When you and your spouse first met and fell in love, you probably spent as much time together as possible—getting to know one another, being affectionate and doing activities you both enjoyed. However, after 5, 10 or 20 years of marriage, many couples come to the realization that they not only don’t spend much time with their spouse, but they also may not really want to.
Like any close relationship, maintaining a marriage is hard work and often things like raising children, work and technology consume spouses’ time and zap their energy. While plenty of spouses who go through relationship slumps are able to eventually find their way back to each other and make a marriage work, a significant percentage don’t and decide to go their separate ways.
If you are unhappy in your marriage and don’t know whether you should stay with a spouse or file for divorce, it’s important to take a step back and take stock of your relationship.
3 Signs That A Marriage Is Over
- Lack of respect — All spouses disagree and argue about things. While the frequency of arguments is a factor, it’s also important to examine how you and your spouse argue. How do you talk to each other? What words do you use? Spouses who fight dirty and say things simply to hurt each other likely don’t respect one another. Ask yourself, deep down do you respect your spouse or does he or she respect you?
- Lack of effort — A marriage is a union of two people and it takes willingness and effort by both spouses to maintain a healthy and happy marriage. If a spouse isn’t engaged and isn’t willing to acknowledge or work on marital problems, nothing will change or improve. Do you really want to live the rest of your life in a marriage where you don’t feel appreciated, loved or happy?
- Lack of shared goals — Think about the things in your life that you make a priority or want. For many parents with children at home, life revolves around family and having and raising kids. Other life goals may include saving to take a dream vacation or retire and move to a warm climate. It’s important that spouses have shared priorities and common life goals. If you and your spouse don’t, it can be difficult to see a way forward for your marriage.
You, your spouse and your children deserve to be happy. Deep down, you likely know if your marriage is over. Yes, it can be scary to think about being on your own, but don’t allow your fears to hold you back and make you think you that you cannot or don’t deserve to be happy.