Getting married is one of the most important commitments two people can make to each other. The vows usually include the phrase “until death do us part,” which implies that marriage is intended to last for life. However, the unfortunate reality is that many marriages do end in divorce.
According to recent statistics, the divorce rate in Tennessee is around 3.3 per 1,000 residents. While no couple gets married expecting to get divorced, there are often subtle signs along the way that indicate a marriage may be headed for failure. Recognizing these early warning signs can sometimes help couples address issues before they become irreconcilable.
15 Signs Your Marriage Will End:
Let’s explore the 15 most common yet subtle signs that a marriage could be moving towards divorce.
#1 Lack of Affection and Intimacy
One of the clearest signs that a marriage is in trouble is when spouses stop being affectionate and intimate with each other. When you no longer desire physical closeness with your partner, it likely means you have also grown apart emotionally. A sexless marriage where spouses rarely kiss, cuddle, or are physically intimate is often on unstable ground.
If you and your spouse sleep in separate bedrooms and go days or weeks without any physical contact, it creates distance and erosion of the intimacy that once held you together. Reigniting physical and emotional intimacy is possible, but both spouses require active work. Ignoring a lack of affection will only worsen problems.
#2 Lack of Trust
Mutual trust between spouses is the foundation of a strong marriage. When trust starts eroding, it signals that the health of the marriage is in jeopardy. Suspicion, constant questioning, jealousy, going through your spouse’s phone or emails, and accusing them of cheating are glaring signs that trust is broken.
Once trust is destroyed, it can be very difficult to rebuild. Trust issues that are not addressed through counseling lead couples down the road to divorce. A marriage cannot survive without mutual trust between spouses.
#3 Frequent Fighting Over Finances
Money is one of the top reasons couples end up divorcing. Frequent fighting over finances, uncontrolled spending habits, hiding purchases or accounts from your spouse, and avoiding discussions about money are huge red flags.
When spouses cannot get on the same page about financial priorities and have constant conflicts about money, it erodes the foundation of marriage. Unresolved financial discord often goes hand in hand with dishonesty and secrecy, which can destroy a marriage.
#4 Lack of Respect
When spouses stop respecting each other, it erodes the bond of marriage. Signs of a lack of mutual respect include insulting, demeaning, or criticizing your spouse in public or private, making critical comments about their appearance, weight, intelligence, etc.
It also manifests when one spouse ignores the needs and opinions of the other. If you no longer feel respected by your partner and don’t respect them in return, your marriage is spiraling down a destructive path.
#5 Spending More Time Apart
When spouses start deliberately spending more and more time apart rather than together, it indicates they are pulling away from each other and avoiding working on the marriage. Hiding behind work, hobbies, friends, or other distractions leads to emotional distance and isolation in the relationship.
People fall out of love when they no longer invest time in each other. If you or your spouse would rather do anything besides spend time together, it’s a clear sign your marriage needs help. Time apart will only make things worse.
#6 Lack of Communication
Communication breakdown is a definite predictor of impending divorce. When spouses stop sharing feelings, dreams, hopes, and fears, they grow apart. If you no longer know what is happening in your spouse’s inner world, that emotional distance will undermine marital intimacy.
Partners who shut each other out and rarely have deep, meaningful conversations are setting their marriage up for failure. If you barely talk except about household logistics, your communication gaps will continue to widen until divorce seems like the only option.
#7 Acting Like Roommates
The marriage is on the rocks when a married couple’s dynamic becomes more like roommates or casual friends rather than lovers and life partners. Signs include rarely going on dates, losing intimacy, separate hobbies/friend groups, pursuing personal interests over joint activities, etc.
If you and your spouse start to feel like two separate people just sharing a house and bills, you are losing that “couple unity” that binds a marriage. Reconnecting and reigniting your friendship, passion, and mutual interests is essential.
#8 Lack of Shared Future Plans
Couples focused on building a life together will naturally discuss their hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. This includes goals for having children, career plans, retirement dreams, travel aspirations, etc.
When spouses avoid discussing the future and stop making joint plans, it demonstrates a lack of shared vision for the marriage. Bringing up hopes for the future can reignite marital closeness. If your discussions only focus on day-to-day activities, your marriage may be gradually unraveling.
#9 Constant Bickering and Negativity
Marriages characterized by frequent petty arguments, criticism, and negativity become drained of joy and enthusiasm. The warm, positive feelings spouses once had get eroded by constant bickering.
