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10 Signs of an Unhappy Marriage: Is It Time for Divorce?

Factors to Consider Before Parting Ways

Many spouses who experience detrimental issues in their relationship over a period of time may question whether their marriage is coming to an end. While it is normal to fight and experience problems in a marriage, sometimes, these factors may trigger a divorce.

Below, our Orange County divorce lawyers describe 10 signs of an unhappy marriage. It does not constitute legal advice by any means. Before you make any final decisions about getting a divorce, however, it is in your best interests to consult our experienced attorneys about your situation.

Lack of effort on both sides

Marriage is a two-way street. As such, both spouses must engage in both the highs and the lows of their marriage. It’s a give-and-take. If one or both partners invests more effort into the marriage than the other, it could make it difficult to progress in and sustain the relationship.

Little to no support

Among the most critical elements of a healthy marriage is listening. This goes both ways, as spouses should listen and feel listened to. If your spouse fails to listen to what you have to say, you may feel like your words are unimportant and that you are not a priority.

One of the keys to a healthy marriage is being fully present and dedicating your time and energy to your partner’s thoughts and feelings, otherwise they may confide in someone else and, as a result, lost interest in the marriage. Remember, active listening goes beyond just hearing your partner. Your body language, facial expressions, emotions, and tone of voice are strong indicators of true listening.

Inability to compromise

A marriage is a partnership, therefore, compromising is the cornerstone of a successful partnership. Compromising in a marriage can be tricky, as you must balance your needs with your partner’s needs, which is why it is important for both partners to listen to each other’s needs and work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. Spouses should not expect to be on the same page at the same time, however, it is important to communicate effectively in order to find a “middle ground.”

Different ideas about the future

It’s one thing to disagree on how many children to have, but if your partner wants to move to Texas and raise your children with Christian values, for example, then you may face significant issues if you enjoy living in New York and practicing a different religion, if any. Another example of considerable gravity is if you refuse to have children despite your spouse being desperate to be a parent. If you and your partner are unable to reach a compromise on your timelines and agendas for the future, then your marriage may dissolve.

Lack of respect

Mutual respect is important in any relationship, especially a marriage. If you feel like your spouse does not treat you with respect, dismissing your concerns, or getting defensive in every conversation, then it may be challenging to move forward and thrive together.


If your partner had an affair once or multiple times, it may seem impossible to trust them again. Learning that your partner cheated on you is one of the most painful feelings a person can experience, therefore, even if you both go to marriage counseling and talk through the issues, you may still feel as if they cannot be trusted. Some people are not cut out for marriage or monogamy, and infidelity may be a primary telltale sign of such.

Domestic violence

Your safety comes first. No matter how much your partner says they love and care about you, committing domestic violence can dissolve a marriage instantly. Abuse can be physical, emotional, economic, sexual, and mental, to name some. For example, even if your partner doesn’t hit you, other acts such as isolation, intimidation, control, and neglect could constitute domestic violence.

Little to no intimacy

While there can be “dry spells” in a couple’s intimate life, your marriage may be in trouble if you and your spouse both lack interest in having sex and are unwilling to communicate or do anything about it. While physical intimacy can be a primary issue for failing relationships, other types of intimacy may impact a couple’s marriage if left unaddressed. Examples include emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, experiential intimacy, and spiritual intimacy.


If one or both spouses lack feelings, emotions, interests, or concerns about each other, divorce may be on the horizon. Apathy is a powerful warning sign that your marriage needs help, as indifference to your spouse’s thoughts and feelings may backfire and significantly strain your relationship.

Desire to leave

Do you imagine what life would be like if you were single or dating another person? If that’s the case, you may feel hopeless and uncertain of the future of your marriage. Thinking about life without your spouse is a strong indicator that something is not right. As such, you may feel like your marriage is beyond repair and it’s time to go.

Remember, the information above is for general information purposes only and should not be perceived as legal advice for your situation. However, we encourage you to reach out to our Orange County divorce attorneys online or at (845) 605-4330 if you require legal advice on handling your particular circumstances. We are here to help.