To Stay or To Go: Knowing When to End Your Marriage

Fine china is nice to look at and touch.  Its delicacy speaks of elegance and beauty beyond words.  Marriage is not so different.  Being with someone in good times and in bad can be the most wonderful thing in the world.

But just like china, marriage is fragile and can break when handled the wrong way.  Once the monster of marital conflict rears its ugly head, cracks start to form in your relationship.  You then look back on your wedding day and think that the “I do” should’ve been replaced with, “The hell I don’t, you lousy excuse for a man!”

Conflict can come in different forms.   It can manifest itself in jealousy, personality differences, or may be an effect of external influences such as money or issues with extended families.

Whatever the reason for distress in marriage, it should be solved by communication.  When two people really listen to each other and verbalize their needs, it’s easier to strike a compromise.  Each one then learns to be flexible and make minor adjustments in order to make for a more harmonious relationship.

Sometimes though, things just seem to be too much to bear, that the only seemingly rational alternative is to end the marriage.  So, when and how do you know when heading for Splitsville is the only solution to your wedded woes?

When at least one of you has given up, that’s when it’s time to say goodbye.  There’s no point in begging someone to stay if he or she has firmly- albeit stubbornly- decided to end it all.

But until then, do whatever you can to save the marriage.  If communication is the problem, you can always ask for somebody to mediate.  You can ask a trusted friend, relative or a marriage counselor to help bridge the gap between you and your spouse.  Exhaust all possible means to breathe life back into your dying marriage.

What about the kids?  They should not be the sole reason for you suck it all up and stay in an irreparably broken marriage.  In the long run, your unhappiness will affect your parenting style, and the kids will have to pay the price for that.  If you’re happy, the kids will be happier.

They say that good things come to those who wait.  Even better things come to those who keep an open mind and believe that true love lies around the bend- even after a miserable marriage.  The end is only the beginning.


About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. This is such a tough topic to cover. I have a friend who is dealing with similar problems. Communication doesn’t work anymore because her spouse just isn’t interested in listening, but refuses to end the marriage as well. It’s left her miserable and struggling to figure out what to do. This was a great article to make people think. I’ll have to share the link. Thanks!

  2. I think it would be hard to walk away. I’m a fighter. I know there are situations where that would not work or should not work for some as well. Difficult topic for sure.

  3. It was very difficult when I went through my divorce. I am typically a fighter for my relationship but I knew that it was beyond time and that me and the kids would be better off without the stress of crappy marriage. I don’t take marriage lightly but I felt I divorced for the right reasons: cheating and then lying about it. Once my divorce was final it took years to get over it, it was worse than going to a funeral after all that person is still alive and since I have kids he will always be there in some form or fashion. Granted I am lucky he doesn’t come around and see the kids (his choice his loss).

  4. I’m very old fashioned in that if it can be worked out, it should be. I really don’t believe in divorce unless there is abuse or adultery. But…it takes two to make a marriage work. If one is bound and determined to end it, there is not much the other can do. If there are children involved, i just pray that both parties are mature enough and love the kids enough to get along and put them first (my husband’s ex was never able to do this, unfortunately).

  5. It is certainly not an easy decision but one which had to be made if all things fail.. great provoking post.

  6. You make a good point that communication is the key to trying to save the marriage. And if one person gives up, it does seem like there’s no hope to continue the marriage. However, it would be hard for me to end it, even if I’m the only one fighting for it. I would pray hard and continuously for my marriage and do what I can do.

    I’ve seen marriages saved by one person being unwilling to give up. But I’m aware that you cannot control the other person and if they decide to give up, then you have to let them. At least I would feel that I did all I could.

  7. Taylor Gilmore says

    I stand in the “fight for your marriage” camp. Many marriages end simply because the couple didn’t try to work it out. It’s supposed to be “for better or worse” “till death.” However, I do realize if one party isn’t willing, then a divorce is probably inevitable but…

    Contemplating failed marriages makes me sad.

  8. The end of a marriage can be so difficult, but so rewarding :)

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