Signs of a Bad Marriage: One Woman’s Story

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This story comes from Jessica, a woman who went through a divorce five years ago:


I Want a Divorce

By Jessica

My marriage had started out happy. I couldn’t wait to get home at the end of the day and connect both physically and emotionally. I shared similar hopes and dreams about a future together. Divorce and never being together was the furthest thing from my thoughts, and I couldn’t imagine a life without my partner. Arguing was a rare occurrence and pleasing each other was extremely important at the beginning.

As time wore on, I spent less and less time with my mate. There were instances where my spouse had become disrespectful toward my feelings and needs. As time wore on, animosity built and my feelings had soon soured toward him. Work, working out and friends had begun to take precedence over spending time together. The intimacy that we had once shared together also suffered, and it seemed that months would go by without sex. The more time that I spent apart, the easier it was to disconnect and seek solace with friends and family. Weekends together also suffered, and I found activities that only I cared about, so I could have my alone time.

Sitting in a restaurant one winter afternoon, I looked at my spouse and found him to be just a friend and not an actual marital partner. The passion that we had once shared together had disappeared and what was left was strictly friendship. We looked at each other and knew that there wasn’t much left for us as a couple and found ourselves questioning our reasons for staying together. The actual filing was difficult. Both of us had talked about filing for so many months, but when it actually came down to, it always seemed to get pushed toward the backburner. I filed for divorce on our anniversary, as we thought it was a fitting tribute to the beginning and now the end. After meeting with the attorney, I was spent and couldn’t believe I had actually gone through with what we had both discussed for so long.

Looking back, I realize there were obvious signs of a marriage that had begun to disintegrate:

  1. A marriage without that intimate connection is a problem for many and sex and intimacy is important to staying connected as a couple.
  2. Signs of selfishness is another warning sign and thinking strictly of your own happiness instead of theirs shows that your love has begun to fade.
  3. At the beginning of a relationship, your partner becomes your priority. However, over time this can change and work, children, family and friends can become more important. Doing things separately and seldom communicating whether via an argument or discussing your busy day are sure signals that a marriage has gone bad.

Unfortunately, my marriage could not be saved because both my spouse and I had given up. Seeking counseling and therapy sessions were not viable options as we no longer wanted to stay married. Divorce was the only possibility for us as we had grown tired of trying to find that passion and spark that we had once shared. However, there are quite a few marriages that can be saved, but you’ll find that both parties have to be active participants in wanting to stay together.

Work and daily activities of children and social obligations can typically weigh a couple down. Financial problems and every day issues can take a toll on the relationship. You can let your spouse know that they are your primary priority by scheduling time together to connect as a couple. This can include either a physical or mental connection together. A weekly date night where it’s just the two of you is also important. Shut off your cellphones, laptops and other electrical devices and share your thoughts and feelings. It’s also O.K. to argue and discuss problems that may arise throughout your lifetime. It’s how a couple argues that can make or break a relationship. Showing respect for the others opinion is important and learning to fight fairly without humiliating or degrading your spouse is of the utmost importance. After the issue has been remedied, you need to never bring it up again when you find yourselves in a disagreement. An individual who gains a few pounds can often feel ugly and shared intimacy is often a rare occurrence. You can do things to make you feel good about yourself again by dieting, getting a new hairstyle and losing the weight that has made you feel inadequate.


Most people file for divorce after the first of the year. Spending the holidays together as a couple can be straining on a relationship, especially if you haven’t been getting along. January is an ideal month for new beginnings and many find that their New Year’s resolution is to finally end a difficult pairing.
Independent counseling and group therapy can also aid a couple in trouble and a knowledgeable and trusted therapist can help you find the spark that may have been lost throughout the years of your marriage. The current divorce rate will soon exceed 50 percent if current trends continue. I’ve been divorced now for approximately five years. While I’m glad to be out of a loveless marriage, I find that the dating world is as difficult to ascertain as it was when I was in high school. I miss that connection that I shared with my spouse at the start of our relationship and wish I would have been more proactive to keep it from becoming stale.