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.

Abuse Is a Deal Breaker 

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 or physical 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.

Don't Wait for a Sign to Leave

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.

Reasons Not to Fight to Save Your Marriage

In no particular order, here are behaviors that can often get worse and ultimately can lead to divorce:

  1. Inability to compromise
  2. Different goals or outlooks on life
  3. Repeated issues
  4. Excessive spending
  5. Continual lies, untrustworthy
  6. Very controlling over money, friends, etc.
  7. Playing the blame game
  8. Lack of empathy
  9. No sense of responsibility
  10. A sexless marriage, lack of affection or intimacy
  11. Constant criticism
  12. Serial unfaithfulness
  13. Doesn't believe in monogamy
  14. Bigamy or other criminal behavior
  15. Won't apologize for mistakes, has no remorse or regret
  16. Unwilling to try to save the marriage
  17. Denial of an addiction, refusal to seek help
  18. Abuse
  19. Lack of respect, contempt for each other
  20. Shifting priorities, such as whether or not to have children
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Article Sources
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  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Coping with Divorce or Separation. Updated 2011.