Is Your Marriage Actually Worth Saving?

Who's going to break the tension?

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Marriage can be a blessing, but it can also break your heart—especially if you think you've reached the end of the road. There's no easy path to the decision to divorce, and the journey through uncoupling is different for everyone.

If you're wondering if it's time to throw in the towel, you need to determine if your marriage is going through a rough patch or if your relationship is so toxic that it's truly time to end it. Only you know the answer to the question of whether you're better off staying married or getting a divorce. Sometimes marriage is worth saving and sometimes it isn't.

Signs Your Marriage Can't Be Saved

There are some marriage concerns that are absolute deal breakers, like abuse. But then there are other signs that are not so clear. Each of these marriage issues should still be taken seriously if you are wondering whether or no your marriage can be saved.


While there are many who believe that the only deal breaker in a marriage is physical abuse, others believe some marriages just shouldn't survive when there's serial infidelity and/or emotional abuse. This type of unhealthy, incompatible marriage is likely unsalvageable and needs to end.

Although the reality is that divorce is hard, for many it's harder, more painful, and actually dangerous to live disconnected and disengaged emotionally from an abusive spouse. Indeed, the toll negative relationships take on physical health can be huge.

Some research suggests that chronically negative or abusive relationships can even shorten your lifespan.

Other Signs

Here are 19 more behaviors that can often get worse and ultimately can lead to divorce:

  1. A sexless marriage, lack of affection or intimacy
  2. Bigamy or other criminal behavior
  3. Constant criticism
  4. Continual lies, untrustworthy
  5. Denial of an addiction, refusal to seek help
  6. Different goals or outlooks on life
  7. Doesn't believe in monogamy
  8. Excessive spending
  9. Inability to compromise
  10. Lack of empathy
  11. Lack of respect, contempt for each other
  12. No sense of responsibility
  13. Playing the blame game
  14. Repeated issues
  15. Serial unfaithfulness
  16. Shifting priorities, such as whether or not to have children
  17. Unwilling to try to save the marriage
  18. Very controlling over money, friends, etc.
  19. Won't apologize for mistakes, has no remorse or regret

The Decision to End Your Marriage

It's a difficult and heavy choice to jump ship and end your marriage, but when you're fighting a losing battle or are feeling trapped and powerless in a marriage that could ultimately cause you harm, don't wait for a sign out of the blue to tell you to stay or to leave. 

When it's time to leave a bad relationship, chances are you'll know—you'll feel it in your gut. If you're still wavering, ask yourself what's still good about your marriage and what isn't. Listen to your inner voice and don't let a fear of the unknown keep you in a troubled marriage. Professional counseling can help you make it through this painful journey out of a dysfunctional relationship.

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Article Sources
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  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Coping with Divorce or Separation. Updated 2011.