Partners who no longer give each other the benefit of the doubt and turn small issues into major fights cause irreparable hurt and resentment in the relationship. A pervasive sense of criticism and pessimism poisons marital soil and makes divorce look more appealing.
#10 Feelings of Loneliness and Isolation
Spouses should be each others’ primary emotional support and closest confidante. When you start feeling chronically lonely within the marriage and cannot share your authentic feelings or turn to your spouse in times of need, it indicates you are becoming isolated from each other.
This emotional isolation and distance is a gradual downward spiral, where you seek support and comfort outside the marriage. Before long, the foundation of the marriage cannot withstand the distance. Reconnecting before it’s too late is key.
#11 Loss of Passion and Romance
Passion and romance typically decline over time in marriage, but if spouses try to keep the fire alive, the spark can remain. It becomes vulnerable when romance, fun, and passion are completely gone from a marriage.
A major sign your marriage is in crisis is if you cannot even remember the last time you went on a date together or were intimate. Reigniting passion in marriage requires effort by both people. If the passion is gone, so too are joy, affection, and commitment in the relationship.
#12 Avoidance of Each Other
Healthy spouses enjoy spending time together and value their mutual companionship. When you start making excuses to avoid interactions with your spouse and breathe a sigh of relief when they are gone, your marriage is on the rocks.
Partners who gravitate away from each other and intentionally avoid spending meaningful time together are clearly disengaged. If you would prefer to be alone than with your spouse, it demonstrates you are moving towards divorce.
#13 Lack of Shared Humor and Fun
Laughter and fun are bonding experiences for couples. Sharing jokes, funny memories, amusing anecdotes, and having a general sense of humor connects couples emotionally. When you no longer laugh together or do fun activities jointly, it creates distance.
A marriage that feels flat, heavy, and humorless breeds negativity and isolation. Recreating enjoyable experiences, laughing together, using humor, and sharing lighthearted moments can improve marital friendship.
#14 Loss of Physical Attraction
It’s natural for some physical changes to occur throughout a marriage, but couples who stay attracted to each other focus on inner qualities. If you are no longer drawn to your spouse’s smile, laugh, humor, or personality, it’s a sign your emotional bond is fraying.
When spouses take each other’s looks for granted and stop caring about attractiveness or sex appeal, the marriage loses physical chemistry. Flirting, affection, and appreciation of each other’s physicality must be maintained for marital chemistry to survive.
#15 Stonewalling and Ongoing Impasses
Couples will inevitably encounter conflicts, but healthy marriages involve open communication, compromise, and resolving differences. Stonewalling your spouse, refusing to discuss problems, demonstrating stubbornness, or having irreconcilable differences on major issues can fracture marriages.
When spouses seem unable to get past certain arguments and reach an impasse that makes the marriage feel stuck, it often ends in divorce. The key is addressing conflicts before they become deep-rooted and unsolvable rifts.
What To Do If You Notice These Signs
If you recognize a number of these warning signs in your own marriage, it’s important to take proactive steps immediately before problems escalate further.
Here are some tips:
- Seek marriage counseling: An experienced marriage therapist can help you and your spouse identify core issues and improve communication and intimacy. Counseling provides tools to strengthen your marriage before it’s too late.
- Talk openly: Have an honest dialogue with your spouse about the problems you’ve noticed and how you both feel about the state of your marriage. Avoid blame and instead focus on reconnecting.
- Make time for your marriage: Start dating your spouse again, be intentional about emotional intimacy, and prioritize the marriage over outside demands. Investing in the relationship can reignite lost passion.
- Attend a marriage seminar: Look into marriage enrichment workshops and couples retreats where you can jointly learn strategies for improving marital teamwork, communication, and bonding.
- Read marriage books: Reading books with your spouse offers insights from experts plus new perspectives on improving your own areas of struggle.
- Seek support if needed: If your marriage is experiencing betrayal, addiction, abuse, or other severe challenges, seek help from a counselor, local church, or support group. A divorce lawyer can be your best friend in this situation. You don’t have to navigate it alone.
The key is to recognize subtle signs early and take action before problems escalate. If both spouses are willing to invest in the marriage and make changes, many troubled marriages can be saved, even when divorce seems imminent. But the work needs to begin now before it’s too late.
When to Call it Quits: Is it Time to Divorce?
With compassion and experience, you and your spouse can move toward healing. There is hope, so don’t give up. Your best days together may still lie ahead.