is as well, and there are things that you can do to change or improve yourself.

Some ideas for this are exercising regularly, eating better, or trying a look with fashion or hairstyle - anything that you might find positive. Reinventing yourself does not necessarily mean changing your appearance. The goal is to improve your self-esteem. It can also make it easier to find a new potential suitor if you look good and feel good at the same time. Confidence is key!

These changes can be big or small, and everyone has different goals for themselves. Nonetheless, it is important to not change yourself drastically. Even though you are single and call the shots in your life now, always try to be rational about making things such as new career changes or making major purchases. 

Try to find someone new (when you are ready)

Dating again after your marriage may seem like a daunting task and perhaps something you are not even interested in. Know that it is not something that you need to worry about right away, but something to consider in your future. Each person is different, especially when it comes to personal relationships, and some people are content with not trying to find a new partner.

Although it might seem like certain individuals move on quickly after their marriage ending. This is not a race, and you certainly do not need to pressure yourself to jump into a new relationship as soon as possible.

Nonetheless, if you decide to find someone new, you are taking a step in your healing process and allow you to focus on the present rather than your past. You might eventually decide to remarry in the future. Remarriages are on the rise, and approximately 4 out of 10 marriages involve at least one of the partners being married at least once before. 

Getting help

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Knowing your marriage is over can be difficult to manage alone

Answering "how do you know when your marriage is over?" can be pretty straightforward for people; however, the hard part is what comes afterward. Separation of any kind is rarely ever easy to deal with, and it takes time to process all the emotions that come with one. However, a therapist specializing in helping people overcome relationship issues, including divorces, or preparing for one, can make things a lot less overwhelming for you. 

There are many convenient ways that you can seek out therapy, including online therapy. A study published in the peer-reviewed research Journal of Clinical Psychology  examined information from over 100 different online counseling trials. This study found that overall attitudes between both counselors and participants were as positive as with in-person counseling. 

Do you see signs marriage is over? Regain offers online counseling and therapy services to anyone who needs assistance dealing with the emotions associated with this difficult time.


Therapy can make it easier for you to practice the strategies mentioned in this article. For example, depression related to separation can make socializing seem impossible, but with professional guidance, it is certainly possible. Accepting that you marriage is over is a life-changing event. Yet, you do not have to go through it alone. Help is available through your loved ones, support groups, and professional mental health therapists.  

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