16 Stages of a Dying Marriage: Understanding, Healing, and Moving Forward.”

stages of a dying marriages
stages of dying marriages

Marriage is a lovely partnership, but it can have problems and obstacles like any other relationship. There are stages of dying marriage a failing marriage goes through, which can be emotionally draining for both parties. 

According to the United States’ National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 4-5 million people get married yearly in the U.S. … and approximately 42-53% of those marriages eventually end in divorce.

The first step in addressing and maybe saving a failing marriage is realizing these stages and figuring out the underlying problems. Some can be a lack of communication, unreadiness, or ignoring signs you shouldn’t get married at the early stage.

We will examine the stages of dying marriage in this extensive article, providing techniques, insights, and guidance to assist couples in comprehending, navigating, and potentially preserving their union. 

It’s crucial to remember that not every marriage that goes through these phases ends in divorce; some couples can mend their relationship.

16 Stages of a Dying Marriage

Here are the stages of dying marriage:

1. Failure of Communication

Failure of communication is the first stage of dying marriage. Communication is key to every relationship. 

So, when there is a failure of communication, the relationship dies faster. A communication breakdown is frequently the first indication that anything is wrong in a marriage. 

Couples may stop having frank discussions and refrain from bringing up significant topics. This breakdown in communication might result in miscommunications and unsolved disputes.

Suggested Solution: To tackle this problem, try to create routines for regular communication, schedule time for conversations, and pay attention to your partner’s worries. Seeking couples counseling can help you both become better communicators.

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2. Distancing Emotionally

One of the top unhappy marriage signs is emotional distance. Emotional distance develops as the relationship’s communication declines. 

When a spouse experiences emotional detachment, deeper connections become challenging. The relationship starts to lose its former warmth and emotional closeness. 

Suggested Solution: Show your spouse that you understand and support them by spending quality time together, discussing your sentiments, and sharing your thoughts and feelings. Aside from discussions, you can get them gifts. There are over 20 Best Gifts for Couples.

3. Absence of Love

Hugging, kissing, and holding hands become infrequent or nonexistent forms of physical affection. This lack of physical closeness may factor in the marriage’s general sense of separation. Factors like lack of trust, abuse, and cheating can cause this.

Suggested Solution: Try to bring physical affection back into your relationship. Hugs and kisses are examples of small acts of affection that can strengthen the emotional and physical link between partners. You can also rebuild Trust in your marriage.

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4. Increasing Bitterness

When there is an absence of love, bitterness sets in. Unresolved disputes and disagreements can cause partners’ animosity to increase. It is dead marriage syndrome that should be avoided by all means. 

Negative emotions build up over time, resulting in emotional distress and driving couples further apart.

Suggested Solution: It is advised to resolve disagreements and concerns as soon as they arise rather than allowing them to fester. To assist with navigating these difficult feelings, consider attending therapy or counseling.

5. Increasing Disagreements

While disagreements are common in marriages, they grow more frequent, severe, and destructive as the partnership fails. Couples may turn to abusive language and actions.

Suggested Solution: It is advised that you practice conflict resolution techniques like compromise and active listening. Learn how to politely and effectively discuss differences with others.

6. Steer clear

Another dead marriage syndrome is when spouses start steering clear from each other. Spouses may begin to shun one another in an effort to reduce conflict.

 They might avoid each other physically, spend less time together, or withdraw into their separate worlds.

Suggested Solution: Try to address problems head-on rather than avoiding them. Make time for one another to strengthen your bond, even if it means having difficult talks.

7. A Loss of Closeness

One of the signs a woman is unhappy in his marriage is when her spouse starts losing interest in her. This is one of the stages of dying marriages that sets in when spouses do nothing about shunning one another. 

Intimacy in marriage declines when emotional and physical distance increases. This encompasses intimate moments in the bedroom and emotional intimacy, the sensation of being near and connected.

Suggested Solution: To fix this dead marriage syndrome, concentrate on reestablishing both physical and emotional closeness. 

Examine what brings you both a sense of intimacy and desire. If necessary, seek advice from a therapist.

