If you are married and you are feeling as though it’s made or break time, knowing when to leave the marriage is a challenge. Which is often compounded by confused emotions and fears on your part over what life might be like post-divorce.
It’s hardly surprising that many people who don’t know when to leave the marriage often stay and settle for dissatisfaction instead of facing life alone.
But with research accredited to the Gottman Institute (specialists in relationships) showing that people in a poor marriage show high levels of low esteem, anxiety, and depression it’s often not the healthiest choice if you choose to stay in this type of marriage.
So how do you know when to leave the marriage or whether it’s worth saving?
Here are some examples of reasons why somebody would choose to leave the marriage, to help you make a solid decision about what direction you need to take your life in.
1. Sex is a thing of the past
An entirely sexless marriage without any communication about why your marriage is sexless can be a warning sign that there is something wrong in your marriage.
After all, it’s the intimacy between a couple that changes a relationship from platonic to a romantic relationship.
If you can’t get to the bottom the reason why your marriage is sexless, you are probably going to need to consider when to leave the marriage or if you should stay and accept the lack of intimacy.
Although we think that staying might be unfulfilling for most people.
2. Conversation died with the dodo
If your conversation has been reduced down to brief instructions or comments about your everyday life and there’s no depth there at all, and you can’t remember when the last time was that you had a decent conversation with your spouse then take that as a clue that something is awry in your relationship.
If this situation is occurring in your marriage, the first step should be to try to talk with your spouse about how you’ve drifted apart and how you can fix it.
You could even seek some counseling to help you find your way back to each other, but if that doesn’t help you and mainly if you are living in a sexless marriage too, the question probably isn’t ‘when’ to leave the marriage any more it more likely to be ‘how’ instead.
3. The word ‘housemates’ apply to your relationship
Have you turned into housemates instead of lovers in a romantic relationship? Are you both living your own lives but just staying under the same roof?
If you are it’s time to have a conversation about this and try to reconnect.
Otherwise, this is a clue that will help you know when to leave the marriage – especially if you are acknowledging other points in this article.
4. Your gut instinct is screaming at you because something is wrong
Our gut instinct is usually always right; it’s just that we either don’t want to listen to it or we don’t make the connection between the alarm bells that are ringing and the situation we find ourselves in.
If you have a gut instinct that your marriage isn’t working, perhaps to such an extent that it’s causing to consider when you should leave the marriage, then you might need to do just that.
Before you make any rash decisions though, it doesn’t hurt to check in with yourself to determine how long this instinct has been alerting you to a problem. Is it recent perhaps since you’ve drifted apart or has it always been there?
If it has always been there, it’s probably time to listen and leave the marriage but if it has only occurred since you’ve drifted then perhaps you can try to reconnect before you make things final.
5. You focus too much on the needs of others
Many women tend to stay in relationships longer than they should because they have a tendency toward putting the needs of others before their own.
And since women often naturally take on the role of caretakers, they can lose parts of their own identity and a sense of their individual needs in the process.
If you find yourself concentrating on the lives of others instead of working on your own life, it might be a clue that you are in denial, or distracting yourself from something important.
6. You’ve stopped fighting
If you and your spouse are not communicating and you are not fighting either then it’s highly likely that you’ve lost your passion and have stopped trying to make things work. Maybe it’s time to bow out?
We know it’s difficult to know when to leave the marriage, but if you are just not interested then it’s probably time especially if you can relate to the next point too!
7. Life without your spouse is a fantasy you enjoy experiencing
If your fantasy future without your spouse is happy and carefree, there’s a big problem here. You are probably already in the process of detaching yourself emotionally from married life.
It’s a way of preparing yourself for the inevitable so that when you leave the marriage, you will be able to handle it. If that’s not a sign, it’s time to leave. We don’t know what is!!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.