15 Signs Your Marriage Will End in Divorce

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Likelihood of divorce occurring by number of marriages in the US in 2013

A worrying study seen on Statista (reflected in the chart) paints a gloomy picture of the general longevity of marriages in America, with as high as 60% of divorces occurring in second marriages. And so, it is not surprising that the question of the signs a marriage is ending remains a burning question both among married and unmarried people alike.

If you are in a marriage that is going downhill and wondering if your marriage is over, it is important to pay closer attention to every single sign so that you are able to decipher early enough what the signs are that your marriage is headed for a divorce. The importance of this is that it helps you decide soon enough whether or not to fight to save your marriage or to just let the inevitable happen.

It is important to point out that the fact that you see the signs you’re headed for divorce does not mean that the marriage will ultimately end up in a divorce or that divorce is inevitable. The signs are only an indication and a wake-up call that your marriage needs work. It is what you do as a couple after you’ve seen these signs that will determine whether or not the marriage ultimately comes to an end.

So, let’s get right into it. Let us show you what the 15 signs your marriage will end in divorce are. Remember that ultimately, it is for you and your spouse to decide what to do about these signs. And in case you are also curious about how to know when divorce is inevitable, we also cover that aspect in the last section of this article.

Check out this related article on Signs your husband is planning to leave you.

Signs your marriage is headed for divorce – 15 signs your marriage will (likely) end in divorce.

Table of Contents

Not all marital problem signs are an indication of an impending divorce because every marriage would have its occasional downtimes. However, if you notice most or all of these 15 marital problem signs, it is time to get concerned because they are signs that divorce is near if care isn’t taken.

1. Affection is gone and no effort is made at rekindling it.

Maybe your wife or husband loved you deeply in the past and you had no doubt about it but now it is the exact opposite. You are starting to get the sense that your wife or husband isn’t in love with you anymore or that their affection towards you has changed. You can’t remember the last time you shared a passionate hug or kiss just for the sake of it or even spoiled each other either with gifts or compliments, just for the sake of it.

Spending time alone together also appears to now be a relic of the past in your marriage and your marriage is starting to feel like a mechanical routine of co-parenting or just going through the motions.

Where this trend sets in, be on the lookout because if it remains unresolved, it is an impending divorce waiting to happen.

2. Both parties are living separate lives even if they live under the same roof.

This also tends to happen a lot of the time when a marriage is headed for divorce. The couples start to live separate lives and to make matters worse, they stop taking an interest in what one or both of them are doing. In some very bad cases, outsiders even know more about the spouses than they know about each other.

3. Communication between the spouses is at ground zero or less.

At this point, the husband or wife or both take major family decisions without talking it through first with each other. In some extremely bad cases the husband could even take out a mortgage and not tell the wife about it or one or both parties start to take money out of the joint account without telling the other about it. Where both spouses used to talk things through before doing anything, the exact opposite has become the case.

4. Fightings have become a norm and no attempt is ever made to reconcile differences afterward.

Maybe the husband is now starting to lose his temper over the smallest things or the wife is always finding fault in everything the husband does and constant fighting and bickering have become the order of the day in the marriage. And to make matters worse, none of the partners make any attempts towards apologizing or mending fences and such unreconciled differences are left to fester. It won’t be long before the couples find themselves in a divorce court if matters continue down this road.

5. The husband starts to spend more time outside the home than he does in the home.

This is another classic sign your marriage is headed for a divorce. He starts spending more time at work and sometimes leaves the house very early in the morning only to return late at night or not at all. And worse still, he never accounts for his whereabouts and may take offense and throw a tantrum when he is asked about his whereabouts. You may even notice that he has started taking out some of his clothing items surreptitiously.

6. Intimacy in the marriage is almost non-existent.

Sexual intimacy is important for any successful marriage. As soon as sexual neglect steps into a marriage, that marriage is headed for a divorce if this isn’t addressed.

