Relationships Spouses & Partners Marital Problems Making the Decision to End Your Marriage By Sheri Stritof Sheri Stritof Sheri Stritof has written about marriage and relationships for 20+ years. She's the co-author of The Everything Great Marriage Book. Learn about our editorial process Updated on March 02, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Carly Snyder, MD Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Impact of Indecision Are You Better Off? Before Making a Decision Professional Help Moving Forward If you're thinking about ending your marriage, you're likely facing one of the most difficult decisions of your adult life. Many partners struggle for a very long time before making a firm choice about whether to stay or go. If you are agonizing over the decision of whether or not to file for divorce, there are steps you can take in this process. Areas of Your Life Negatively Impacted by Indecision Consider these effects of being in a state of limbo: Your health: Your health is also being compromised if you aren't sleeping well, or if you're not exercising and eating healthy foods.Your job: Your job may be in jeopardy due to moodiness and lack of attention.Your other relationships: Your children, friends and other family members may feel your sadness, frustration, impatience, fear, anger, and indecision. Primary Reasons People Stay For many couples, the amount of time they've already invested in their marriages has a lot to do with their decision to stay or to go. It's generally easier for a younger married couple to divorce and start their lives over again than it is for partners who've been together a decade or more. Are You Better Off Married or Divorced? 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. It's important to face the realities—and not just the fantasy—of divorce. When making this type of a life-changing decision, recognize what you'll lose and don't count on what you may receive: If your main reason for wanting a divorce is because you're unhappy, being single again may not make you happier. When considering this question, here are a few things to ask yourself: Do you feel as if you have nothing left to give to your marriage? Do you feel indifference towards your partner? Does your partner treat you badly or show indifference? Has all the forgiveness, hope, and patience in your heart run out? Has there been a long history of addiction, abuse, or infidelity? Is there a complete lack of intimacy? Not just sex, but emotional intimacy, affection, and laughter as well? If you've said yes to these questions, you may be at the point of no return in your marital relationship. Feeling indifference or becoming emotionally detached is a strong sign that your marriage is over. What to Do Before Making Any Major Decisions Attempt to reduce the stress in your life.Devise a survival or backup plan to give yourself more of a sense of control over your life. You may not ever have to use it, but it's good to have it anyway.Get yourself on the stable ground so you can handle whatever comes your way.If your physical or emotional safety depends on being separated from your partner, you must make that your priority. You may need some time away to view your marriage more clearly. Getting away by yourself, even for a weekend, can help you sort things out. For many people, this is when something clicks inside and they know what to do. When to Seek Professional Help If you're contemplating divorce, see a professional licensed counselor that works with couples—even if you go alone. Be sure to see someone with a good amount of experience in couples' work. Sometimes a therapist with a lack of understanding of relational interactions will help put the nail in the marital coffin. Better yet, you both can try discernment counseling, a type of counseling that focuses solely on helping couples decide whether they want to end their relationship or work on it. The Best Online Marriage Counseling Programs Moving Forward When it's time to throw in the towel, chances are you'll know. You'll experience an "aha" moment of clarity as to what you need to do. If you do make the decision to divorce, be good to yourself. Remember that if your marriage fails, it doesn't mean you're a failure. Some unhealthy relationships are not meant to succeed. Sometimes people keep trying to make sense out of something that doesn't make sense or can't be solved. 1 Source Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Medic G, Wille M, Hemels ME. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nat Sci Sleep. 2017;9:151-161. doi:10.2147/NSS.S134864 See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Relationships Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.