There are so many ways a relationship can come to an end, from a slow, grinding attrition to an explosive betrayal. Here are 10of the more serious signs that could spell the end for you and your other half of your relationship or marriage:
Your partner has had an affair but is not sorry they hurt you
Research shows that affairs do not need to be the end of a marriage and can actually lead to better marriages. However, the affair needs to be talked about and your partner needs to be sorry for hurting you. And if they have had multiple affairs, this means that they are not sorry.
As an extra note, your partner does not necessarily have to be sorry they had the affair as people often report it helping them to realise what they needed, i.e. if a couple can work through an affair, it can actually strengthen a relationship.
2. You’ve had multiple affairs
Ditto, if you are sleeping with people again again and again, you are not sorry you have hurt your partner. Perhaps you have problems that you can’t solve in your relationship, or you can’t be happy with just one person. It is definitely worth getting to the bottom of why you are having the affairs as you can then work out how to move forward, with or without your partner.
3. They are addicted to…….
Whether this be substance abuse, gambling, alcohol, sex…. If your partner has an addiction and is not in intensive therapy and accepting responsibility for the damage they have caused, then they are not really motivated to change. You will come second to their addiction and have to keep clearing up the mess.
4. You spend no time together
Does the thought of spending time with your ex irritate or bore you? Perhaps you find excuses to go out without them or bring friends along on holiday with you. If you find that you dislike or are indifferent to spending time with your partner then this is a sign that you have nothing in common left.
5. You never row but you are not happy
If so, why are you not talking about it? Is it because one or both of you can’t communicate? Are you scared of conflict? Is it because you don’t care? Communication is crucial and if you can’t start talking productively soon, then you are in danger of staying in this unfulfilling state for a long time or solving your problems with someone else.
6. You always row and cannot resolve anything.
Does every discussion or situation end up in a row? Are you walking on eggshells to try and prevent another argument? If so, this is a sign that; a) you do not agree on anything; b) cannot communicate and c) you cannot compromise. This is a toxic combination in any marriage. Even if you manage to compromise, if you are both having to row to agree anything, then it means that you are both not being true to yourselves.
For example, if one of you likes to live modestly and save for a rainy day, and the other person’s attitude is to seize the day, then if one of you compromises, you will not be living the life in accordance to your values.
7. Do you feel trapped?
Are you unfulfilled and on some kind of relationship plateau? Does there seem to be no reason to leave as you are sort of getting on? Are the children the only thing holding you together? Perhaps you wish that they had an affair as you feel trapped and wish there was a reason to leave. This a sign that you do not want to be in that relationship but do not wish to rock the boat by leaving.
8. Are there too many rules?
Do you feel that there are a lot of rules you have to follow? That you are not allowed to see certain people, do certain things, or go certain places?… If it feels that there is a long list of things you can and cannot do, then this is a sign you are not compatible as these rules are a way of controlling you to make you lead the life your partner wishes you to, but not the life which is your choice.
9. You feel contempt for you partner
A massive study looked at how hundreds of couples communicated on a variety of topics and found that when one or both expressed contempt for the other – even if it was only a split second facial expression, that this was the stand-out biggest predictor of divorce. Why is this so? Contempt shows a complete lack of respect for someone or that you think so little of the other that they elicit disgust in you and that is a hard place to come back from to love.
10. You disagree about money and/or sex
One of you likes sex, one of you doesn’t. One wants to have S&M sessions, the other would prefer missionary.
Money is another hot issue. One of you likes a life of luxury, the other would rather save for the future.
Disagreeing fundamentally on money and sex leads to a lot of arguments and one or both of you feeling unfulfilled. It would be nice if we could be above it but it just seems we are not.
I expect that if you are reading this, you want a sign that will give you a clear answer as to what to do. Leaving is incredibly difficult. Read some of our other articles here.
What were the signs that meant you knew your marriage was over? Tell us about it here.
Dr Isabelle Hung is a co-founder of divorceclub.com and clinical psychologist. Having got through her own divorce just three years ago, she is now remarried and happy to report that divorce really is an opportunity for growth and positive change.