Whether you have a cheating spouse or have fallen out of love, most people know when their marriage is over. But sometimes, couples ignore the signs and try to make the relationship work.
Edel Walsh, registered professional counsellor at Love Done Well in Vancouver, says there are many logistical reasons people stay in failing marriages, including children, finances, and cultural or religious reasons.
“Apart from the logistical reasons, there are people that genuinely want to be married and be married to that person,” she tells Global News. “And no matter what’s going on, it doesn’t feel right to leave.”
She adds that relationships require work and need to be developed over time. The problem is sometimes, when couples come out of the honeymoon phase, they start noticing their differences and don’t know how to deal with them.
“They get scared and think they’re not in love,” she says. And this could lead to cheating on their spouse, fighting or slowly growing apart.
Below, Walsh shares six signs that indicate your marriage could be coming to an end.
#1 The sex is gone
One of the biggest signs your marriage is over Walsh says, is when you stop having sex with your spouse.
“Sex is how we can express love with that one person, if we believe in a monogamous relationship,” she explains. “When this stops, you know something is wrong.”
#2 Your partner withdraws emotionally
Sometimes it’s not just about the physical aspect. Some people withdraw emotionally, become completely disconnected from their spouse and start losing interest in saving the relationship.
#3 They don’t want to make it work
If your partner is not willing to fight for your marriage to survive, chances are it’s not going to work, Walsh says. “They develop a strong sense of themselves and sometimes they change.”
#4 They look elsewhere for love
While cheating is common if someone is not invested in the marriage anymore, Walsh says that can take different shapes, including emotionally cheating or acting extra flirtatious with others. Either way, “they are taking the sexual energy out of the relationship.”
Other times, it’s not people. Sometimes the partner can fully devote themselves to something else like work.
#5 They develop addictive habits
Signs of a broken marriage can also include turning to alcohol or other depressants to numb pain. Walsh adds they may not know how to talk about their feelings and turn to addictive substances to cope.
#6 The communication is gone
Not only are things not going well, but there is little effort from your partner to actually talk things through. Walsh says often, when couples show up to counselling, only one partner is present. The one who is less inclined to participate is also the one less likely to seek help in the first place.
She adds if you do experience some of these signs, talk to a certified relationship expert who can intervene.