How do you know if your marriage is over and has finally reached the point of no return? While healing an ailing relationship is usually what we all want, sometimes it’s just about knowing when it is time to let go.
Ultimately you will have to be the one that makes this decision. Every marriage is different, but here are 10 questions/thoughts to ask yourself and ponder.
- Have you “uncoupled?” This is actually a legal term used to help determine whether a couple has truly separated. Have you and your spouse disconnected from each other? Are you behaving as a couple, living as a couple, engaging as a couple? This is not a calculation of time together but rather a mental mindset. Do you consider yourself part of a couple or are you two individual people living under the same roof?
- Does every situation, no matter how trivial, evolve into a fight? Have you and your spouse lost the art of compromise? When you disagree, are you unable to forge a path together that is acceptable to both? No compromising in terms of wants and needs. A major part of marriage involves trying to fulfill your partner’s needs while also making sure your own needs are met. If your partner continually refuses to listen to what you need (time, affection, sex/physical contact, help with children or chores), or refuses to share their own needs, you are not in a good place.
- Are you married to a Money Moron? You seem to make good money but there never seems to be any money? WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING? The bills, the bills the bills! Worse can be the calls from collection companies. Financial wherewithal is not just a “nice thing” to have in a marriage, it is a responsibility. If finances are what the fights seem to be about, if collection companies are calling, if there are no financial plans in place and your spouse refuses to address this issue, then ask yourself if you are in the process of going down with a sinking financial ship?
- Are you no longer civil? Is all the respect gone from the relationship? Are discussions basically either attacking or defending? Do you feel it is impossible to bring that respect back? One of the most important aspects of a healthy marriage is mutual respect and when that’s gone people begin to feel dismissed, rejected and condescended to. If your marriage has reached this place, typically they are toxic and you are in a bad place.
- Have you and your partner both changed so much that you no longer share moral, ethical, or lifestyle values? Perhaps you have your goals and directions changed whereas your partner’s have stayed the same? (Or vice versa.) In short you are different from the people you were when you married.
- Have you stopped having sex with each other and you do not see this changing? Do you and your spouse have a basic sexual incompatibility? Do you feel completely unattracted to each other? Despite help from professional therapists, have you stopped making love?
- There has been an affair. This does not have to be insurmountable but for some people it is. Infidelity is an enormous hurdle for a marriage to overcome. After an affair, there are regrets, apologies, promises to put an end to it and seeking counseling. Still for some the trust is gone and this likely spells the end of the marriage.
- One spouse refuses to try. Most marriages have issues that can be addressed or fixed but one partner cannot do all the trying on their own. If you find yourself repeatedly bringing up the same issue, asking for help and making it clear that the marriage will not last unless you both commit to solving it… with no response from your spouse, then it is likely you are trying to address this issue alone. A good rule of thumb: If it’s been a year with no progress, it may be time to call it quits.
- You no longer communicate with each other. Have you reached a point where all you ever talk about is mundane things? The lack of personal, intimate exchange in a marriage is a very bad sign. No problem in a marriage can be solved without open, honest communication.
- You disagree about whether to have children or not. There are many areas of compromise in a marriage, but if one of you is absolutely sure you want a child and the other categorically refuses, you’re in trouble. If having a child is a life goal of yours, you will have to decide if you want to remain in a marriage that does not include children.