When To Leave A Marriage: 9 Signs That It May Be Time

By: Michael Puskar

Updated August 03, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

For some people, choosing to end a marriage can be a very difficult decision, while for others, it can be a no-brainer if things get bad enough. This article will show you some of the signs that may indicate when it’s time to leave your marriage.

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  1. You Argue Constantly

Having disputes is ordinary and sometimes a healthy part of being in a marriage, but if they're not handled constructively and become toxic, you might want to consider leaving your marriage. Sometimes these arguments can happen seemingly out of nowhere, with little to no provocation. They can also consist of blaming and criticizing each other for their mistakes, no matter how small.

This is especially true if you have tried to work things out or tried to seek help, but your spouse does not seem interested in fixing this issue. After a while, if arguments become too frequent and too hostile, it can easily destroy your relationship with your spouse.

  1. You Are Being Abused

Abuse can either be mental, physical, or emotional and if you feel that you are being hurt, it may be time to leave. However, this can be a difficult task for many people who experience emotional abuse and domestic violence. In some cases, you might also feel like your spouse is controlling you.

The arguing mentioned in the previous section can be closely related to abuse if it escalates too far and gets out of hand. In many cases, not only should you end this marriage, but you should also contact law enforcement as well. Studies show that around 25 percent of all marriages will end because of this, and the abuse tends to worsen over time. [1] No matter what you’re experiencing, it’s important to note that abuse is never your fault if your partner is abusing you. You deserve to get help.

  1. You Are No Longer Intimate With One Another

Intimacy is the main thing that separates a romantic relationship from an ordinary friendship. If there is a lack of intimacy between married couples, which includes hugging, kissing, sex, and simply time together, this can put an end to a marriage. For some, it can occur quickly, or it can be a gradual process. Still, if it cannot be resolved with therapy, including medication, or one of the members isn't interested in fixing the issue, a divorce may be a reasonable option.

Sexless marriages do exist and can function if they are agreed on between couples; however, this can be a major problem for most marriages. Eventually, one person may be bothered by this issue and possibly start exploring other options.

  1. You Think About Life without Your Significant Other

If you have positive thoughts about life without your spouse, you may want to consider leaving your marriage because it is not making you as happy as you think you can be. This can include making plans and even thinking about the possibility of someone else in the picture.

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All of these are indicators of being detached from the marriage and likely have fallen out of love. Like many of the other signs on this list, it only takes one person to feel this way in the relationship for it to end. It can be hurtful towards the spouse who still thinks highly of the marriage, but if you are not happy, and it's not something that can be fixed, then leaving the marriage is the only solution. In some cases, it is possible to do it gracefully if you are honest and upfront with your spouse.

  1. You Don't Do Anything Fun Anymore.

If you've found that the old days when you were dating are nothing like they are today, and there doesn't seem to be any sign of improvement coming, you may want to consider leaving your marriage.

While it's normal to want to settle down and not go out as much as you get older, it isn't healthy to neglect quality time with one another. If you find that you don't spend time with your spouse when you come home from a day at work, or you never go out for dinner or have regular "date nights" anymore, there's an underlying problem that should be fixed.

  1. You're Not Being Listened To

Communication is key to a functioning marriage, and if it's not there, several problems can arise, especially if you feel like the relationship is a one-way street. If you have tried to express your thoughts and feelings to your spouse, but you believe that you are not being heard or taken seriously, you may want to consider leaving the marriage because your basic needs are not being met.

Marriage is a collaborative effort, and both partners should be able to express their emotions freely. Everyone wants to feel loved, understood, and appreciated. If this is not present, this can cause resentment, and some individuals might look elsewhere, just like how people can do the same with intimacy issues.

  1. You Or Your Spouse Is Having An Affair

Infidelity tends to refer to a physical relationship outside of your marriage, but it can also imply an emotional affair, as well, for some. In this case, another male or female can be providing the attention that you need without the physical connection. It can also include online interaction. Despite this, affairs and infidelity in the traditional sense (i.e., being physically intimate with one another) is a primary cause of marital dissolution. It is estimated that up to 40 percent of men and 25 percent of women will cheat at some point. [3] Some marriages can survive this if they are worked through, but it will create permanent trust issues and contempt most of the time.

  1. You Prefer To Confide In Your Friends

While it's quite common to want to talk about your husband or wife to your friends while they aren't present, having a strong inclination to speak to them about your problems instead of your spouse is a sign of some serious issues in the relationship.

This is somewhat like the emotional affairs discussed in the previous section. It can imply distrust and a lack of confidence in your partner's ability to help you during difficult times. Essentially, you are replacing them emotionally rather than sorting out the fundamental problems in the relationship that are causing you to consult with your friends.

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  1. You No Longer Love Each Other

Although nearly all the items in this list so far are indicators of it, having a blatant lack of love and commitment to one another is a clear sign that you may want to consider getting a divorce. Whether it is one-sided or you both feel the same way, it is unproductive and unfair for both of you to stay together any longer.

This can be a hard pill to swallow, but ultimately, ending the marriage may be the best option for both individuals involved. It can stop wasting time and energy, allowing you to explore other people who can make you truly happy.


If you are considering leaving your marriage but haven't tried to work through its issues yet, you should try to attend marriage counseling with your spouse before making your big decision.

Most of the signs in this article can be overcome with the help of a therapist who is experienced in helping people with marriage problems. At ReGain, licensed professionals are available online to do just that and can potentially save your marriage.

However, if you have tried everything already, and the marriage seems irreparable, or your spouse refuses to work on the relationship with you, it may be time to let go. This is when to leave your marriage. ReGain's therapists can also help you cope with separation as well.

Regardless of the decision that you make, you won't need to go through it alone. This will more than likely be a difficult time, but you will come out on the other end a happier person.

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”

“My wife and I decided to give online couples counseling a go after finding traditional methods weren’t all that suited to our busy working and parenting lifestyle. Our counselor Donna Kemp has been amazing! We both feel she’s listened to us and given us the confidence to step out of our comfort zone to deal with problems that are easy to avoid. She is encouraging without being pushy. We’ve both responded very well to her and her methods and look forward to continuing on with Donna. Highly recommend!”

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