15 Signs Your Marriage Isn’t Worth Saving
When it's best to throw in the towel once and for all
If you haven’t noticed, love is one complicated beast. One second, everything seems great—the butterflies are fluttering every time you see your partner, and you basically have to ban yourself from sending heart-eyed emojis. Then the next, you’re Googling how to file divorce papers. Sometimes, issues can be worked out and you can get that initial spark back once again, and other times, it might just be better to throw in the towel and move on. Here are 15 signs your marriage isn’t worth saving—and you’re better off letting that towel fly.
1. You Feel Unsafe
Your partner is supposed to be your protector—not someone who makes you feel unsafe in your own home. And that’s one of the biggest reasons why to end a relationship, stat. “If your safety and the safety of your children is being threatened, it may be better to move forward in your own physical space with your own life,” says psychologist Paulette Sherman, author of Facebook Dating: From 1st Date to Soulmate. “It’s not fair to be kept in a state of fear and to continue to allow yourself to be abused, whether that’s emotionally or physically.”
Just don’t end it on your own if you safety is at risk. Ending abusive relationships requires careful planning, and it’s recommended that you talk to someone you trust—like your doctor or a family member—to get the help you need.
2. They Cheated
It doesn’t matter if they cheated once or multiple times. If that distrust has affected you beyond what you can ever imagine fixing, it might be time to end your marriage. Sometimes people can be forgiven and couples can move forward through a betrayal, but if you don’t foresee that ever happening, don’t stay in something that makes you unhappy. For more on why partners cheat, check out these 20 Surprising Things That Can Cause Someone to Cheat.
3. You’re Not Attracted to Your Partner Anymore
At first, you were totally enthralled with your partner, ready to pounce the second they got home from work. If you no longer feel that attraction after years of being married and instead feel like your once-spicy relationship has turned into a sparkless friendship, it could be a sign it’s time to rethink things. After all, you only have one life to live.
4. You Don’t Agree on Anything
Over time, people change—and unfortunately that means your marriage can change, too. At first, everything felt easy-peasy with no worries. Now, you have real problems to deal with and you’re no longer on the same page about any of ‘em. If you can’t agree on anything and most of your time is spent arguing, that’s not good for anyone.
5. Progress Is One-Sided
Marriages take work from both sides—not just your own. “A marriage may not be worth saving if your partner refuses to work on anything or take responsibility for creating a joint life,” Sherman says. “If they call all the shots and none of your needs are ever heeded, you may decide that the only way to create a healthy relationship is by yourself or with someone new.”
6. You No Longer Share Interests
In the beginning, mutual interests are one of the main things that attract people to each other. If years into your relationship your interests have grown apart, that’s not uncommon. But successful relationships kind of require at least having something you enjoy doing together. Being married feels pointless if you’re spending all of your time apart.
7. There’s a Lot of Distrust
Lying about something minor—like getting your anniversary present weeks in advance instead of the day-of—isn’t a huge deal. The problem is when the lies are constant and about issues that can cause big issues in your relationship, whether that’s lying about texting someone or the reason behind that late night at the office. Having that distrust in your marriage is going to make it really hard to ever feel totally secure.
8. There’s Things You Can’t Look Past
Sure, there might be minor qualities about your partner that you don’t love, but they don’t bother you enough to call it quits. But sometimes there’s something major that comes up that you can’t just look past. Whether your partner’s opinion on a deal-breaker changes or they suddenly want different things in life than you do, big decisions might need to be made about your marriage if there’s no compromise in sight.
9. Addiction Is Causing Severe Problems
When you’re in a relationship with someone who’s an addict, you spend all your time and energy trying to help them battle their demons. The problem is, after a while, it starts to affect your own health and mental well-being, too.
“If your spouse is an addict and is unwilling to seek help or to change, you may choose to end the marriage because you don’t see an end in sight, it feels unhealthy to you, and there’s zero accountability on the part of your spouse for how this hurts you,” Sherman says.
10. You Don’t Feel Supported
Your partner should always be your biggest cheerleader and support system: If you can’t count on them, who can you count on? If you no longer feel like your goals and dreams are being supported in your marriage, it can cause a lot of unhappiness for someone who simply wants to feel like they’re part of a solid team. And for more amazing marriage advice, here are 22 Secrets Marriage Counselors Wish You Knew.
11. Your Partner Is Manipulative
At first, you might not even realize you’re being manipulated by your partner. If it eventually becomes clear that you’re being turned into a puppet, it might be better to end the relationship and start living for yourself again—not someone who’s always being tricked into doing everything for their significant other’s benefit instead of their own.
12. You’re Longing to Be Single
At first, all you wanted was to be in a happy marriage with the white picket fence, the kids—all of it. Now years later, the only thing that’s been on your mind is the single life. If being in a committed relationship isn’t all you thought it would be, you might be longing for your old life back. And if you can’t work things out and be happy where you are, it’s not fair to you or the other person involved to stay in it.
13. You’re No Longer Each Other’s Priority
In the beginning, you and your partner would bend over backwards to make sure you fit into each other’s lives. After a while, if you’re no longer making an effort to make each other a priority, it’s going to be hard for your relationship to feel stable. Growing a career is important, but all those late-nights can really take a toll if you don’t put in effort to keep the romance alive in your personal life, too.
14. You Can’t Understand Each Other’s Perspectives
There’s no worse feeling than your partner not being able to see something major from your point of view or put themselves in your shoes. Sure, they might not totally agree with what you’re trying to say, but if they can’t accept your perspective, you’re probably going to spend a lot more time fighting than you’d like to.
15. You’re Doing All the Work
A long-lasting relationship requires effort from both parties. If you feel like you’re always the one who’s doing all the work—whether that’s being totally responsible for the income or doing everything around the house—you might start to resent your significant other. Sometimes talking things out can resolve the issue, but if it doesn’t and the effort continues to be one-sided, you might feel like you’d be better off on your own.
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