3 Harsh Signs It's Time To Let Your Marriage Go — Without Divorcing

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married couple having problems

By Steve Horsmon

There are some things just not worth fighting for. And one of those is a marriage totally devoid of the most basic elements of an intimate relationship. 

Why would you fight for a marriage full of disrespect? Why would you hold on to a relationship where kindness is held in contempt? Why would you want to save a romantic partnership without even the smallest crumbs of affection?

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Yet, many of the unhappily married men I meet are doing just that. They are desperately clinging on to their crumbling marriage and clutching their disconnected partner with a death grip. And it’s making matters worse every day.

You’re not gonna die.

I’m here to tell you that you won’t die. It’s okay to let go. In fact, you will actually start to thrive when you learn to stop fighting for the wrong things.

You’ve been fighting to save a relationship full of all the things you don’t want. That relationship is not worth saving!

I’m not talking about divorce. I’m talking about letting this version of your life and marriage die.

Only then will you be able to gather the clarity, confidence, and strength to fight for what you really want. And, hopefully, you can create that with her… if she wants the same things.

You’ll never get the good things you want in your relationship until you drop the bad things which have gotten you to this point.

And, no, you do not need anyone’s help to do this. Not even hers.

It’s painful to watch men struggling to save something they don’t even want. The reason they do this is because they don’t know how to create what they want.

Here are 3 harsh signs it's time to let your marriage go:

1. You don’t treat each other with respect

2. You don’t treat each other with kindness

3. You don’t give each other emotional or physical affection

Admit it. You don’t want any of those any longer.

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You hate it when you feel it from her and you hate it when you feel it coming from yourself. You may think it’s impossible to let those things die if she won’t play along. You may think you’re doomed to a disrespectful, mean-spirited, unaffectionate life.

And you would be wrong. You can create whatever the hell it is you want and you don’t need anybody’s cooperation or permission to do this.

How? You make the incredibly simple decision that, starting today — not tomorrow — that you are a man of respect, kindness, and affection.

There. Done. Easy-peasy. Now… start acting that way.

Begin creating what you want by consistently modeling what you want. Quit blaming anyone else in the world for not being a respectful, kind, and affectionate man who lives a respectful, kind, and affectionate life!

What a respectful, kind, affectionate man looks like:

You don’t have to tell me how hard this is going to be. This would be simple if you didn’t have someone living with you who may not trust or believe that you’re actually a respectful, kind, affectionate man. And when someone doesn’t trust or believe you are who you think you are, sometimes you’ll agree with them.

Don’t do that. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself.

Without that, you’re sunk no matter what happens.

Here are some examples of what it might look like when you trust and believe in yourself.

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  • Be more calm and deliberate when speaking. Check your emotions. Listen and respond.
  • Try to understand more than you need to be understood. Patience. Lose urgency in being “right”.
  • Lose your agenda for what you think she should be giving you. Give first — receive second.
  • Support her as an individual before you try to hold her accountable for being your perfect partner.
  • Respectful men communicate from a place of love and empathy — consistently.


  • Make kindness and consideration a choice from your heart — not part of a subliminal negotiation.
  • Empathize with her bad moods and feelings, but you don’t have to copy them.
  • Be fearless in saying kind things and doing kind deeds. Kind men don’t care if their kindness is welcomed or not.
  • Respond to conflict with an unwavering intention of kindness. Consistency creates trust.
  • Kind men don’t require others to be kind to them because kind men don’t give a f***.


  • Give compliments, hugs, kisses, pats, touches, and mushy-mushy talk at will. Learn to enjoy your affectionate nature without requiring it first from others.
  • Fearlessly show appreciation and gratitude without expectations.
  • Boldly invite her into intimacy of all types without expectations. “No” is always her option but affectionate men don’t allow “No’s” the shut down their affectionate nature.
  • Allow your sensual interactions to remain sensual. Show some restraint as you milk the sweetness of non-sexual intimacy. All-day foreplay is an end in itself.
  • Be shamelessly proud of your masculine sexuality and your desire for her. Affectionate men never apologize for desiring their woman.

Why is this so hard for men?

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I know reading list after list of what to better can be annoying. It’s annoying because if it was that simple to create a respectful, kind, and affectionate relationship you’d be doing it by now.

Why is it so hard for us men to do?

Because we don’t know exactly how to do it.

Couple that with a few decades of shame, guilt, and fear…I may as well be telling you how to fly an F-15 in 3 easy steps.

But it’s really not that hard once you learn to trust and believe in yourself.

Most of us were never taught how to be self-reliant, confident, unapologetic men. So, when we make our attempts at being respectful, kind, and considerate we come across as uncertain, tentative, and weak.

It’s that fearful energy that creates all of our problems.

It’s impossible to create anything we want when we’re operating from fear. We fear what people will think, say or do. We fear not getting the outcome we want. We fear the consequences of being who we really want to be. We fear not being loved anymore — maybe forever.

If you want to create a whole new version of your life and marriage, your first order of business is to face and then conquer these fears.

Men who do this work quickly find out they can create whatever they want.

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Steve Horsmon is a certified professional life coach, blogger, and owner of Good Guys 2 Great Men.