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Getting married is one of the most joyous occasions in a person’s life. You have found your soulmate – the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. However, even the strongest relationships encounter issues and problems over time. Sometimes, these problems can ultimately lead a marriage to end in divorce.

While some divorces happen due to major events like infidelity, many couples end up divorcing due to a slow buildup of unresolved issues. Often, the signs are subtle at first. But if not addressed properly, they can become strong indicators that the marriage is headed for divorce.

Here are 15 subtle yet strong signs your marriage may end in divorce in Minnesota:

1. Lack of Intimacy Can Signal Problems in Your Marriage

Intimacy encompasses more than sex. It is the closeness, affection, and emotional connection you share with your partner. When intimacy starts fading in a marriage, it often indicates deeper issues at play. Without intimacy, you cease relating to each other as lovers and partners. You may find yourself living more like roommates than spouses.

Over time, many couples experience ebbs and flows in their intimacy. Things like job stress, children, illness, or aging can understandably reduce physical intimacy for a period of time. However, an ongoing lack of emotional and physical intimacy shows a relationship problem that needs addressing.

If being intimate with your spouse feels like a chore, causes anxiety or simply doesn’t happen anymore, it’s a red flag your marriage is in trouble. Rebuilding intimacy must become a priority. Make time for just the two of you, express appreciation for your partner, relearn how to communicate effectively, and seek couples therapy if needed. This can bring you back together and reinforce your marital foundation.

2. Do You and Your Spouse Fight Often?

It’s normal for even healthy marriages to experience arguments now and then. However, frequent fighting about minor issues or screaming matches are glaring warning signs. Ongoing conflict erodes the respect, trust, and security required for a marriage to thrive.

Common fight triggers include:

  • Money problems
  • Intimacy issues
  • Poor communication
  • Unresolved differences
  • Lack of quality time together
  • Interfering in-laws

Learning conflict resolution skills through books or marriage counseling can help couples argue constructively and find solutions. But both spouses need the willingness to compromise.

3. Has One Partner Had an Affair or Become Distant?

Cheating emotionally or physically destroys trust and connection. The marriage can only recover if the unfaithful spouse shows true remorse and dedication to rebuilding the relationship. Without counseling and effort by both individuals, affairs often lead to divorce.

Even if no affair has happened, emotional distance can strain a marriage. When one spouse shuts the other out, relationships outside the marriage get prioritized, or private aspects are kept hidden, it erodes intimacy and increases divorce risk.

4. There is a Lack of Respect Between You

Respect means regarding your partner with esteem, care and consideration. It means valuing their thoughts and feelings even when you disagree. A marriage lacking mutual respect is unlikely to go the distance.

When spouses become dismissive, impatient, belittling or intolerant toward one another, it erodes the relationship’s foundation. If you no longer feel respected, it becomes much harder to communicate, solve problems together, and meet each other’s needs.

Disrespect can enter a marriage slowly and subtly. Left unaddressed, it progresses to animosity and contempt. Restoring respect starts with identifying your negative patterns of interacting. Improve your listening and conflict-resolution skills. Make your partner a priority again rather than an adversary. This can get respect back on track before it’s too late. But professional marriage counseling is recommended when disrespect runs deep.

5. Domestic Violence Has Occurred in the Relationship

Physical aggression and abuse have no place in any healthy relationship. If your arguments have ever escalated to violence—including hitting, shoving, biting or choking—your safety could be at risk by staying. Domestic violence only tends to worsen over time when left unaddressed.

Even emotional abuse like intimidation, threats, controlling behavior, and stalking should raise red flags. Living in constant fear corrodes your sense of self-worth. And it establishes a dangerous dynamic that typically escalates to physical violence.

Despite apologies and promises to change, abusive patterns almost always repeat in these relationships. Of course, you want to cling to the happy times. However, lasting change only occurs through targeted counseling. If your spouse refuses to acknowledge the problem and get help, you owe it to yourself to leave this dysfunctional marriage.

6. Do You Avoid Speaking Honestly with Your Spouse?

Instead of communicating openly, couples who lack connection talk superficially about household issues, avoid certain topics, or retreat to separate rooms. Good marriages depend on spouses sharing feelings, goals, hopes, dislikes, frustrations, fears, and dreams.

Partners avoid frank discussions when they:

  • Fear conflict or criticism
  • Don’t feel emotionally safe
  • Assume the other won’t listen
  • Don’t want to compromise

A marriage counselor helps couples rebuild trust and learn positive communication skills. But both must commit to transparency.

7. Do You Have Trouble Compromising?

In marriage, being “right” matters far less than reaching an understanding. Compromising requires listening to your spouse’s perspective with empathy, being willing to admit wrongdoing, and finding mutually agreeable solutions. Inflexibility destroys intimacy.

Spouses often struggle to compromise over:

  • Parenting disagreements
  • Balancing busy schedules
  • Prioritizing needs
  • Financial decisions
  • Intimacy problems
  • Interfering in-laws
  • Unwillingness to change habits

Through counseling, couples learn to compromise without resentment. If only one spouse resists, however, the marriage likely cannot be salvaged.

8. Mental Health Issues Cause Emotional Distance

Mental health challenges afflict many people, including those in marriages. Conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and bipolar disorder strain relationships.

