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"Doing this can be a way of avoiding her painful truth." So if you find yourself getting unnecessarily involved in a fight between your mother and sister, or you're always rushing around trying to make other people's lives easier, it might be time to take a hard look at your own relationship.One way to distinguish between a run-of-the-mill marital rut (where you've, say, fallen into boring routines and don't have much sex anymore) and a loveless marriage is to ask yourself how long the situation has been this way, and whether it's been steadily worsening.That way, if you ultimately decide to leave, "you can do so with some peace of mind," she says."It's never easy to end a relationship, but having lingering regret that you could have done more can make the decision harder."If you've given up fighting, but feel further away than ever, it's a sign that you've reached a crossroads."It would be ideal if we could tune into our longings and needs well before we get to the point that the love we once had is dead," says Cole, who notes that the average couple waits six years from the time they recognize relationship problems until the time they try therapy.By then, it's often too late — the problems in the marriage can corrode it to the point where it may be unsalvageable.
"In order to face her relationship unhappiness, a woman needs to stop distracting herself by putting other people's needs ahead of her own," says Gadoua.Making the decision to leave a marriage is scary: There's often a deep fear of being alone, not to mention the possibility of an unknown future.So many stick with mediocrity, settling for low-level pain and dissatisfaction instead.So play it safe and consider scheduling a therapy session if you're struggling.If you often imagine a happy (happy is the key word here) future without your partner, that's a major sign that things aren't right.
This is a part of the emotional detachment process, during which you may try to convince yourself that you don't care anymore so that the eventual separation feels less painful, says relationship therapist Jamie Turndorf, Ph.