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4 Unmistakable Signs Your Marriage Is Over

Sad looking woman sitting on the ground, leaning against a rock and thinking about the signs your marriage is over

Are you struggling with the signs your marriage is over and trying to figure it all out? Maybe you’re fighting all the time or feeling lonely in the relationship?  Disappointed and frustrated with your spouse? Maybe things get really nasty between you, but then you kiss and make-up and everything seems fine for a while. Only to get into a vicious fight that tears your heart out even more. It can make you wonder, is it over? 

Divorce is a massive, frightening step to take.  So, even though you find yourself unhappy in the relationship, you tend to hang on.  You don’t want to be alone. You don’t want to be heartbroken. And you don’t want to deal with breaking up your family, your lifestyle or your assets.  But sometimes it’s vital to take stock honestly and really look at where things are going in your relationship.

Four Probable Signs Your Marriage Is Over:

  1.       Consistent Substance Abuse 

In this scenario, your spouse is dependant on getting drunk and/or high and acts like this is more important than your relationship or your family needs.  His or her use is escalating over time.

Your spouse may lie, not come home, or squander money on their habit. He or she may ignore or abuse you. This could mean that you are married to an active alcoholic or drug addict. If your spouse will not work on the problem, ie, go to Alcoholics Anonymous,  NA, or rehab or treatment, it could be a very real sign your marriage is over.

  1.   Cheating In The Relationship

If your spouse is cheating and is unwilling to stop, won’t go to couples therapy with you, or shows no desire to rebuild what has been broken, it’s a red flag that it is over, or should be! 

Here are common signals that something is up and your spouse may be cheating: 

  • Spending less time with you, for example often working late or making excuses
  • Your spouse is less interested in sex
  • His or her cell is turned off at times you normally reach him/her.
  • You find credit card bills for unexplained hotel stays or gifts
  • Your spouse is more distant, angry or picky
  • He or she is defensive or lies if you ask where they’ve  been
  • Romantic messages from another woman or man on his phone or computer

If your spouse is cheating, not all is lost—often couples can pull together and repair things with professional help after an affair.  However, if he or she is unwilling to stop the affair and unwilling to go into couples therapy or counseling with you to rebuild your relationship, this is a warning sign.  It could be a very strong sign your marriage is over, and you should draw healthy boundaries to take care of yourself.  

  1.       The Communication Breakdown

Do you feel like the relationship with your spouse is getting more and more distant?  Are you fighting more or interacting in hostile exchanges? If the relationship has become cold, disconnected and mean-spirited, it may be time to stop and down-hill slide, and be honest that it’s over. 

Do you have angry times where you freeze each other out and don’t talk? Fights where one of you is totally defensive and blames the other for any problems?  Is your spouse hypercritical of you? Does your partner call you horrible names? Renowned couples researcher Dr. John Gottman calls these kinds of interactions the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse–because they kill off the connection, break apart commitments and doom a relationship. Here are the four markers that he noted in couples whose marriages did not make it: 

  •         Defensiveness: the fights are always the other person’s  fault
  •         Stonewalling: the silent treatment where you freeze the other out
  •         Criticism: often pointing out where the other is wrong
  •         Contempt: making mean and judgmental statements, name-calling, like idiot or bastard

Sometimes, it’s much better for both of you to honestly look at the signs your marriage is over, and real caring can also be walking away. 

  1.       There is physical abuse

Is your spouse shoving or even hitting you?  Is he rageful and hyper-controlling of you and/or your children?  These are the most serious red flags! Abuse like this can never be justified.  And it usually escalates and can get worse over time. It’s not only unacceptable, it also can get genuinely dangerous.  If you are dealing with abuse, it’s time to leave. But make sure you and your children are safe as you do so. If you need to, call a help hotline for support in creating a safe plan of escape. 

So, there you have four unmistakable signs your marriage may be over. Whether your spouse drinks excessively, cheats, is supercritical or abusive, you may reach the point where you decide you need to exit the relationship, and it could be the healthiest choice. This is especially important to consider if you feel that you are being abused. Safety is number 1!

If you have any of these four signs your marriage is over, I highly recommend getting professional support at this time from a therapist or counselor who is experienced in working with couples. This will help you navigate the marital storm in a way that works out better for you, your spouse and your children.

 If  you would like help understanding  your marriage you can have a complimentary phone or Skype coaching strategy session with an expert Love Mentor® coach at


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