The D word carries a lot of weight and is indeed one you don’t want to toss around unless that’s where you’re really headed. Admitting your marriage is over is no easy feat, and venturing down the complicated road ahead takes a great deal of self-awareness, patience, and a clear-headed attitude. But how do you know when your marriage is really, truly over?
You don’t want to discount the great times you’ve had together, but you know, somewhere deep down, there’s no salvaging your once-perfect relationship. If you’re on the path toward split city, here are 10 signs your marriage is over.
1. You’re roommates, and nothing more
Having someone who’s a great roommate can make for an amicable living situation. Having someone who’s a great roommate who also happens to be your spouse, however, can make for a troubled marriage. Your spouse shouldn’t remind you of the best roommate you had in your 20s, or resemble any other type of strictly platonic relationship.
Being friends with your spouse is important, but when it’s become just friends and nothing more, there’s a serious problem. Furthermore, a Today article cautions against sleeping in separate rooms as a red flag. If your lives are so far removed from one another’s every day, it’s time to make a drastic change.
2. You no longer care about being intimate
A healthy sex life is great for any relationship, but everyone goes through their periods of ups and downs in the bedroom. Not wanting to rip your partner’s clothes off every night is no reason to panic. If your sex life has become totally nonexistent, though, there’s cause for concern.
Romantic relationships won’t survive without some sort of intimacy. If yours is lacking in physical nature, it’s a clear sign there’s a huge problem, and your marriage may not be worth salvaging. Even if you don’t necessarily hate the person, a marriage is much more than being OK with a lack of romance and physical connection.
3. One partner wants children, and the other does not
Granted, you probably (definitely) should have had this conversation prior to saying “I do.” But, say you didn’t. Now that you’re legally bound, it’s time to actually have a serious talk as to whether you’re going to bring kids into the world. If there’s one thing that is a certifiable deal-breaker in a marriage, Reader’s Digest says it’s disagreeing on wanting to have children.
Even if you had discussed the topic before getting married, feelings can change, or certain situations may put immense strain on the relationship. If you both agreed on having children, but went on to struggle with infertility, it’s likely the experience took a toll on you. Once you’ve reached a point of no return, and one partner is hell-bent on throwing in the towel, it’s time to consider divorce. Children are typically a nonnegotiable.
4. Certain topics are off-limits
There’s a big difference between talking and really communicating. Even if you speak to one another, it’s crystal clear you’re dealing with a partner who’s shut down. And what’s worse? Dealing with someone who is unwilling to resolve any underlying issues.
According to Prevention, if there are certain topics that are off-limits, heed caution. Expressing your true feelings is crucial in any relationship, and whether or not your spouse will disagree with them shouldn’t matter. If you’re unable to effectively communicate, compromise, or converse with one another (and if couples counseling hasn’t done the trick), chances are you’re headed toward divorce.
5. There’s no compromising, and your needs are ignored
Compromise is a pretty key ingredient in healthy relationships. And the ability to meet in the middle comes in handy for a wide array of issues. Time, affection, chores, and your sex life are just a few examples of topics you and your partner should be able to discuss openly.
The moment that goes out the window, though, your marriage might be doomed forever. Bryce Kaye, Ph.D., author of The Marriage First Aid Kit, told Woman’s Day you may be in trouble when your partner refuses to listen to your needs, or no loner communicates his or her own.
6. You argue more often, and more unfairly
Arguing is part of any relationship. When you’ve been with someone for so long, you’re bound to run into some speed bumps along the way. You don’t agree 100% on everything, but you’ve been willing to work your problems out together. At least until now, anyway. As Brides cautions, if you fight more often than normal, and do so unfairly, it’s time to start treading lightly. This could be a huge red flag that your marriage is headed for divorce.
7. You no longer argue
As opposed to the previous point, a lack of arguments can also signal a huge problem. “A lack of fighting [is a red flag], due to not wanting to rock the boat or having given up your own desires,” psychologist Julie Binderman told Good Housekeeping. They say the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. And in this case, it rings true.
8. There’s a lack of remorse for your partner’s, or your own, wrongdoings
Everyone messes up from time to time. Nobody’s perfect. But the important factor when it comes to screwing up in a relationship is knowing whether you’re truly sorry for what you’ve done. And this goes beyond delivering “I’m sorry” flowers simply because it’s what you think you should be doing.
The person who’s disappointed the other really needs to believe they were in the wrong. As CafeMom reminds us, even infidelity is forgivable, so long as the cheater actually wants to make things right once the damage has been done. Without remorse, the relationship can’t survive the ups and downs.
9. You can imagine life without your partner
The whole reason you got married in the first place was because you couldn’t picture a life without your partner. The thought of being without them was enough to give up your freedom and vow the rest of your life, love, and loyalty to this person. But what happens when you’re left feeling empty or wanting more? As The Huffington Post wisely says, it’s a red flag if you’re fantasizing about life without your partner.
When the bad outweighs the good, you’ll naturally be thinking about how great single life, or at least an alternative life to the one you currently have with your partner, could be. The conversation won’t be easy, but these feelings are definitely something to bring up to your spouse. Who knows, maybe they’ve already had the same exact thoughts.
10. Deep down, you’re hopeless
When you know, you know. If you truly believe in your heart your marriage is over, then it probably is. Michele Weiner-Davis mentions in Psychology Today that your inner voice shouldn’t be stifled. If your mind is made up, it’s time to proceed with the next step — divorce is in your future, so you may as well start the process sooner rather than later.