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8. Belief Divorce

A strong foundation of a happy marriage is trust, which frequently wanes as a marriage goes south. Anxiety and unease might result from suspicion and doubt becoming increasingly prevalent.

Suggested Solution: It takes time and work to rebuild trust. Rebuild trust by being open and truthful with one another, and be consistent in your words and deeds.

9. Assigning blame

Those in unhappy marriages frequently play the blame game, with each partner blaming the other for the issues. The relationship may suffer from this blame cycle.

Suggested Solution: Try accepting responsibility for your own actions and feelings rather than blaming others. Promote candid communication to grasp one another’s viewpoints better.

10. Seclusion

Couples may withdraw from one another in an effort to deal with their problematic marriage. They could further distance themselves from their relationship by going to other people for emotional support and validation—friends, jobs, or hobbies.

Suggested Solution: Try to stay in touch with your spouse, but also keep up a network of support outside the marriage. Incorporate quality time with each other into your external interactions.

Read Also: 15 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Get Married 

11. Thinking About Divorce

When things go south in the marriage, one or both spouses might start thinking about getting divorced or going their separate ways. These ideas may mark a major shift in the course of the marriage.

Suggested Solution: It is advised that you undergo counseling or therapy to thoroughly consider all of your options before making any snap decisions. Couples can occasionally work things out to continue dating and start over.

12. Getting Expert Assistance

Some couples decide they need professional assistance and seek therapy or counseling. Taking this step shows that you are willing to talk about the problems in your marriage.

Suggested Solution: For couples experiencing a crisis, therapy can be a very helpful tool. A qualified therapist can assist you in determining the underlying causes of your marital issues, addressing them, and creating solutions.

13. Ineffective Intervention

Even after obtaining expert assistance, issues in the marriage could not go away. This phase may present obstacles and discouragement to both parties involved.

Suggested Solution: If the first few therapy sessions don’t produce results immediately, don’t give up. Keep seeing your therapist, and if necessary, think about trying different therapeutic modalities or therapists.

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Legal and financial issues can come up as the marriage continues to fail. Couples may consider parting ways with their money or filing for divorce.

Suggested Solution: It’s advised that you speak with a divorce and separation lawyer or financial advisor if you’re having problems with money and the law to make sure your rights and interests are safeguarded.

15. Distancing

Distancing is among the top unhappy marriage signs. During this phase, some couples may choose to live apart on a physical or emotional level. This breakup may serve as a means to clear the air and assess the relationship’s prospects.

Suggested Solution: You should set expectations and boundaries if you decide to part ways. Seek legal counsel and think about drafting a separation agreement to handle pragmatic issues.

16. Separation

Separation is the final stage of a dying marriage. It always sets in when spouses do nothing about the dead marriage syndromes. 

The formal end of a failing marriage by a divorce, separation from law, or annulment is the last phase. When couples can’t seem to work out their disagreements, this is frequently what happens.

Suggested Solution: It is advised that if a divorce is unavoidable, you should work with attorneys and mediators to handle the proceedings as peacefully as you can, particularly if there are children involved. Make honest communication your top priority to ensure a seamless transition.

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What telltale symptoms indicate a failing marriage?

Emotional isolation, a lack of communication, a decline in intimacy, and a need for outside affirmation are all warning signs of a failing marriage.

Is it possible to rescue a dying marriage?

A failing marriage can indeed be salvaged with dedication, honest communication, and, occasionally, outside assistance.

How may our marriage’s communication be strengthened?

Seeking understanding, expressing emotions, and actively listening are all necessary for better communication.

Is going to therapy a wise course of action for a failing marriage?

Seeing a therapist is a good idea for a failing marriage since it offers a safe and supportive environment for candid communication.


Although going through these 16 stages of a dying marriage can be an agonizing and difficult experience, it’s important to keep in mind that not all of these marriages will end in divorce. 

Some couples may see this trip as a chance for personal development, self-awareness, and reconciliation. It’s critical to keep your commitment to the partnership intact, communicate honestly, and seek expert assistance when necessary. 

Ultimately, the decision to keep or dissolve the marriage should be taken after considering and comprehending the underlying problems. Couples may be able to recover the love and connection that first drew them together by accepting these phases and acting proactively.

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