Years ago, my wife and I were faced with the difficult question of whether or not we should end our marriage.
After a bout of infidelity, things went from shaky to extremely hostile and toxic between us which left us both wondering: Is our marriage worth saving or would we be better off to simply walk away?
Through counseling and our own research, we got on the same page and ultimately determined that our marriage was indeed worth saving by asking ourselves the right questions and looking for certain “signs”.
By the end of this post, we hope that you too will have the clarity you desire and need to ultimately make the right decision for you.
Should You Save Your Marriage Or Move On? Ask Yourself the Following Questions…
In order to prevent a hasty or rash decision, consider the following questions that unhappily married couples should ask themselves.
Being mindful of the following questions will give you a deeper understanding of your relationship.
Pay close attention to how you respond to the questions in this article to better understand your true feelings. Also, it is crucial that you get the opinions of your spouse on these questions as well so you know where they stand too.
- Are you in love with your spouse or experiencing feelings of indifference?
- Have you both put in your best efforts to save the marriage?
- How would your children be affected by a divorce?
- Would you regret a divorce?
Now let’s examine each of these four questions a little deeper…
Do You Still Love One Another Or Are You Feeling Indifferent?
The first question addresses the elephant in the room.
When you imagine your marriage ending, do you feel tormented or relieved?
Your natural response to such an idea will tell you A LOT about how you feel deep down.
Also, it is important to figure out whether your spark has simply faded…or was never there to begin with.
Couples who lose their spark can often times reignite it with the proper time and effort. To the contrary, couples who married for the wrong reasons like financial stability, convenience, or children out of wedlock, oftentimes never had the spark to begin with and are at a disadvantage.
Lastly, what is the connection like?
Can you laugh, talk, and spend time around one another happily? Or does it feel like a war zone between you?
If there is an ease and comfortability there then it’s likely you both still harbor a good connection.
If Your Marriage Ended Tomorrow, How Would You Feel?
The second question is all about the effort on both of your behalves.
Would you be able to live with yourself knowing you did everything you could to save it?
What about your partner? Do you feel that they have put in their best effort as well?
If neither of you has tried and given their all, then you can’t honestly say whether things could work out or not.
Have you both truly gotten out of your comfort zones in an attempt to mend things?
Maybe you put yourself out there to see a therapist or were vulnerable in expressing your deepest thoughts to one another for the first time in ages?
Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to gauge just how hard you’re trying. Couples who refuse to get out of their comfort zone likely don’t value the relationship enough to want to fix it.
How Would Your Divorce Affect Your Entire Family?
Many spouses believe their children can see the divorce coming and will feel relieved to see their parents stop fighting.
However, research has found that the vast majority of children prefer their parents staying together and divorce can leave them emotionally scarred well into adulthood.
Now, I’m not trying to scare you into staying together by bringing up the welfare of your children, I just want you to be aware of what research is showing.
Something else to consider in regards to your children is the thought of them being raised by someone other than a biological parent.
It is entirely possible your spouse may start dating at some point after the divorce and bring a new person around your children. Just be mentally prepared for that.
Lastly, keep in mind that because you share children together, your spouse will be a part of your life FOREVER. There is no clean break here.
Consider whether it would be easier on everyone involved if you and your partner were able to simply work things out and keep the family unit intact.
Do You Believe You Would Regret a Divorce Down the Road?
Although this may be hard to imagine given the turmoil you may currently be experiencing, keep the following in mind:
Studies have shown that oftentimes couples who report being unhappy in their marriage report being happy a few years later.
This is a true testament to what can be accomplished with consistent effort.
Also, another study took a sample of people who had gotten divorced and found that two-thirds of them wish they and their partner had “tried harder” to make it work.
This finding simply reinforces the importance of question #2 in that you need to feel absolutely sure you did everything you could to make it work. No one wants to live with that regret later on in life.
Also, consider where your problems and unhappiness TRULY stem from.
Often times couples who get divorced simply rediscover the same problems down the road in future relationships.
Consider trying to FIX the problems instead of simply ending the relationship.
Regardless of whatever decision you make, just take your time. You may even want to consider getting away for a weekend to be by yourself and clear your mind. In this peace, you may even have an “AHA” moment that brings you the clarity you’ve been searching for.
These are just some of the questions to consider if you’re asking yourself whether or not your marriage is worth saving. Since I have been in your shoes I do have some great resources to recommend to you for navigating this difficult time!
How to Know if Your Marriage is Really Over
Now that you hopefully have a better idea of if your marriage is worth saving, let’s discuss some tell tale signs that it isn’t worth saving.
In order to come to the conclusion that you should get a divorce, you must first ask yourself whether or not you are making the right decision.
How do you know your marriage is over? Well, it depends.
To determine whether or not you should get a divorce, consider the following 7 signs.
1. You’d Rather Be Alone
If you prefer being alone instead of being around your spouse, then that’s a huge warning sign.
Perhaps you don’t enjoy their company and you feel relieved when you have the house to yourself.
If both of you have tried to spend time together to rekindle the romance but it just hasn’t worked after valiant efforts on both of your behalves, then it may be time to call it quits.
2. Their Touch Makes You Flinch And Feel Uncomfortable
The romance is completely gone and perhaps you even feel repulsed by your spouse’s touch. Despite both of you giving it your all, your efforts to bring the spark back have unfortunately proven unsuccessful.
This alone is not a reason to get a divorce, but it does signal significant trouble in the marriage.
3. You Or Your Spouse Can’t Stay Faithful
Sometimes couples that experience infidelity are able to work on their issues and develop an even stronger relationship.
A huge component of this success is that there is only one affair and the cheater is committed to changing.
If you or your partner has had multiple affairs, its not even fair to be in a marriage.
If you’re unable to stop yourself from committing adultery, you probably don’t want to be monogamous and be tied down to one-person whether you can admit it or not.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to have as many partners as you want, however, the issue is that you have made a vow to be monogamous. As the old saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
4. You Don’t See A Future With Your Spouse
If you imagine your future and only see your personal fantasies being a reality, you’re likely disregarding the desires of your spouse.
A healthy marriage requires sacrifice and not getting to do everything you want.
5. You Just Don’t Care Anymore
You might be emotionally detached from your marriage if things that used to upset you now seem mundane.
For instance, your spouse did something that would usually make you angry, but at thing point, you simply just don’t care.
You’re indifferent and perhaps may have mentally and/or emotionally disconnected from the relationship.
If there is no desire to work on your marriage, then it may be time to consider throwing in the towel.
6. You Stop Confiding In Them
They’re no longer your go-to person to tell about your day.
It’s a red flag if you don’t feel safe confiding in them and instead turn to family members and friends.
Next time you have an urge to share something, pay close attention to who you naturally think of telling first.
7. Marriage Counseling Isn’t Working
You have both sincerely demonstrated immense effort in saving your marriage.
You have sought out professional help from a couple’s counselor and have worked on what the counselor recommends.
After all of this, if things aren’t getting better you might have to accept that things aren’t meant to be.
Making the decision to end the relationship and get divorced should not be an emotional one, but instead be grounded in logic.
Be prepared to take the proper time to evaluate your feelings on a deeper level.
We hope the information above guides you in your decision to either save or end your marriage. Remember, only you can make an educated decision that best reflects your feelings and desires.
Bear in mind, that determining whether or not to end a marriage is no easy feat. There is no easy “yes” or “no” answer to this question, unless your emotional and physical safety are at stake!
If you ultimately decide that your marriage is worth saving, then I highly recommend using the same system my wife and I used if you need an alternative to marriage counseling. This is the one that really made a difference for us and helped us work through our issues.