At some point, after all the arguments and setbacks you deep down wonder, are these signs my marriage is over?
If that’s what you’re going through right now, you are not alone. In the United States there are almost 900,000 divorces every year. That’s about 1 divorce every 36 seconds .
Chances are, you’re already seeing some of the signs your marriage is failing. But when it’s something this painful most of us don’t want to believe what we’re seeing.
To help you better understand what you’re seeing, here is a list of the 12 top unhappy marriage signs. These are by no means the only signs of a failing marriage, but they should give you some guidance to help figure out where things stand.
How Do You Know When Your Marriage Is Really Over?
This list is meant to help you understand what’s going on in your marriage. It’s not meant to be professional advice.
If anything in this list rings true to you… just take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. You will figure this out.
Without further ado, here are some of the top signs your marriage is failing.
1. Your fights aren’t fair.
Every couple fights sometimes. It’s normal and even healthy to hash things out. But there are lines that neither of you should cross.
When your spouse uses that one big insecurity of yours against you… that’s over the line. Or if they bring up that mistake you made a long time ago – a mistake you already apologized for – that’s a definite no-no.
A healthy marriage is built on mutual respect and trust. When one or both of you resorts to cheap tactics in fights it is often a sign that your respect and trust are fading away.
2. They constantly threaten to leave.
“I will leave you if [blank]” is not something your spouse should be throwing around all the time. When you two got married you both agreed you were in this together, no matter what. For one of you to imply that this is no longer the case… that is cause for serious concern.
If your spouse tries to influence your behavior by threatening the very existence of your relationship, it’s a nasty way of exerting control over you. It’s manipulative, and at a certain point it becomes emotionally abusive.
3. Unfulfilled expectations.
Both partners should go into the marriage with a clear-eyed view of who they are marrying.
Sounds obvious, right? But many people ignore the signs that the person they’re marrying is not the Miss Perfect they’ve built up in their mind. This sets the stage for a lot of unfulfilled expectations in a marriage. If you feel like you never meet your spouse’s standards then it’s most likely a problem with them, not you.
4. They use the kids as pawns.
It goes without saying that you should avoid involving your kids in your marriage problems as much as possible. So if your partner is trying to influence the kids to be on “their side” that is a serious problem. This is another case of not fighting fair but it gets its own mention because it is a truly awful thing to do to kids who don’t know any better.
5. You can’t agree on money… and you’re paying the price.
It’s okay if the two of you are short on cash. What really matters is if you can agree on overall principles when it comes to handling money. Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey teaches that couples who agree on long term money goals tend to have healthier marriages.
If your spouse is spending like a drunken rock star and leaving you deeply in debt – and refuses to change their behavior – then you have a major problem. Putting your financial future at risk is a major cause for concern and a clear sign your marriage is falling apart.
6. They refuse to work on the marriage.
Everything listed until now are known to be key reasons marriages fail. But when your spouse refuses to work with you to fix the problems in your marriage… that’s when it might be a sign your marriage is over.
If they don’t agree to work on anything… Or even worse – they don’t even acknowledge there are problems… it’s a red flag that your loving and supportive marriage might no longer exist. Instead you are looking at a lifetime of frustration and heartache.
7. You feel alone. Even in a full house.
Even though you have your partner in your life, you still feel completely along. It’s a feeling that might not make sense, but you should pay careful attention. Sometimes your emotional side knows better than your rational side. When you feel emptiness and loneliness even though you have your partner in your life, it could be a sign that your marriage is falling apart.
8. The trust is gone for good.
Without trust there is really no hope for a healthy marriage. We all know it’s essential that you work on trust by being open and honest with each other about everything.
Something might come along that affects your trust, but you can still get it back. It will just take a lot of effort. Still, sometimes there is just no hope for regaining trust. Maybe they cheated or lied about something major. Maybe it’s an ongoing pattern. If you can’t bring yourself to trust your spouse no matter how hard you try, your marriage might be failing.
Conversely, if they can’t trust you no matter what you do, it’s the same issue. Mutual trust must be present in order for your marriage to work. If it’s not there then you can take that as a sign your marriage might be ending soon.
9. It’s abusive.
If you’re being physically abused, it’s over. Do whatever you have to in order to get out and be safe. Reach out to a trusted family member, or the National Domestic Abuse Hotline if you are in need.
Emotional and verbal abuse are also very strong reasons that it might be time for divorce. These could be signs that your partner is a deeply troubled person who is unleashing their unhappiness on you. It can be very difficult to fix those situations (though not impossible).
But if someone is laying hands on you, it’s time to leave.
10. You just know.
The fact that you’re reading this article might be reason enough. If you find yourself searching the web for phrases like “is my marriage failing?” then you probably know deep down that something is seriously wrong.
Gut feelings are usually based on something. When you know, you know.