Times have changed.
The honeymoon phase is over, the problems have begun, and you’re now wondering if your marriage is coming to an end.
This is a scary time for you, but as we’ll see it doesn’t all have to be bad.
Some marriages aren’t meant to last. Sometimes it’s best to stop investing more time, emotion, and money into a relationship that isn’t giving you what you desire in a romantic relationship.
Assessing whether a relationship is over or finding signs your marriage is over, and figuring out how to move on is difficult, to say the least.
Together we’ll assess your relationship, look for signs your marriage is over, and figure out how best to move forward.
Right now you’re probably looking to save your marriage.
You’re panicking, trying to get some clarity on where you stand with your husband, yet are completely in the dark. So you turn to friends, family, and of course the web, to try to illuminate your marriage status.
At this stage, you’re still scrambling to save your marriage.
You want to find some solution that will make everything right again.
I’m not going to give you that answer, because depending on your relationship there might not be one.
Here’s the truth.
Some marriages just don’t work out.
I know that’s not the message you were hoping for, but it’s one you may need to hear.
There are those that will assure you that you just need to listen more, have more sex, try harder, and it’ll all turn out all right.
That’s not necessarily true.
It’s the narrative you want to hear, but just because it sounds good doesn’t mean it’s within the realm of possibilities.
As a marriage and relationship coach, I speak from experience.
To illustrate a marriage that was never meant to be let me tell you about a recent client of mine.
Her husband has more red flags than a Chinese military parade.
Here are just a few:
The red flags don’t get any redder than these.
This relationship was clearly never going to work. No amount of effort was going to rebuild the bridges her husband has burned.
When assessing your marriage and considering next steps, be open to the possibility that your marriage isn’t sustainable due to no fault of your own.
Relationships aren’t puzzle pieces that have logical solutions. Humans are much more complex than that. We’re dynamic animals with ever-changing desires and agendas. Realizing that your relationship isn’t sustainable will make it easier to move on and choose a healthy and more fulfilling path forward.
Is the relationship worth saving if it erodes your self-worth?
Is it worth investing effort into saving something that isn’t that great to begin with? The longer you stay in an unhealthy relationship the more you’ll notice everything that makes you amazing begin to erode.
Consider for a moment that you do save the relationship.
Think about what would happen if this rough patch you’ve been going through ends?
Do you really want to be treated the same way you were before this rough spell began? Is this really all you had hoped your romantic life would be?
I think you should work to heal from within and find yourself a man worthy of you.
Right now you may not even be considering whether or not the relationship is worth sustaining.
Your only concern is sticking to the status quo.
The reason we often stay in relationships that aren’t fulfilling is the same reason we stay in our under-stimulating corporate jobs.
It’s what we know. Remember the saying “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”?
They provide security and are routine. Something we as humans need is security both financial and emotional.
It’s for this reason you may be looking for signs your marriage is over. So that you can identify them, find solutions, and shore up a relationship that will allow you to stick to your routine.
It doesn’t matter that the relationship isn’t everything you’ve ever wanted (or even fulfills basic needs) you may still favor the routine over uncertainty.
In reality, the signs your marriage is over shouldn’t be what you’re looking for.
To really assess the long-term potential of your relationship, ask yourself the following three questions.
What has your husband done in the past to hurt you?
Maybe he’s chronically neglected you, refusing to provide the emotional gratification everyone needs from a romantic partner. Or perhaps it’s infidelity. Or maybe he constantly makes major decisions without consulting with you.
Your husband can’t heal these wounds, only you can.
Even if he makes all the right moves, promising you to change, to right the wrongs, if you can’t heal what’s been broken you’ll never feel at ease in this relationship.
You need to ask yourself if you have the capacity to grow.
Part of this healing is realizing you’re worth better. That you are not worth the poor treatment he gives you. Don’t try to justify his behavior and defend him. Don’t cross your fingers and pray, instead let me help you heal these wounds and works towards improving your marriage (if that’s what’s best for you).
Opposites attract is relationship advice that’s been passed down for generations. The common-sense logic behind this cliche motto is that by bringing something unique to the table, the opposite side will balance the other out.
But research says otherwise.
Those that have similar likes, values, goals, backgrounds, and narratives are more compatible than those that have dissimilar likes and personalities.
This of course makes sense.
How many of your closest friends are super different than you? How many come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, like different music, are on the other side of the political spectrum, and have values that conflict with your own?
Being with someone similar means less clashing. It means not having to go against the grain every time you want to make a minor decision.
Frankly, it’s just easier and more enjoyable when you’re with someone who is more similar than different.
Ask yourself how similar you two are.
Ask if your values and interests align.
Even get out a piece of paper and write out what you have in common and what differences you have.
If your values align this is a sign that your marriage may have the legs to move past this dark phase. If not, try to find the positives of leaving your husband behind.
But of course, this isn’t a decision that should be made hastily.
Take your time, be patient, consider your options, and really think deeply about this. How similar you two are could be the deciding factor in staying or leaving this relationship.
The last question you want to ask yourself is this one.
Is the rough patch just that, a patch? Or have you detected a fundamental shift in the relationship that can’t be fixed?
Is this ostensible patch lasting much longer than you had anticipated?
This can be one of the easiest excuses to make. Because chances are you and your husband had your honeymoon phase. Whether that took place before marriage or just after, there was a time when you two were truly happy.
But has that time come and gone, never to come back?
If you’re looking for a sign your marriage is over, this one might be pretty glaring.
To figure out if this is a phase, look at the totality of your relationship from genesis to the present.
Has your relationship been more troubled than harmonious in its totality?
Have nine years of marriage been solid whereas the last year hasn’t? Can that last year be attributed to a traumatic experience, job loss, or another logical hiccup?
If that’s the case, he may just need time to get back to himself. The challenges he’s facing may be easier to tackle if he has a trusty partner by his side.
The flip side may be that this phase has lasted longer than it should have. That a fundamental shift has taken place and nothing you or he can do can mend what’s been broken.
A few quick signs won’t help you gauge the health of your relationship.
To figure out what’s best for you, you’ll have to:
There is no quick fix.
No key that if found can unlock the part of him that’s been hiding from you for so long.
Just because you two have been together so long doesn’t mean you should stay together.
Past investment isn’t a logical justification for further investment.
Sunk cost fallacy tells us that we have a propensity to continue behaving in a certain way if we’ve already invested time and money into that endeavor even if the costs outweigh the benefits.
If we purchase an expensive meal we feel obligated to eat the entire plate even if we know we’re full and we’ll regret it later.
This same logic applies to a relationship.
Because you’ve been with this person for 5 or 10 years you feel obligated to stay with them even when you know for a certainty it’s not what’s best for you.
Moving forward doesn’t mean moving on.
I’m not advocating leaving your husband. I have no idea as to whether that’s what’s best for you.
Only you know.
What I can do is help you realize what the best decision is. I can help you heal, understand male psychology, and give you practical strategies in order to move forward.
I’d like to learn more about your relationship, its history, and your future goals.
Let’s have a 1-on-1 chat where we can talk about your relationship and see if you’re a fit for my program, designed to help you once again find self-worth and move forward with confidence in your relationship whether that be with your husband or another incredibly lucky man.