Sexual intimacy is important for any successful marriage. As soon as sexual neglect steps into a marriage, that marriage is headed for a divorce if this isn’t addressed

A lack of sexual intimacy in marriage is a recipe for infidelity because you can be certain that if your spouse isn’t getting some from you, he/she is getting it from someone else or will start to get it from someone else in only a matter of time.

7. A mismatch in sexual performance and satisfaction.

This is the other flip side of the coin. Maybe the parties are having sex but it isn’t great sex because one or both of them still feels sexually unfulfilled and/or starved despite having a sex life.

Usually, this happens where the partners have significantly different sexual libidos that are worlds apart and where sexual tastes and preferences are so varied and different.

Unless both parties are willing to have an honest conversation about this problem and work together towards finding a solution that works, this problem is almost always the death of any marriage.

8. The spouses are drifting apart and making no effort to meet halfway in the process of rekindling affection and love for each other.

Both parties can tell that they are growing apart and growing out of love, but none of them appear to be bothered by it. They appear content with letting the gulf continue widening with no effort to reach out and bridge the gap. They no longer see the need for love and affection because it appears they have lost interest in the marriage. Without fixing this gulf, the parties will certainly end up in divorce.

9. A lack of trust and constant suspicion and looking over your partner’s shoulders.

If you always have to question your spouse or their motives or they are doing that to you, then there is no trust between you. If you always have to have your antenna up every time your spouse gets a call or spends time on their phone, this is also another indicator of a lack of trust in the marriage.

Trust is another vital lifeblood of any successful marriage. Where mistrust and suspicion creep in, the marriage will certainly die out unless there is a restoration of the trust between the couple.

10. There are more criticisms than appreciation and acknowledgment in the marriage.

Every marriage needs a good dose of appreciation and acknowledgment from both spouses to work. The husband has to feel appreciated and acknowledged and the same goes for the wife too. But if all the couple has to show is constant criticism and name-calling and unkind words, this will breed resentment that will spell doom for the marriage unless fixed.

11. You start enjoying the company of another person outside your marriage more than the company of your spouse and you are encouraging the relationship.

Maybe you are the guilty party and fuelling the fire of division in the marriage. Perhaps you are now entertaining a relationship outside the marriage and spending more time with someone else other than your spouse. This is dangerous treading that will only end the marriage because it is invariably cheating and cheating is always a sure recipe for divorce.

12. You start wondering what life without your partner would look like.

Once you start daydreaming about being single or having a life without your spouse in it, if that dream continues, it will one day become a reality.

13. Mismatched goals and expectations are always a divorce recipe waiting to happen.

Mismatched goals and expectations tend to happen when the discussions about goals and expectations did not take place before entering the marriage. And so, you have a situation where you both have ideas of what each of you wants from the marriage or from each other that do not align.

In some extreme cases, one party unreasonably expects the other to give up their lives and dreams without thought to the dreams and aspirations of the spouse in question. Where both parties are at cross-purposes when it comes to marriage goals and expectations, it is also another recipe for divorce.

14. Where mutual love and respect have gone out the window and the partners vilify each other even publicly and even fight publicly, divorce is only a matter of time.

The wife becomes increasingly disrespectful of the husband and the husband decides to return the favor too. Trading of vengeful spates has become the order of the day in the marriage and the couple sees nothing wrong in fighting and having heated arguments in public and even in front of their children.

You may find this article on What to do when your husband doesn’t respect you helpful.

15. Deal breakers such as infidelity and unresolved addictions crop up/surface.

Infidelity and unresolved addictions usually end a marriage quickly because they lead to the breakdown of love and trust between the couple.

How do you know when to end your marriage? When to know your marriage is over.

Knowing when your marriage is over will save you the heartache of staying in a marriage that isn’t worth fighting for anymore. It helps you know when the time is right to give up on the marriage relationship.

Are you feeling trapped in your marriage and wondering if it is time to divorce? In our article on How do you know when to leave a marriage, we already discussed some of these pointers. Here are some additional pointers on how you know your marriage is over and divorce is inevitable.

