There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Every human contact requires constant effort. Even the healthiest relationships go through their ups and downs. Indicative are the findings of a survey carried out in 2015, according to which at least half of married couples have considered the possibility of divorce.

Certainly, however, this is not an easy decision. There is a lot to think about and weigh. “No one approaches the subject lightly,” stresses marriage counselor Jen Libby. “Also, almost everyone, even those in seemingly healthy relationships, has considered divorce at some point in their marriage.”

A number of things can be signs that a divorce may already be brewing internally. For example, if you don’t settle for anything or if you distance yourself emotionally from your partner. There are, however, also lurking clues, which may require a little more time to become apparent.

These are the 14 “signs,” which are red flags, indicating that a marriage may already be over:

  • Lack of intimacy

“A clear sign that your marriage may be over is when there is a lack of interest in sex and no one is doing anything about it,” points out attorney Dawn Cardi. “The trigger is that sex doesn’t work and hasn’t worked for a long time.”

  • You start to doubt yourself

If you have stopped feeling a priority for the other person, it can act as a blow to your self-esteem. “You may begin to doubt all the abilities you previously thought you had,” says relationship expert Maria Sullivan. According to her, the worst stage is when your partner makes you feel that everything is your fault. When your significant other is unwilling to realize that marriage requires compromise, it can be a clear sign that they no longer want to be in the relationship.

  • You are two different people

“People change, and some end up divorcing because they’re not who they were when they got married,” notes family law attorney Elizabeth Rozin-Golinder. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You may just have evolved into two people who now desire different things. “When you approach the situation from the point of view of ‘we don’t hate each other, we’re just not meant to be together anymore, things become easier,'” she adds.

  • Domestic violence

Here we are vertical: Any physical, sexual or psychological abuse in any form is a clear sign that you should consider divorce. Chances are, one incident of domestic violence will lead to more. “When your health and safety are at stake, there’s no question about what to do.”

  • You feel like you or your partner aren’t making any effort

Marriages often face a variety of challenges, and according to Alisa Bowman, author of “Project: Happily Ever After,” both must work to resolve them. “One cannot make all the effort. Nothing will be achieved that way.” From simple, day-to-day matters, to serious matters, all require both of them to solve. If you see that you or your partner are not interested in solving your problems together, then there is definitely no future in sight for this marriage.

  • You talk bad about your partner to others

According to Libby, a not-so-obvious sign is when you find yourself frequently talking bad about your partner to other people. Certainly, it is not bad to consult your loved ones about something that worries you, but when this is done systematically, then it definitely implies that there is a problem, but also a lack of respect for the other person.

The most inappropriate recipient of this behavior is the children, who should never hear negative comments from one parent about the other. “Relationship dynamics often reveal themselves to children,” Libby points out. “So it’s really important how you talk to kids, especially when you’re preparing them for divorce.”

  • You spend less time together

If you’ve found yourself sitting more at work, not caring if you’re going to be late coming home, or arranging more outings with friends without your partner, then this is a sign that you’re starting to distance yourself from your wedding.

Couples whose marriages are effectively over often disconnect from each other practically before they get around to signing the divorce, says Elayne Savage, author of “Breathing Room: Creating Space to Be a Couple.” “If you don’t spend any time together anymore and it doesn’t bother you, then maybe you’ve already disengaged from the marriage.”

  • You don’t support or listen to each other

“Actively listening to what your partner is saying is vital to the survival of a marriage,” says psychologist and life coach Sydney Ceruto. “When neither of you really listens to the other person, you show that their thoughts and feelings don’t matter.” This is very likely to lead, sooner or later, to one or both partners looking for another person who will show the necessary interest, potentially creating the conditions for infidelity.

  • You have unrealistic expectations

“The ability or inability to adjust to the change of married life depends largely on having realistic expectations of one’s partner. If you have unrealistic expectations and they are not met, you are more likely to feel disappointment, which will make compromise more difficult, ultimately leading to an irreparable breakdown of the marriage,” says Ceruto.

  • You don’t compromise

A basic requirement of a healthy marriage is trying to fulfill some of the other’s needs and desires, while ensuring that the other does the same for you. Marriage is a constant give and take. But if you or your partner are showing indifference to each other’s needs, it’s definitely a sign that your marriage isn’t going well, says Bryce Kaye, author of The Marriage First Aid Kit. “Couples should be able to share experiences that excite one, even if the other has less interest in an activity,” adds Savage.

  • You are not on the same page about the future

Certainly a marriage requires compromises. But not on major life decisions like career goals or starting a family.

“If you want children and your partner is categorically negative, you should seriously consider whether you are willing to give up such a dream in order to save your marriage with the other person, or whether it would be better to share your life with a person, with which you have similar goals. Different goals in major life issues create a big question mark as to whether a marriage will survive in the long run.”

  • There is a lack of respect

One of the most important aspects of a healthy marriage is mutual respect. When this is missing, the relationship is no longer healthy. “Marriages that get to this point are toxic. “The home shouldn’t feel like a civil war zone, and communication shouldn’t be an attack-defense type,” says Savage.

This lack of respect can even turn into contempt. “Contempt is fueled by negative thoughts simmering about the other person,” Ceruto explains. This contempt can take up so much space in the relationship that it leaves no room for connection or intimacy.

  • You fight more often

There are couples who manage to turn every adversity into an argument. Dr. Braun characterizes these marriages as “intensely confrontational,” where almost every issue turns into a toxic and devastatingly emotional experience.” As he explains, “if this continues without effective intervention, the likelihood of the marriage being healthy is almost nil.” According to Puhn, “marriage is about knowing good communication and conflict resolution skills.”

  • Infidelity

For many people, infidelity is a non-negotiable issue. This is not unreasonable, considering that an infidelity shakes the trust in one another, which is a key ingredient for a healthy relationship.