How to know when your marriage or relationship is over

Updated April 17, 2017

However well a relationship or marriage begins, couples will encounter trouble. From money to fidelity or even dwindling passion, when two lives are legally and emotionally tied together, deciding when it is time to walk away can feel like an impossible decision. Ending a marriage is a big decision and shouldn't be made lightly. Knowing the signs of a dead-end relationship can help individuals come to a conclusion and allow both partners to move on to better things.

Listen if your partner brings up old hurts. When an indiscretion or a lie drives a wedge between partners, forgiveness is imperative. Old indiscretions brought up in new arguments signals a failure to forgive and forget. Without forgiveness, a relationship can become bitter and poisonous to both partners.

Ask yourself if you have lost respect for your partner. An inability to respect a spouse or significant other can lead to difficulty trusting a partner as well as caring for his needs. Respect, once lost, is difficult to regain. If you cannot respect your spouse, it might be time to end the relationship.

Check if you've grown apart. As people age and evolve, morals, ideals and goals change. When a couple has conflicting goals and ideas of what is right, making a future together is difficult.

Look for a lack of intimacy. When the sex or small signs of affection dry up, often couples can work through it. However, if a partner doesn't want affection or cannot become aroused with her spouse, it could signal a problem that cannot be fixed.

Leave if the relationship turns abusive. Physical abuse is always wrong and often life-threatening. Threats of violence should be taken seriously, even if it is a threat to self-harm. Other forms of abuse, like emotional or sexual abuse, also signal the end of a relationship.

Analyse your feelings about spending time with your partner. If you look forward to being alone to the point that you are disappointed when she comes home from work, it's a good sign the relationship is over. If his negative qualities gross you out or turn into a similarly negative visceral reaction, something is very wrong. If you understand your partner's needs but don't care whether or not they are fulfilled, it's time to leave.

Try everything. When every resource at hand, such as therapy or religious counselling, doesn't work, it is often a sign to move on.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

A professional writer since 2008, Charlotte Kirkwood’s articles have appeared on Pop Syndicate,, CollectionDX and other websites. She enjoys writing about travel, films, literature, beauty, homemaking, pop culture and anime. Kirkwood's previous jobs include makeup artist and book seller. She studied English and art history at Southwest State University.