When Divorce Is Inevitable

Last updated on October 7th, 2022 at 07:34 am

Given a choice, many people would be ready to work towards saving a failing marriage. In a survey, 43% of respondents said that would rather put more effort into their relationship than get divorced.

But sometimes, marriages are way beyond repair. There’s nothing anyone can do to bring together two people who have already gone too far.

While it’s true that sometimes marriages are over well before the official divorce, it’s also true that identifying those situations is not easy. More than anything else, denial can make people think that nothing is wrong with their marriage.

Today we will talk about times when divorce is inevitable. These are the lowest points of marriages — from here, walking away is the best solution for both sides.

Divorce decision tree


The divorce decision tree is made of several questions. Depending on how you answer the questions, the tree tells you whether your marriage will survive or not.

Note that this is not a personality-based quiz. The divorce decision tree asks key questions about your marriage and the people surrounding it, which leads to logical conclusions.

After going through each question of the divorce tree, we’ll also look at their deeper implications.

Signs you need a divorce quiz

1. Do you want this relationship to work?

If you don’t want the relationship to work, there’s no point in taking this quiz forward. You have made your decision, and you would be better off walking away from the marriage.

2. Can you walk away from bad behavior?

If you answer yes and have kids, you must work on yourself and focus on self-growth. That will give you some chance of saving the marriage.

If you answer yes and do not have kids, you must realize that the same pattern will repeat even after divorce. However, divorcing is still an option if it can change how you feel about yourself and the people around you.

If you answer no to the question, you need to ask yourself if that is endangering anyone else. If it is, you need to file for a divorce at the earliest and consider the marriage dead. But if it isn’t, you should keep working on yourself before taking any decision.

Stages of a dying marriage

There are many ways of looking at a dying marriage. For our purpose, we will divide a marriage into 8 stages that eventually lead to divorce. These stages look very different for couples who are in love and don’t want to separate.

Stage 1: Happy relationship

While the timeline varies for people, the initial days after getting married are almost always happy. This is the time when the partners are discovering the joy of living together and exploring each other.

When things start going wrong or either partner starts looking at the relationship differently, it climbs to the next stage.

Stage 2: Disillusionment and unhappiness

Once the honeymoon phase is over, partners start noticing the flaws in each other. They realize the uncomfortable facts of living together.

While many couples learn to live and love despite shortcomings, others cannot. If that’s the case, the marriage goes to the next stage.

Stage 3: Distance and detachment

In this stage, there’s a distance between the two partners. In most cases (if not all), one partner initiates this detachment and distance while the other is unaware of these changes.

Stage 4: Panic

As we already said, one partner is always at the helm of the growing chasm. When the other partner realizes and finds out about this, they start to panic. This is the first stage where verbal altercation begins and the marriage starts to visibly sour.

Stage 5: Flight

In this stage, either one or both partners have decided that do want the marriage anymore. However, they don’t yet make it apparent, especially if there’s any mismatch in expectations.

When one partner is invested and the other isn’t, this is the stage where the rejectee either starts withdrawing from or accepting the reality.

Stage 6: Conflict

At this stage, both partners know the marriage is not going to last. In a desperate attempt to cling to the remains, there are often a lot of conflicts in this stage.

Stage 7: Formal divorce

At this stage, every marriage is different. Some cannot divorce due to social or financial compulsions and continue in a loveless, disloyal marriage. Others go through the divorce process smoothly. The remaining end up getting a divorce but not without their share of mental trauma.

In exceptional cases, things can turn around after the 6th stage provided one partner has reformed and the other is still in love.

12 signs your marriage is over

man in gray crew neck long sleeve shirt standing beside woman in black crew neck shirt


Here are 12 signs that make it clear that your marriage is over and divorce is inevitable:

1. Lack of intimacy: Sex and physical expressions of love are a necessity for all happy couples. If there’s no physical intimacy in your marriage, it’s a huge sign that it’s over.

2. Self-doubt: Are you doubting your own commitment to the marriage? If yes, that’s a huge sign that’s close to being over.

3. You realize that your partner is not who you thought they are: It’s self-explanatory: sometimes you realize a person is very different from what it seems from the outside. If it’s happening to you, it’s not a good sign for your marriage.

4. Violence: Physical violence should not be tolerated, and it gives you the biggest sign to walk away from the marriage.

5. Mental abuse: Unlike physical violence, mental abuse like gaslighting can be hard to identify at first. When you do understand, it’s a big reason to walk away.

6. There’s no effort from either side: If you and your spouse are just getting along with things without making any efforts, it’s a sign over your marriage is ending.

7. Your quarrels go below the belt: If you and/or your spouse are insulting or humiliating with below-the-belt remarks, it crosses a line in the marriage. If it happens a lot in your marriage, it’s a bad sign.

8. Not spending time together: When you are barely getting face-to-face time with your partner, it’s a sign of the growing distance between the two of you.

9. You and/or your partner are becoming apathetic: Unlike hate or dislike, apathy refers to the absence of any attachments or sentiments. Growing apathy is a worse sign than occasional hatred and anger.

10. Lack of trust: While every couple has their own boundaries, transparency is a necessity for a happy marriage. The less transparency there is between you and your partner, the worse it is for your marriage.

11. Unrealistic expectations: Expectations in marriages should always be mutual and realistic. If either partner has unrealistic expectations from the marriage, it doesn’t go well in most cases.

12. You have different plans: As individuals, spouses would have their career and life plans. If they are not aligned, the marriage will become unsustainable.

How to know when your marriage is beyond repair

When a marriage is coming to its end, there are undeniable signs that both spouses get. However, some choose to suppress and ignore them to stay in denial. If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned here, you would want to take a deeper look at your marriage.

It’s important to remember that there’s no tangible way of telling that a marriage is beyond repair, except in the case of violence. Every marriage is different, and the signs of growing distance also appear differently. The signs mentioned here are not the only signs of a breaking marriage.

In a nutshell, the more emotional, physical, and ideological distance you have from your spouse, the more likely it is for the marriage to fall apart.

15 signs your marriage will end in divorce

Here are 15 signs your marriage is more than likely to end in divorce:

  1. Change in affection levels
  2. Distrust directed constantly toward your lover
  3. Contrasting standards for one another
  4. Humiliating behavior both in public and private
  5. Insufficient communication
  6. More debates than genuine discussions
  7. Absence of physical intimacy
  8. Physical intimacy with no emotional ties
  9. Not being open and honest about expenses and finances
  10. You start favoring time with friends over time with your spouse
  11. you constantly gripe about your partner
  12. You stop seeing the future of the marriage
  13. A burning desire to win arguments over your spouse
  14. Special things (events, food, music, shows) lose their charm
  15. Lack of interest in your spouse or your marriage

FAQ related to when divorce is inevitable

What are the signs that you need a divorce?

Typical signs include growing distance, regular conflicts, infidelity, and mistrust.

How do you know when your marriage is really over?

If two people do not see their future selves happy in a relationship, it is as good as over.

What are the 5 warning signs of divorce?

  1. Abusive behavior
  2. Violence
  3. Mental harassment
  4. Repeated instances of dishonesty
  5. Apathy towards the partner

What are the 3 main reasons for divorce?

Three main reasons for divorces are:

  • Conflicting interests
  • Change in personality and worldview
  • Rushing into marriage without being ready for it

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