When Is A Marriage Over And What Should I Do?

By Dylan Buckley|Updated July 12, 2022

In an ideal universe, we would meet with the love of our lives, get married, and live the rest of our lives free of pain and conflict. As much as this would be great for everyone, the truth is that marriages take a lot of sacrifices, commitment, and work and because there are two people involved, there are bound to be issues that will come up and put a damper on the life that you have created. That is not to say that all couples fall to these conflicts, or that these issues will even present a huge problem for all couples.

But some couples indeed have problems that they simply are unable to move past or do not want to move past, and there are cases of couples who fall out of love and need to move onto someone they are more compatible with to lead a happier lifestyle. For every success story, there is also a tale of loss, and this is the harsh reality of marriage.

Need Help With Your Marriage - Or Something Else?

Having made this clarification regarding relationships and their outcomes, have you and your partner been having difficulties in your relationship? Perhaps you are in a situation where you haven't been talking to each other, or you've been talking, but even when you do, you just don't agree about things and end up arguing more often than you have heart-to-heart conversations. Perhaps you are a couple who has been struggling to get on the same page lately, and you're not sure if you should just give up or if you should keep on trying.

When partners come to a crossroads where they need to ask themselves if they should keep a marriage alive, this indicates that there is enough conflict within their dynamic to cause one or both individuals to question the strength and validity of their marriage. When this happens, there are one of two options that can be taken. The first option is seeking the proper help to make sure that the relationship is mended if that is what both partners are wanting and willing to work towards. The second option is to realize that the marriage is over, to divorce, and to go separate ways. Keep in mind, however, that both options require careful thought and planning and choosing any option recklessly comes with its own set of consequences.

If you feel as though your marriage might be over, but you want to learn more about how to properly identify a marriage that cannot go long any longer, here are some hints that point to a marriage that is no longer repairable. When Is A Marriage Over?

When You're Not Talking

If you and your partner haven't been talking about your problems and you haven't had any desire to, then chances are your marriage is not doing so well. Every relationship has problems, but the way that you improve and continue building in your relationship is by continuing to talk about those problems and working through them. Partners who are unwilling or simply unable to listen and speak with the intent to resolve some of these issues contribute to a toxic relationship where nothing is solved, and the conflict and anger continue to grow.

Perhaps you don't talk because you and your partner have been spending less and less time together. If this is the case, then this could also be a big indication that the two of you need to separate from figuring things out. The only way out of conflict is communication and resolution, and if you don't do those things, then your relationship has no hope for success.

When You're Not In Love

If you and your partner are no longer in love with each other or even if one of you is no longer in love with the other, it means that your relationship doesn't have much hope left either. Losing that level of love and care about each other is something that can be nearly impossible to bring back and it's not going to come back if other things are going on in the relationship that you aren't willing to work on.

Additional problems within the relationship such as infidelity can further build upon this difficult issue and make it even harder for one partner to fall back in love with another partner or even spark that initial physical attraction that helped to build the relationship in the first place. Rebuilding love is extremely difficult and intensive, and both of you must be willing to put in the work. If one partner no longer sees the need to work on the relationship and decides it is over, it is no longer a partnership, and the marriage must come to an end.

When There Is Abuse Taking Place in the Relationship

We hear stories quite frequently about people who are trapped in abusive relationships and thing to ourselves, "that is never going to be me." However, there are often people who have thought that who do end up with them and because of the power dynamics and tactics utilized by abusers, those who are abused will often believe that they have no choice but to continue carrying on the relationship or may believe that the treatment they are receiving is the relationship that they deserve. To be quite clear, this is not true, and any type of abuse should not be tolerated. When you can see signs of abuse in your marriage, that marriage is over, and it is necessary that you leave that partner immediately and seek help to escape from the situation. There are plenty of resources available to help abused husbands and wives, and the time to change the situation is now.

When A Relationship Is Seen As Settling Rather Than Intentional

Not all couples are enamored by their partner and have decided to marry them simply because they felt the need to settle if they felt that they were never going to be able to do any better or if they felt that time was running out. When situations like these come up, those who have felt like they have settled will often grow resentful of their significant other and the situation that they are currently in. This is because the one who didn't truly desire marriage in the first place is unhappy with their life and imagined many different circumstances during this point in their life.

If you fall into this category, this is another red flag that signifies the end of the marriage and should most certainly be discussed. No couple should be in a relationship where one party would much rather be following a different course in their lives but are currently stuck with a person or in a situation that is preventing them from doing so. While it is not ideal, it is best to move onto another person who does want to be with you for the rest of their lives and who sees you as a goal in their life rather than as a safety net.

When The Relationship Is Only Causing Issues

Toxic and unhealthy relationships are bad for us, but some individuals will stick it out for the sake of their partner or because they have a reason for doing so. In these relationships, couples are constantly fighting, and their physical and mental health are feeling the consequences of the unhealthy relationship as the partners suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and other problems caused by general unhappiness and other life circumstances. When two individuals are dealing with the repercussions of their marriage on a 24/7 basis, this is another clear sign that a marriage has taken its final breath and should be ended for the sake of both individuals.

What Should I Do?

Need Help With Your Marriage - Or Something Else?

If your relationship is over, the best thing that you can do is sit down and talk to your partner about the situation. Tell them how you're feeling and that you believe the relationship is done. Make sure before you go into this conversation that you have decided you don't want to try working things out or that you have verified that your partner is the one who has given up to ensure that there is at least one individual who has decided to end the marriage. If you this is the course of action that you wish to take, it is important to start working on an amicable divorce as soon as possible to make sure that both parties are happy and can move on with their lives apart.

It's also vital that you get out of the relationship right away by finding another place to stay and cutting ties with your ex. This doesn't mean that you can't talk to them at all. It means that you need to create a separate place for them in your life that doesn't relate to them being your partner or spouse. It's possible that you and your partner will be able to be friends. In fact, there are several people who find that they and their former spouse make much better friends than partners. But when the relationship ending is still fresh, that's generally not a good thing to try.

Additionally, it can be helpful to have someone with you to guide you through this difficult time and you always can get some professional help. You may feel like you don't need anyone else to help you and are feeling as if you're comfortable and happy with the ending of the relationship but discussing it with someone else can be an excellent tool and resource for grief and other personal issues that may come up during the separation. 

A professional, like the ones at ReGain, can help you to understand any of the deep-seated problems you might have or even any concerns that you might have about entering into an entirely new life without this person. You'll be able to prepare yourself for whatever is going to happen next in your life, and you can do it with a therapist that you trust. All you have to do is reach out when you are ready and someone will be waiting to start your new journey with you.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak With A Licensed Therapist
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.