Signs a marriage may be nearing the end

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Marriages are often challenging, so sometimes, the signs that a relationship is nearing its end aren’t immediately apparent. Subtle shifts can gradually erode the foundation of a marriage instead of serving as the kinds of challenges that can strengthen it.

Understanding these subtle signs requires careful consideration. Individuals in a relationship need to remain attuned to changes in their feelings and their partner’s behaviors. Acknowledging these signs can be critical so you know if/when it’s time to make decisions about parting ways or fighting to stay together.

Decreased communication

A significant reduction in open, honest communication is often one of the first signs that a marriage is in trouble. When couples stop sharing their thoughts, feelings and daily experiences, they drift apart emotionally. This lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings, assumptions and loneliness.

Lack of physical intimacy

Physical intimacy isn’t just about sexual activity; it includes all forms of physical closeness, such as holding hands, cuddling and casual touches. When these expressions of affection diminish without explanation, it can signify a weakening emotional bond. This change may happen gradually, but its impact on the relationship’s emotional health is profound.

Increased focus on individual activities

While it’s healthy for partners to have interests outside of their relationship, a noticeable shift towards prioritizing these individual activities over shared ones can be a warning sign. When one or both partners immerse themselves in hobbies, work or socializing separately, it may reflect an effort to find fulfillment outside the marriage.

Anyone who thinks their marriage is ending should start taking steps to prepare for the divorce process, just in case. This includes gathering documents that might be necessary. Consulting with a legal representative can help individuals to learn their options and rights so that they can make informed decisions either way.

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