A spouse’s untreated mental illness breeds emotional distance and instability. The healthy partner ends up feeling like a caretaker, not an equal.

Refusing treatment for mental health problems – despite the pain it causes the family – can signify that the spouse has chosen their own struggles over the marriage. In severe cases, divorce becomes the only path forward.

9. Money Has Become a Major Source of Conflict

Most married couples argue about money at some point. Finances are a common source of disagreements and stress. However, chronic fighting about money that involves intense emotions, criticism or hostility is toxic for a marriage. This degree of conflict over finances is a clear warning sign that divorce may be on the horizon.

Money arguments are often not even about the money itself. Instead, they may show poor communication or reflect conflicting values. Partners become judgmental and critical rather than reaching solutions. Over time, the resentments can build to the point of no return.

Don’t let finances fracture your marriage beyond repair. Consider meeting with a financial advisor together to improve money management. Develop a budget you both can feel good about. With open communication and willingness to compromise, money doesn’t have to be a marriage deal breaker.

10. Do You Have Very Different Visions for Life?

Spouses don’t need to share every interest. However, having a similar vision for major life goals helps. Diverging hopes for things like careers, children, travel, or retirement put marriages under stress. Couples can better weather busy seasons and separate interests when their overall life aims to align.

Life vision conflicts often involve:

  • Wanting or not wanting children
  • Differing spiritual beliefs
  • Career ambitions pulling spouses apart
  • Geographic location disputes
  • Educational goals for children
  • Differing retirement dreams

Counseling helps couples find workable compromises. But clashing visions for life raise divorce risks.

11. Is Only One Spouse Trying to Improve the Marriage?

Repairing an unhappy marriage requires effort from both people. If one spouse resists counseling, reads relationship books, makes changes, or tries to meet the other’s needs, resentment builds. The refusing spouse must address how they are contributing to problems rather than blame.

Without mutual care, understanding, and willingness to adapt, marriages flounder. When improvement efforts fail repeatedly, the spouse who tried feels hopeless. They realize divorce may offer the only path to peace.

12. Do People Often Ask if You’re Getting Divorced?

When friends, family members, or coworkers start questioning if you and your spouse may get divorced, pay attention. Outsiders sometimes sense problems or divorce risks before those inside the marriage fully realize it. Their concern likely stems from observing:

  • Lack of affection
  • Frequent conflicts
  • Distancing behaviors
  • Stress or unhappiness
  • One spouse withdrawing

Seek a calm, honest discussion with your spouse. Explore whether their perceptions match yours. Consider including a counselor to gain an unbiased perspective.

13. Do You Struggle Balancing Parenting Responsibilities?

Raising children puts marriages under stress. Spouses often have disputes over parenting styles, responsibilities, and work-home balance. Mothers tend to take on more child and home duties, leaving them exhausted and resentful. But involved fathers want more time with kids too.

Parenting tensions increase divorce risks when spouses:

  • Disagree over child discipline
  • Undermine each other’s parenting
  • Compete over the children’s affection
  • Don’t back each other up
  • Have inflexible gender role expectations

Couples therapy helps spouses get on the same page, share duties, and appreciate differing parenting gifts. But unwillingness to compromise raises divorce likelihood.

14. Do You Feel Like You’re Growing Apart?

During the stresses of career building, childrearing, and other obligations, couples can lose their vital friendship. They stop having fun, relating emotionally, appreciating each other’s growth, sharing dreams, and facing challenges together. Over the years, this erodes a marriage.

Recovering requires reestablishing understanding and unity through:

  • Regular meaningful talks
  • Sharing feelings vulnerable
  • Engaging in new experiences together
  • Supporting each individual growth
  • Expressing affection generously

Drifting spouses must both decide to reconnect. Otherwise, divorce eventually results.

15. Your Gut Says It’s Over

Sometimes the accumulation of small problems and gradual disconnect can’t be measured in tangible ways. But internally, you know the relationship is irrevocably damaged.

Pay attention to your intuition. If your gut is screaming that divorce is inevitable despite an outsider’s perspective that your marriage seems fine, listen to it.

Our instincts pick up on subtle relationship currents long before our brains consciously process problems. Trust your inner voice – it’s often right. If your gut says the marriage is over, it usually is.

What To Do When You See Warning Signs Of Divorce

Even long-term marriages go through phases where problems escalate, and the bond feels fractured. However, ignoring glaring warning signs rarely makes issues just disappear. And continuing unhealthy patterns often propels couples down an ugly divorce path.

But when you and your partner are both willing to take an honest look at your issues and work together, there is hope. Seek professional guidance early and often. With commitment and courage, many troubled marriages can still be repaired. Though it may not always be easy, remember that lasting love is worth fighting for.

How Martine Law Can Help If You Are Considering Divorce

Here at Martine Law, our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys have helped hundreds of clients end unhealthy marriages while obtaining favorable settlements. We handle all aspects of family law, including:

If you see many of the 15 signs described in this article and believe your marriage is beyond repair, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Our compassionate divorce lawyers will discuss your situation, desired next steps, and legal options while treating you with dignity and respect. Rebuilding your life after divorce is difficult, but having a trusted advisor on your side makes the process less stressful.

Call Martine Law now if you are ready to move forward with a divorce.