1. When you or your spouse or both of you are unwilling or disinterested in fixing the identified problems in your marriage.

Like we said earlier, the fact that these 15 signs exist does not automatically spell doom for the marriage unless the couple decides that it should. And they make that decision when they refuse or are unwilling to work at fixing the problems they’ve identified exist.

2. When there is infidelity and the cheating partner is only sorry they got caught.

And this will almost always be the case if you are the one who caught out your partner cheating. A partner who is sorry for cheating will come out clean before being caught. Usually, because they feel terrible for cheating they will confess their indiscretion and seek your forgiveness.

But if your spouse only shows contrition because you unexpectedly caught them with their pants down, chances are they will only work harder at covering their tracks the next time. And yes, there will be a next time because serial cheaters somehow can’t help themselves.

In an ideal world, cheaters have no business being married because they enjoy having multiple partners but the sad reality is that most cheaters are selfish people who will subject others to emotional hurt even when they know it to be wrong.

3. When there is no chance of your goals or expectations ever aligning.

Having aligned goals and expectations is key to a successful marriage and will keep you both on track. If your goals and/or expectations are opposites that have no chance of meeting halfway, you may have to accept that your marriage is over. If for example, your spouse wants to change your way of life drastically in a way you never signed up for and is being unreasonable about it, it may be time to say goodbye.

4. When one of the spouses categorically asks for a divorce.

This is the clearest instance of a marriage that has come to an end. If your spouse asks for a divorce, there isn’t much you can do about it because you can’t force them to stay in the marriage if they have categorically stated that they want out.

5. When all the 15 signs identified in this article fester and remain unresolved for some time in the marriage.

And finally, if the 15 issues identified in this article remain unresolved for too long, the marriage will without doubt crash.

Once it becomes clear that divorce is inevitable, just before you initiate the process of divorce, read our article on Things to consider when ending a long term relationship first, for the important preparatory groundwork to put in place.

If you however want to try to save your marriage from the brink of divorce notwithstanding all the above factors, then our article on How to save your marriage when your husband wants a divorce can help you out.

Frequently asked questions.

1. My husband doesn’t make me happy, what should I do?

Have an honest conversation with him about how you feel. Remember not to come across as attacking him so that it doesn’t get him defensive and frustrate the conversation. Rather dwell on how you feel and how you would prefer to feel.

If the conversation doesn’t help, try seeing a marriage counselor to help you both work out the issues. Exhaust all avenues before considering the extreme of going for a divorce.

2. Will a marriage counselor suggest divorce if the marriage isn’t working?

A marriage counselor will likely not outrightly suggest divorce. They would rather ask you enough questions to make you think and rethink the marriage and what you want from it moving forward.

3. My marriage is killing my spirit, should I leave or stay in it?

If your marriage has reached the point of killing your spirit and draining you, then yes, it is a good place to say goodbye. Nothing, not even marriage, should suck the life out of you.

4. Is there any expert marriage advice that you can give?

Communication and working hard at fanning the flames of love in a marriage are the best expert marriage advice you can get. Marriage is work and only actively working at staying together and in love will keep you together. And in working hard at your marriage, communication must always remain forefront and key.

5. What are the signs you should get divorced?

The signs listed in the last section of this article are some of the signs that will tell you when it is time to go for a divorce.

6. What are some of the signs a marriage cannot be saved?

A marriage where the goals and expectations will never align cannot be saved. Another sign is a marriage where the partners are opposites when it comes to intimacy and one partner is struggling to keep up with the other. Also, a marriage where one of the parties is a serial cheater or has an unresolved addiction falls in this category.


Not every marital problem sign is a sign of doom because occasional turbulence in marriage is bound to happen. However where the 15 signs listed in this article are present, then it is a sad reality that the marriage could be headed for a divorce. And if the parties do not work at fixing the problem, then it won’t be long before the feared divorce materializes.





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