Ending a Marriage When You Still Love Each Other

When a marriage is filled with anger, dysfunction, conflict, and even hate, it seems plausible and even reasonable that it should and will end in divorce. After all, marriage is a relationship built on love and respect that lasts until the end of time. Or at least until the love and respect run out and you face the decision of ending a marriage.  


But, what should happen when the love endures while everything around it has crumbled? It almost defies logic to suggest that two married people would end a marriage when they still love each other. Why on earth would anyone do such a thing?

Because sometimes ending a marriage is the best option, even when you still love each other.

When you look at your spouse, you can be looking at the person you have spent the most time with, had the most exciting adventures with, or overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges with. Your heart may be full of love and admiration as you consider everything that comprises the very best of your relationship with this person.

Except that you can’t stand them.

You can’t stand to wake up next to them. They drive you crazy or have hurt you over and over. Their bad habits are like fingernails on a chalkboard to you, grating on your every last nerve, every day. They may have terrible financial habits, spending every last cent on frivolous luxuries instead of paying the rent. They may have terrible parenting habits, overturning your every sensible one. Everything has legitimacy when it comes to your happiness. And love, by itself, cannot support a permanent relationship.

Separation may change the way you see things. And it may make things more clear.

If your spouse is the love of your life, but you can’t stand to be in the same room or come home to the same house or sleep in the same bed, why are you together? Staying together is not an absolute must, so try to be apart for a while. What will happen? Will you happier? Will you feel the weight lifted from your shoulders? Will you finally relax and breathe more easily? Or, will you hate being away from the person you love more than any other?

Scientific research, summarized by Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D.has shown that love is both a momentary feeling and a long-term state of mind. Research has also shown that love is not unconditional. She notes that “when repeated expressions of care are not reciprocated, it could be time to move on.”

What is your dealbreaker?

Some couples like to spend time together; some don’t spend very much time together. Some tolerate their differences easily while others nitpick incessantly without batting an eye. Somewhere in the stream of love and contentment is a breaking point. What’s yours?

There don’t have to be infidelities to end a marriage. Or abuse, distrust, hatred, lies, or any other reasons that made-for-tv movies dramatize for divorce. One day people just don’t get along, even if they still adore one another. There may be nothing left to talk about, no shared interests, or even the desire to tolerate the interests enough to just spend the time together. You could simply now be in a place where you don’t have much to share.

If you have given it all you’ve got and you’ve got nothing more to give (or get), ending your marriage might be the natural next step even if you still love each other. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to love the person you are divorcing. Hatred or lack of love isn’t a prerequisite to divorce. But recognizing that you’re not satisfied in the marriage might be. It’s okay to end something that isn’t working. It’s okay to recognize that you’re no longer good for each other.

Call us. We can talk with you about your options, both immediate and long term. You don’t have to give up loving; but, you also don’t have to give up your life. Let’s discuss how you can move toward your new happiness and get on the path towards it with the fewest bumps.

About Findling Law

Findling Law, PLC – 414 W. 5th St. Royal Oak, Michigan 48067

Phone:+1 (248) 399-3300
After hours emergency?+1 (707) 968-7347


I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

By:  Daniel Findling

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