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How do you know when your marriage is over?

couple-1867703_1280.jpgHow do you know when your marriage is over? This is a question asked by many who call our office and do searches on the internet for marriage help. Many experts and couples themselves (and maybe even you) think that it is possible for couples to simply grow apart and that alone is a valid reason for divorce.


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It makes sense why they (you) would think that there is no point to stay in relationship. After all, their marriage feels lifeless, boring, and that maybe their spouse is holding them back from a better life. Below are some of the warning bells that marriage advice typically gives as answers to the question, "How do you know when your marriage is over?"

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Common Top Reasons for Divorce Debunked

Does every situation, no matter how seemingly trivial, evolve into a fight?

Our answer: All because you are constantly bickering does not mean that your marriage is over! Couples come into our office all the time, with communication problems, and they learn effective communication tools to be able to deal with their differences.

Do you or your spouse continually refer to hurtful events in the past?

Our answer: Of course you do! There's lots of hurt there. And until you work to heal it, it's going to keep being brought up! Reason to divorce? No.

Is all the respect gone from your relationship? Do you feel it is impossible to bring that respect back?

Our answer: When a relationship is left to flounder on its own, respect can erode. Each spouse is totally disconnected from the other, so it's no wonder if they sometimes act like a "fish out of water". For instance, if your husband made bad investment choices, it makes sense why you might be scared about your financial future due to your husband's decisions, but people make mistakes and the disconnect between the two of you is not going to foster smart decision making. You don't throw away a relationship because your husband made a bad investment, unless you only got married for the money!

Have your goals and directions changed whereas your partner's have stayed the same? (Or vice versa.)

Our answer: While it is quite frustrating when you feel that you've changed and your spouse hasn't, part of being a growing person is to have compassion for another. If you can have compassion for someone who may not be as "advanced" as you are, that is a sign of true growth.

Is your partner no longer fostering your individual growth?

Our answer: What is your partner doing to stunt your individual growth? Your individual growth is YOUR responsibility. What exactly is he/she doing to PREVENT you from pursuing the growth that you need? Maybe your growth is dealing with your partner and dealing with his/her difficulties and being patient.

Have you and your partner both changed so much that you no longer share moral, ethical, or lifestyle values?

Our answer: That could be quite challenging. But it's something that you need to be able to discuss with each other because it is not all or nothing. Look for other ways to connect as long as your partner's new values don't condone relationship harming behavior such as infidelity or the like.

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?

Our answer: This is something that can be learned. Learning how to work out differences is a learned skill that couples don't necessarily know how to do. The fact that you can't do it doesn't mean it is time to end your marriage.

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?

Our answer: Lack of intimacy and a sexless marriage is a problem indicative of a greater issue in the relationship. It's important to explore why that is the case. Sometimes working on the marriage with help increase your interest in each other and help you fall in love again.

If you're asking yourself, "How do you know when your marriage is over?" like so many are, ask yourself if you've really pursued qualified professional marriage counseling that works, marriage counseling that can heal a lot of the issues that you may think are reasons for terminating your relationship. Hint-most marriage counseling doesn't work!

And if you're not sure, please don't hesitate to contact us, we'd be more than happy to help you get your relationship back on track.

Be in touch,

Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin

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