If you have ever asked yourself “Is my marriage over?” that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re headed for divorce. All couples go through times where marriage is easy, as well as times when marriage is hard.  

WHICH ARE THE SIGNS YOUR MARRIAGE IS OVER? 

I’ve filed divorces for –no exaggeration- tens of thousands of couples. I’ve helped hundreds through divorce mediation in Alberta.  

And yes, I’ve even seen people who came to me for help, but decided not to go through with a divorce after all. 

In most cases, your marriage is under your control.* 

You can seek couples counselling, you can work together on your finances, and you can read books about how to get back on track.  

 These are great strategies, but they aren’t for everyone. Here are 3 signs I see in couples who will ultimately choose divorce. 

#1 – You Dread Spending Time Together 

I think all of us need a little break from our partner these days. We’ve spent an enormous amount of time in close quarters for the past 18 months during quarantine, and therefore we’re a little sick of each other! That’s totally normal. If you want to take a solo vacation, or increase your amount of alone time, that doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage is in trouble. 

I’m specifically talking about the word dread. If you know your partner is on their way home and you literally dread seeing them, that’s more than just being tired of each other because of recent circumstances.  

If you find errands to run or stops to make on your way home because you dread having to go home to your spouse, that’s a red flag. 

It’s even possible to feel physical symptoms like headache, stomach distress and extreme fatigue from forcing ourselves to be around someone we don’t want to be around. 

report released last summer by Harvard Medical School noted that symptoms caused by emotional distress can include headaches, nausea and muscle pain.  

#2 – You Bottle It Up 

Not all divorces come as a result of lots of fighting. If you’ve been wondering “Is my marriage over?” recently, ask yourself how you and your spouse have been dealing with conflict. 

2014 study shows couples who withdraw from their partners during conflict are more likely to be dissatisfied and consequently, divorce.  

It may seem expedient to keep frustrations to yourself, in order to avoid fights. Unfortunately, humans are often bad at stuffing our feelings. Our partners notice. Choosing not to share what is going on for you emotionally can involve avoiding speaking to your partner altogether. That silent treatment can soon become toxic. 

Science says, it’s a predictor of divorce. 

#3 – The Crystal Ball Test 

Most of us spend time envisioning what the future will hold. If you imagine what you want for your future, and notice your partner isn’t in the picture, that’s a predictor of divorce.  

Harvard psychologist Dr. Daniel Gilbert is the author of Stumbling on Happiness. He says our daydreams can tell us not only what we want now, but what our future selves will want. 

“The single best way to make predictions about what you’re going to want in the future isn’t to imagine yourself in the future,” says Gilbert. “It’s to look at other people who are in the very future you’re imagining.” 

End of a Marriage, Not End of the World 

 If you see yourself in any of these, or if you’re already going through the divorce process, know that it’s possible to have a Constructive Divorce™ in all but the most dire circumstances. Divorce isn’t easy, but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as it is for many couples. You can choose mediation, to avoid the litigation process. You can choose a divorce professional that represents both spouses, like an independent paralegal who specializes in the divorce. Take our quiz to find out the best steps for your specific situation. 

 *I’m not talking about couples experiencing abuse. If you have an abusive partner, please seek resources near you. You can find a list here.