ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should you stay in a dead marriage?

Updated on May 10, 2016

If it's dead, why keep it?

I've struggled with this concept myself for almost half of my 20 year marriage. If you've tried everything you can do to revive it, at what point do you cut your losses?

People get hung up on the institution concept of marriage, instead of the people involved in it. Couples stay married because they feel they should, they made a commitment to each other, but the thing they fail to realize is that commitment is already broken. Who divorces from a happy marriage, nobody? Staying together just for the sake of something, when it will never grow or flourish is pointless. I still do this and I often wonder why? Guilt, financial security, fear of the unknown, family aftermath or plain insecurity, who knows??

I'm a Christian and the first thing we're taught about marriage is that God hates divorce, you marry forever etc. This is only partially true. God does hate divorce, but only because it dissolves a marriage, but if the marriage is already dead, no further dissolving is necessary.

I believe that God wants a marriage that honors Him and the way that He designed it for, emotional, physical and spiritual unity and if you're not living that way, then you're not following His will. To me, it would be better to divorce and find someone else and try to build a strong Christian marriage, than to stay in a dead one, that will never honor His will. Well, that's it for the religious implications.

We attended a marriage weekend called "A Weekend To Remember", sponsored by a group called Family Life. They've had them for years in nearly every city close enough to drive to and attend, so we did just the thing. All of the speakers touched on what a marriage needs to live and then shared their personal stories. We learned marriage has to be #1. It must reign over job, hobbies and even children and most importantly it is either growing or dying, it never stays the same and can't run on "autopilot". The dying process is a slow painful one, involving a gradual loss of an emotional connection that will strip away sex, communication, quality time etc and you'll just become roommates that either share a bed or sleep elsewhere, at this point it is only superficial and routine. You may still give affection, kisses and hugs, but they will be no more passionate than you would share with a family member. Going through the motions and physically doing things that resemble a marriage doesn't make it any more alive.

Commitment is important, but it is far more than not cheating and not leaving, it is more about what you do while you're there. You've heard the old saying, "Just because you stand in a garage, doesn't make you a car" or "an elephant born in a tree, isn't a bird"? Sharing a house, bed, bills, etc doesn't make a marriage, if there is no emotional connection and desire to make it the way it was intended.

Sex is a marriage barometer and a lot of spouses, especially the ones that have grown apart from their mates, see this as just another unnecessary obsession by the other. Once sex becomes totally unimportant and fizzles to nothing, the marriage is dead. There are ways to revive it again, but it is very difficult.

I find myself always asking this same question, What benefit is there to staying in a dead marriage? Do you hang onto anything else dead? Do you keep dead pets, stale food etc, no, there is no reason to do it. I think people think there is some kind of credit they get for enduring a dead marriage, like a reward or something? In reality, they just wasted their life and negated any chance at future happiness with someone else.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • strkngfang profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Thanks for reading and you're right with all of your observations as well. There is a lot of "bait & switch" and mindsets that say "till I no longer feel like it" instead of til death.. The vows have become expendable.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      2 years ago

      Excellent points!

      Another reason why I believe many people stay in "dead marriages" is because they always expected them to die right from the beginning!

      In fact some people actually don't believe it's "real love" until after the romance, passion, and sex stops being a regular part of their lives.

      They put more value on marriage being about "companionship".

      Anyone who seeks to "keep the magic alive" is seen as being "unrealistic" about marriage. However in a world with over 7 Billion people the odds are you or I can't be the only ones who don't believe marriages should resemble "platonic relationships" or "roommates with the same last name."

      The reality is if two (truly passionate romantic people) got married they would be in heaven because they share the same values!

      The reason this often does NOT happen is because those who expect marriage to settle into a rut or routine always ACT like "romantics" during the courtship phase of new relationships!

      They never tell their mate early on: "When it comes to sex I can take it or leave it." "Sex is not important to me. I just want someone to build a life with." or "I could be content with having sex once or twice a year."

      Noooooo! What they do is bend over backwards giving you all the loving and romance you can handle to win you over. Once you become "emotionally invested" in them they gradually stop doing the things that caused you to believe you had found your "soul-mate".

      The underlying reason for taking a vow to "forsake all others" is the belief that one has someone who is "committed" to meeting their needs!

      It's almost a cliché to hear someone say:

      "He/she is not the same person I fell in love with."

      The truth of the matter is it wasn't until after you became "emotionally invested" in the relationship that they felt safe to reveal their "authentic self". This not only happens in relationships and marriages but with just about every thing "new" that comes into someone's life.

      A person gets a new job and they bend over backwards to impress their new employer. Five years later they walk in 20 minutes late and if a co-worker teases them about it they say: "They're lucky I showed up!"

      A person gets a new car and they lay down some ground rules: "No eating, drinking, or smoking in my car!" They wash and wax it every weekend and get it detailed every six months.

      Three years later you see an inch of dirt on the body of the car and the inside looks like a grenade went off! What happened?

      We treat "the new" better than the "tried and true".

      Many people think being in a committed relationship means one is now free to RELAX and take each other for granted because they no longer have to worry about "competition" because their mate isn't going anywhere. With a 50% divorce rate you'd think they know better.

      There is no cruise control or neutral in marriage.

      You're either "growing together" or "growing apart".

      Communication is the GPS for marriage to let you know which it is.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

      Marriage was designed to enrich people's lives not imprison them!

      It takes courage to walk away from a known presence to an uncertain future. Every ending is a new beginning!

      “Some people think that it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go.” — unknown

      The world may not owe you anything but (you) owe yourself the world!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)